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Published on May 20, 2011
Centaurus A is a giant elliptical active galaxy 12 million light years away. Radio and X-ray images reveal features associated with jets emanating from near the galaxy's central supermassive black hole, which has a mass of 55 million suns. Now, the TANAMI project has provided the best-ever view of these jets. In the radio image of the galaxy's core, the black hole is invisible but the jets show in great detail. Features as small as 15 light-days across can be resolved. The powerful jets feed vast lobes of radio-emitting gas that reach far beyond the visible galaxy.