Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 1275

The center of a large cluster of galaxies can be a dangerous place. Most astronomers think that it is common for galaxies to collide in these kinds of cramped quarters (on galactic scales). This is why most compact galaxy clusters contain elliptical-like galaxies. After many collisions, the delicate structures of spiral galaxies are morphed into the more stable configuration of an elliptical galaxy. Here we see this dramatic process happening with NGC 1275. Just up and to the left of center, this collision of galaxies ranks as one of the weirdest in the Universe. The very center of NGC 1275 contains two or three curves which used to be spiral arms. The dust in the foreground of NGC 1275 is what remains of the challenging (and losing) galaxy. All of this activity makes the gas release radio wavelengths of light. Thus, NGC 1275 is often called Perseus A as it is the brightest object in this direction in these wavelengths of light. All of the galaxies in the field (perhaps more than 100 if you count the myriad of faint fuzzies) are on the order of 200 million light years away. The HST image (beside cropped image) of NGC 1275, with its far superior resolution, will help "unravel" the mystery of NGC 1275.

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Last Updated: 04-Mar-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = 90 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 15 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 15 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 15 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Jeff Cremer/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF