SCIENCE
01/04/2012 12:02 pm ET | Updated Jan 04, 2012

Dazzling NASA Hubble Image Of Galaxy Centaurus A

NASA's recent image of the day is a doozy. The stunning image of Galaxy Centaurus A was taken in July 2010 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.

Centaurus A contains the closest active galactic nucleus to Earth at a tad over 11 million light-years away. The image description says that Centaurus A's center is "home for a supermassive black hole that ejects jets of high-speed gas into space, but neither the supermassive black hole or the jets are visible in this image."

Black holes themselves are not visible as they emit no light. "Seeing" a black hole means detecting the lack of light and the forces and effects the black hole causes on surrounding space.

Don't feel cheated by Centaurus A's crafty black hole, there are plenty of visible wonders to stare at.

More Centaurus A images can be found at Hubblesite.org. For more stunning Hubble images, visit the Hubble Heritage Project.


Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

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