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Thin Disk Galaxy
For such a close galaxy, NGC 4945 is easy to miss.
NGC 4945 is a
spiral galaxy in the
Centaurus Group of galaxies,
located only six times farther away than the prominent
Andromeda Galaxy. The
thin disk galaxy
is oriented nearly edge-on, however, and shrouded in dark
Therefore galaxy-gazers searching the
southern constellation of Centaurus need a telescope to see it.
The above picture was taken with a large telescope testing a new wide-angle, high-resolution CCD camera.
Most of the spots scattered about the frame are
foreground stars in our own Galaxy, but some spots are
orbiting the distant galaxy.
NGC 4945 is thought to be quite similar to our own
Milky Way Galaxy.
X-ray observations reveal, however,
that NGC 4945 has an unusual, energetic,
Seyfert 2 nucleus
that might house a
large black hole.