Fornax A (NGC 1316)

NGC 1316, Fornax A

NGC 1316, Fornax A.

Fornax A (NGC 1316) is an unusual giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Fornax that appears to have merged, or be in the process of merging, with a spiral galaxy (see galaxy merger). Evidence for this includes a dark central lane of dust, arcs and plumes of stars in the outer parts of the galaxy, and an enormous outpouring of radio waves, powered ultimately by material falling onto a central supermassive black hole. The designation Fornax A means that this is the brightest radio source in its constellation; in fact, it is one of the strongest and largest radio sources in the sky, with radio lobes extending over several degrees.