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NGC 3783 is a barred spiral galaxy located about 30 million light years away in the constellation Centaurus. It is inclined by an angle of 23° to the line of sight from the Earth along a position angle of about 163°. The morphological classification of SBa indicates a bar structure across the center (B) and tightly-wound spiral arms (a). Although not shown by this classification, observers note the galaxy has a luminous inner ring surrounding the bar structure. The bright compact nucleus is active and categorized as a Seyfert 1 type. This nucleus is a strong source of X-ray emission and undergoes variations in emission across the electromagnetic spectrum.
The source of the activity in this galaxy is a rapidly rotating supermassive black hole, which is located at the core and is surrounded by an accretion disk of dust. The estimated mass of this black hole is 8.7 million ([8.7 ± 1.1] × 106) times the mass of the Sun. Interferometric observations yield an inner radius of 0.52 ± 0.16 ly (0.16 ± 0.05 pc) for the orbiting torus of dust.
This is a member of a loose association of 47 galaxies known as the NGC 3783 group. Located at a mean distance of 117 million light-years (36 Mpc), the group is centered at coordinates α = 11h 37m 12s, δ = –37° 30′ 57.6″: equivalent to about 870×103 ly (267 kpc) from NGC 3783. The NGC 3783 group has a mean velocity of 2,903 ± 26 km/s with respect to the Sun and a velocity dispersion of 190 ± 24 km/s. The diffuse X-ray emission of the group is roughly centered on the galaxy NGC 3783.
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Coordinates: 11h 39m 01.721s, −-37° 44′ 18.60″
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