Centaurus is so big it requires more than one image. This deep panoramic view is shifted some to the southwest of the main image of Northern Centaurus and well to the northeast of far Southern Centaurus where we find Alpha and Beta Cen. The bright fuzzy object at center is the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri. Muhlifain (Gamma Cen) is the bright star to the right of it about half-way across the picture, while Epsilon is below it and Zeta to the immediate left. Eta lies up and to the left of Zeta. The bright star at far right is Delta Cen. Menkent (Theta) and Iota are off the picture to the upper left and right. Part of Lupus lies in the lower left corner, and is indicated by its brightest star, Kakkab (Alpha Lupi). The bright duo just left of upper center are Nu (on top) and Mu, To the left of Mu is Phi and then Chi. The bright pair near the left edge consists of Kappa Cen (above) and Beta Lupi. The very top of Crux lies at the bottom right.

Note two other fuzzy objects. Directly above Omega Cen, find the peculiar and very bright galaxy NGC 5128 (also called Centaurus A for its bright radio emission), which lies about 15 million light years away. Then just down and to the right of Zeta find the open cluster NGC 5460, which is about 2200 light years distant. Note also the observatory domes at the bottom, which are the sources of the red lights toward lower right and of the reddish glow in the picture.

To see a labelled image, push the star:

See the image at full resolution.

Go to Northern Centaurus shifted to the North and East.

Go to Southern Centaurus.

By Jim Kaler. Return to STARS.