NGC 4945, a dusty southern spiral galaxy
Date created: 1995-01-20
Tags: galaxy, spiral, dust, AAT
This is one of many peculiar galaxies that populate the large
southern constellation of Centaurus
. This remarkable spiral galaxy
seen almost edge-on, and the spiral structure is chaotic and
difficult to discern. In part this is because the galaxy is itself extremely dusty, and it is seen through dust in the Milky
Way. These effects together account for its yellowish hue, though patches of bluish stars can be seen. The dust in NGC 4945 itself absorbs most of the visible light, especially the blue light from the numerous bright stars known present within the galaxy. This energy is re-radiated at infrared wavelengths, which penetrate dust more readily, which is why the galaxy is found to be unusually
bright in the infrared. Photograph made from plates taken in March 1993.
Top left is NE. Image width is about 16 arc min.
For details of photographic exposure, search
by AAT reference number.
Credit: David Malin
© Australian Astronomical Observatory