The Hubble Space Telescope has produced this fantastic close up image of part of the Centaurus A galaxy.

Centaurus A, known to us Astronomers as NGC 5128 is 11 million light years away in the constellation of Centaurus is not visible to us Astrophotographers in the north, so it is a delight to see a "foreign" object for a change. This galaxy is extremely active with lots of exciting star forming regions. However, its appeal comes from the large amount of dark dust lanes that cross our view of the galaxy and hide some of the millions of stars in the galaxy.

Hubble has really gone to town on this one with the Wide Field Camera 3 which was installed a few years ago in the last shuttle servicing mission. Seven different filters were used to make up this image. Data from different wavelengths, from the violet all the way through to the infrared have been combined to produce this image. This is the most detailed image ever taken of this region.

The bright pink/purple regions are intense star forming regions similar to some of the active nebulae we image in our own galaxy with our hydrogen alpha filters. The orange/yellow areas show older stars, some of which doubtless orbit around the super-massive black hole which resides at the centre of this galaxy.

The second image shows a crop of the full sized version.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgment: R. O’Connell (University of Virginia) and the WFC3 Scientific Oversight Committee