Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Perseus Galaxy Cluster

I count 55 galaxies, although some of those smudges that look like faint stars are probably galaxies as there are supposedly 190 of the blighters. This is one massive concentration of galaxies. The cluster is centred on galaxy NGC 1275, or Perseus A, and is surrounded by a cloud at a temperature of millions of degrees, in which bubbles of relativistic plasma are being produced from the galaxy’s active nucleus. These are effectively sound waves at a pitch of Bb, 57 octaves below middle C! To the right of the two large ellipticals at the centre lies a galaxy with some strange structure that I can’t quite reveal with my equipment and 14 1-minute exposures.

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