Fr.: Centaurus A
The closest (3.8 ± 0.1 Mpc) → radio galaxy with a physical age of about 560 Myr, associated with the massive → elliptical galaxy NGC 5128. The nucleus harbours a → supermassive black hole, with a mass (5.5 ± 3.0) × 107 Msol derived from stellar → kinematics. A prominent → dust lane, with → starburst, crosses the central parts. Centaurus A shows a twin → jet in → radio and → X-ray bands, symmetrical on parsec scales but with evident asymmetry on kpc scales. The main (i.e. northern) jet which is markedly brighter than the counterjet, is seen at a viewing angle of approximately 50°. From photoionization models for such a viewing angle, the → Lorentz factor of the jet is derived to be ≤ 5. A large number of radio and X-ray → knots is discernible in the jet on kpc scales with the radio knots of larger proper motions showing comparatively little X-ray emission (see S. Wykes et al. 2015, MNRAS 447, 1005, and references therein).
Situated in the → Centaurus constellation.
Fr.: association Scorpius-Centaurus
The nearest → OB association to the Sun. It contains several hundred stars, mostly → B stars which concentrate in the three subgroups: Upper Scorpius, Upper Centaurus Lupus, and Lower Centaurus Crux. Upper Scorpius is the youngest subgroup, Upper Centaurus Lupus the oldest subgroup of the association. Isochrone fitting to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram indicates that the star formation occurred some 5-20 Myr ago. Based on data from the → Hipparcos catalog, it turns out that the Sco-Cen association lies at a distance of 118-145 → parsecs, with the exact value depending on the subgroup of the association. The Sco-Cen association is probably a member of the → Gould Belt (Preibisch & Mamajek, 2008, astro-ph/0809.0407).