The CSIRO astronomers found that the smallest structure within the galaxy is about 210 light-years across.
According to the July 7, 2009 CSIRO media release CSIRO astronomers reveal a ‘blue whale of space’, “The galaxy’s radio waves have been painstakingly transformed into a highly detailed image, which is being unveiled to the public for the first time.”
Dr. Feain and her astronomical team observed Centaurus A for over 1,200 hours through the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) telescope (near Narrabri, New South Wales), along with the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope. It took them many years to finally capture the image.
And, it took them another 10,000 hours to process the images and to take out “radio interference” and to adjust the “dynamic range.” In all, 406 individual images have been produced. All of them were “mosaiced” together to make this final image.
To look at this fascinating image of Centaurus A in the radio-wave portion of the radiation spectrum, go to the July 3, 2009 CSIRO media release CSIRO astronomers reveal a 'blue whale of space'.
The CSIRO astronomers say that Centaurus A is so large and bright of a galaxy that nobody before them had even tried to make such an image of it. Astronomers are calling this image the most detailed one of any galaxy that produces radio jets.
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