|Virgo Galaxy Cluster - DSLR|
|The Virgo Galaxy Cluster includes up to 2000 individual galaxies at a distance of 60 million light years from our local group of galaxies. Our Local Group of Galaxies is a small cluster that includes our Milky Way Galaxy, the Magellanic Clouds, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Pinwheel Galaxy, and the pair M81-82. The Virgo Galaxy Cluster lies at the center of a larger Supercluster, that includes our Local Group. Our Local Group is drawn by the large collective gravitational mass of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, and will eventually be pulled into the Virgo Cluster.
The DSLR image above is a wide angle view that shows the largest galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, supergiant elliptical galaxy M87, on the lower left. It possesses a supermassive black hole at its center, and is a strong source of radio waves. The galaxy is surrounded by 12,000 globular clusters (much too small to be seen in my image), compared to only 150-300 for the Milky Way. Much of the mass in M87 is in interstellar gas separate from the galaxy's stars, yeilding a mass much higher than the Milky Way, perhaps as much as 200 times greater. Other giant elliptical galaxies M86 and M84 are in the upper right of this image. This image combined 30 ten-minute exposures through a Hutech-modified Canon 6D DSLR, through an Astro-Physics Ricardi-Honders 12" Astrograph. Compare to the CCD image (below) with overall similar exposure length but with a smaller telescope.
The CCD image below was obtained 2 years earlier. This image combined 80 minutes red, 70 minutes green, and 65 minutes blue exposures with an ST10 camera and Tak Sky 90.
|Music: Sweet Dreams, by the Eurythmics|