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Walking on the Moon

The Coma Cluster - A Whole Lotta Galaxies


PhotoGav
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Here is my rendition of The Coma Cluster, a dense gathering of galaxies some 300 million light years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices... and wow, what a gathering it is! The field of view is just full of galaxies. PixInsight has annotated 655 different galaxies across the image. I think that is definitely a Personal Best for Galaxy Count for me! The Coma Cluster is also of note as it played a key role in the story of dark matter. In 1933, Fritz Zwicky derived an estimate for the mass of the Coma Cluster by using its gravitational pull. The figure he came up with seemed much greater than could be accounted for by the visible matter alone. He deduced that there must be some invisible matter at play here and thus the first formal inference of dark matter's existence was made. The search for this 'dark matter' continues...!

Technical Details:
SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED, HEQ5, QSI 683-WSG8, Baader 1.25" filters
L = 40 x 1200s
RGB = 12 x 600s each
TOTAL = 19 hours 20 minutes

Coma-LRGB-10-Final.thumb.png.0bdd17a4aaf9fe62a4d9ffa3751f1ca5.png

Coma-LRGB-10-Final-Annotated.thumb.png.7988cf1bf39dc8942dc09bf3227f621a.png

This image concludes any proper deep sky imaging for me until after the end of June as I waved goodbye to astronomical darkness earlier this week. I have thoroughly enjoyed galaxy season with my new Esprit 100 and am pretty happy with this final galaxy image of the season. It is just a crazy image really, what looks like a shoddy open star cluster that has been shot badly and is a bit out of focus, slowly registers as a swirling mass of galaxies. Galaxies, the majority probably bigger than our own, at a ridiculous multi million light year distance from Earth, like little smudges across the darkness. Isn't our view out across the Universe just incredible?! The question I have though is, why have all these galaxies converged in this area of the sky? And how long is the tunnel of galaxies? Does it extend for many many millions of light years away from us or are the galaxies densely packed in a relatively small area? Is this the plughole of the Universe, where the contents of the cosmic bath tub are swirling around towards their draining end?!!?

Clear skies all, even if they are a bit light at the moment! Where's my solar scope...?!

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That’s a wonderful image, PhotoGav. As you say at first glance it doesn’t look anything special, but when you take a closer look it is truly mind blowing. For me, capturing an image like this makes all the expense, effort and frustration of Astrophotography worthwhile, where else can you point a camera and capture a vista as mind stretching as this?

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A fitting finale Gav, in the grand scheme of the universe galaxies appear to be grouped in clusters that are then in superclusters all joined together by strings of galaxies.

Dave

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Thank you for the positive comments Tomato, Mike and Dave. This seems to be have been a popular target just recently with Barry's excellent image and another great one from Jedi2014. As you say Tomato, what other form of photography gives this kind of perspective on little 'ol Earth?!!? I was interested to read in Jedi's post that the field of view includes Quasar QSO[HB89] 1256+280 at an approximate distance of 11 billion light years. I think that's another PB from this image - most distant object imaged!

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Thank you laudropb, Kirkster & Barry. 

Barry - I even used Pixinsight for the SCNR de-Green process. I fiddled about trying to get deconvolution to work, but made no effective progress - another session will be needed I’m afraid!

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On 26/05/2018 at 23:01, PhotoGav said:

The question I have though is, why have all these galaxies converged in this area of the sky? And how long is the tunnel of galaxies? Does it extend for many many millions of light years away from us or are the galaxies densely packed in a relatively small area? Is this the plughole of the Universe, where the contents of the cosmic bath tub are swirling around towards their draining end?!!?

I can't be a coincidence that it's near the north galactic pole so it's straight up with minimal interference from local features.

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8 hours ago, kirkster501 said:

Wow, 19 hours of integration time!  Well done, takes commitment and dedication to achieve that in our country, especially in Spring/Summer when there isn't much darkness to work with.

Thanks Kirkster - one of the major benefits of an observatory, multiple brief sessions are no issue!

7 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I can't be a coincidence that it's near the north galactic pole so it's straight up with minimal interference from local features.

Neil, that’s a very interesting observation, I hadn’t clocked that it is right at the NGP, basically the exact opposite of IC 342, The Hidden Galaxy! As the Hubble Deep Field showed, in all directions, galaxies, distant galaxies and more galaxies, it’s just we can’t always see them for all the local crud!

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