This unique and extremely deep colour image, compiled from nearly 20hrs of exposure with just a 6"
telescope, was taken from a very dark sky in remote Australia. The image reveals the full outer
halo of the perculiar radio galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) in Centaurus including faint polar
extensions extending from the top and bottom of the galaxy running diagonally. Also evident in this
image is the extensive but extremely faint Milky Way nebulosity and dust known as "Galactic Cirrus"
or "Integrated Flux" that permeates this entire region. Galactic Cirrus material lies just above
the plane of our galaxy and is lit by the light of The Milky Way as a whole but due to its extreme
faintness at 27mag/sq arc sec, is seldom seen in images, it is visible as faint patches
of dusty looking nebulosity all over the image. The Cirrus nebulosity around Centaurus A is some of
the faintest in the sky and is well below the natural sky brightness. Countless distant background
galaxies of all shapes and sizes can be found scattered all over the field of view as well.
AP152 F7.5 Starfire APO refractor with 4" field flattener
FLI ProLine11002 CCD & CFW-2-7
LRGB = 15hrs 1.5hr 1.5hr 1.5hr = 19.5hrs total exposure (all bin 1X1) Astronomik filters
-35C chip temp, darks and flats (AstroHandy LightRing used for flats)
12MPPS download speed = 1.5sec/full frame download at bin 1X1.
FOV = 1.6deg X 1.2deg at 1.4"/pix
Guide Camera: Starlightxpress SXVH9
Taken over 3 nights from very dark skies at "Wiruna" - the remote dark sky site of the
Astronomical Society of New South Wales, Australia: