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NGC 4945

A galaxy in the central regions of Centaurus with a loosely barred spiral form, C83 has a structure comparable to that of the Milky Way Galaxy, though with a diameter of some 77,000 light years it is somewhat smaller. C83 lies at a distance of 11.7 million light years from the Milky Way.

As viewed from Earth, the galaxy is almost edge-on and so appears as a narrow ellipse, though its spiral structure is still clearly visible, as is a dark lane of dust running around much of its outer edge. The galaxy's nucleus is unusually active, implying that C83 hosts a supermassive black hole at its core.

C83 is one of the most prominent of a group of about forty galaxies that span the sky northward from Centaurus, known collectively as the Centaurus A/M83 Group. C83 belongs to the southern lobe of this group, associated with Centaurus A, the most massive of the group's galaxies. Indeed C83 and Centaurus A are relatively close together, on a galactic scale. They lie about two million light years apart, a distance comparable with the Milky Way's distance from the Andromeda Galaxy.


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