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ISO investigates a galactic traffic accident
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- Title ISO investigates a galactic traffic accident
- Released 01/01/1998 12:00 am
- Copyright Visible light: Digitized Sky Survey, STScI/NASA; Infrared: ESA/ISO/ISOCAM, CEA-Saclay and I.F. Mirabel et al.; Radio: VLA/NRAO.
A flat, disc-shaped galaxy, seen almost edge-on, has collided with a large elliptical galaxy to make the peculiar object known to astronomers as Centaurus-A. The first clear picture of the impacting flat galaxy appears in an infrared image from ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). In visible light, the flat galaxy is an anonymous dusty band. It comes to life when ISO's ISOCAM infrared camera looks at it, and the precise orientation of the disc of the flat galaxy becomes plain. Lying 15 million light-years away in the southern sky, Centaurus A is a relatively close object outside our own Galaxy. It is notable as one of the strongest sources of cosmic radio waves [Image Date: 1998/04] [98.04.006-003]