Hercules Galaxy Cluster

Click on image for larger version.

Each "fuzzy thing" is another galaxy entirely. In this image you can count 20-30 of them. The cluster of galaxies extends well beyond this field of view. They are estimated to be on the order of 300+ million light years away. Several of the galaxies in this image are interacting- as is often the case in clusters of galaxies. The most prominent example is NGC 6050 (middle) in which two spiral galaxies have interlocked.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 105 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 15 minutes binned 2x2
Green = 15 minutes binned 2x2
Blue = 15 minutes binned 2x2

  • If done again, this image would need longer exposures in both luminance and color components.
  • Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the the very dim and very bright details of the image simultaneously.

  • Minimum credit line: Burt May/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 06/02/2003