Russell Croman Astrophotography  



The Perseus Galaxy Cluster

About This Photograph

Every fuzzy object in this photograph is a galaxy, part of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. It is one of the closest of such clusters, yet is still at the staggering distance of 300 million light years from Earth.

The brightest member of the cluster, in the lower-left in the photo, is the giant elliptical galaxy known as NGC 1275. It is also a strong radio wave and X-ray source. Note the red filaments of gas emanating from the center of the galaxy, apparently associated with its very active nucleus.

The entire cluster contains thousands of galaxies and is considered to be one of the most massive objects in the universe, with a total mass equivalent to the weight of trillions of suns.

Click here for an annotated photograph.


Technical Details

Optics:20" f/8 RCOS Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain w/ RCOS Field Corrector
Camera:SBIG STL-11000M, FLI CFW-7
Mount:Software Bisque Paramount ME
Filters:SBIG Standard LRGB
Dates/Times:30 October - 6 November 2005
Location:Dimension Point Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico
Exposure Details:LRGB = 480:240:120:240
Acquisition:MaxIm DL/CCD 4, TheSky6, CCDAutoPilot2
Processing:CCDStack, Photoshop CS2, GradientXTerminator