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M. Karovska, G. Fabbiano, M.S. Elvis, I.N. Evans, D.W. Kim, A.H. Prestwich, D.A. Schwartz, S.S. Murray, W. Forman, C. Jones, R.P. Kraft, T. Isobe (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), W. Cui (MIT), E.J. Schreier (STScI)
Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is a giant early-type galaxy with a merger history, containing the nearest radio-bright AGN. Recent Chandra High Resolution Camera (HRC) observations of Cen A reveal X-ray multi-scale structures in this object with unprecedented detail and clarity.
We show the results of an analysis of the Chandra data with smoothing and edge enhancement techniques that allow us to enhance and quantify the multi-scale structures present in the HRC images. These techniques include an adaptive smoothing algorithm (Ebeling et al 1999), and a multi-directional gradient detection algorithm (Karovska et al 1994). The Ebeling et al adaptive smoothing algorithm, which is incorporated in the CXC analysis s/w package, is a powerful tool for smoothing images containing complex structures at various spatial scales. The adaptively smoothed images of Centaurus A show simultaneously the high-angular resolution bright structures at scales as small as an arcsecond and the extended faint structures as large as several arc minutes. The large scale structures suggest complex symmetry, including a component possibly associated with the inner radio lobes (as suggested by the ROSAT HRI data, Dobereiner et al 1996), and a separate component with an orthogonal symmetry that may be associated with the galaxy as a whole. The dust lane and the x-ray ridges are very clearly visible. The adaptively smoothed images and the edge-enhanced images also suggest several filamentary features including a large filament-like structure extending as far as about 5 arcminutes to North-West.