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The Coma Cluster of galaxies (Abell/ACO/A 1656) in Coma Berenices.

Most of the objects in this image are galaxies, mainly ellipticals but also some spirals.  This large-scaled structure of the local universe, part of the 'Great Wall' of galaxies, is located around 370 million light years away.  The cluster is located well off the plane of the Milky Way so our view of it is largely unobscured by gas, dust or foreground stars.  Located more than five times farther away than the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, there are more than 3,000 galaxies within a diameter of 20 million light yrs within the Coma Supercluster, making it very rich and dense.

The 'Great Wall' is a sheet of galaxies that is the largest structure yet discerned in the universe.  It measures 200 million by 600 million light years in area with a thickness of only 20 million light years.  The arrangement of galaxies into wall and voids can be seen in an animation I've prepared.

 

Image info

Telescope:  Celestron 9.25" Schimdt-Cassegrain at f/6.3

Focus:  Prime focus

Filter:  Celestron LPR filter

Mount:  Vixen GPD with Skysensor2000

Camera:  Modified Canon EOS 300D, at ISO800

Guiding:  700mm refractor guidescope, SAC7 camera, autoguided with Guidedog software

Exposure:  Total 40 mins (27 x 90s)

Date:  5th March 2005

Processing:  RAW file conversion, Offset and Dark subtraction, flat fielding, registering and stacking done in IRIS. Curve stretching and colour saturation enhancement by Luminance Layering in Photoshop CS.

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