Click here for a high resolution image of the Hercules Galaxy Cluster (620 KB)



The Details
Abell 2151 - The Hercules Galaxy Cluster
Astro-Physics 160 EDF Refractor at f/7.5
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
29 April 2006
Anza Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County CA
L 10 x 600 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 4 x 300 sec, 2x2 bin
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop CS, Neat Image 4.4 Pro+
Field of View: 36'43" x 28'28" centered on RA16h05m12s
DEC 17°44’28” (2000.0) . North angle 174.1 °; east 90° CCW from north

Abell 2151, the Hercules Galaxy Cluster, is a collection of about 100 galaxies lying approximately one-half billion light years from Earth. I counted about 70 “fuzzies” in the above image which I believe to be galaxies. Abell 2151 is part of a much larger structure known as The Great Wall, a collection of galaxy clusters, superclusters, and clusters of superclusters forming a thin sheet about 15 million light years thick by 500 million light years long by 200 million light years wide. This massive collection of galaxies is the largest known structure in the Universe at the present time. Contained within Abell 2151 are four Arp objects, they being Arp 71, 122, 172 and 272. Arp 71 is the nearly edge-on spiral with a small companion off its right arm located in the center of the image. Arp 122 is left of center about half way to the edge and consists of a spiral and elliptical galaxy interaction. Arp 172 can be seen in the upper right as the interaction of two large ellipticals with distorted halos. Finally, Arp 272 is the interacting pair of nearly face-on spiral galaxies just right of center.

Not unlike the Hubble Deep Field image of countless galaxies imaged in a tiny portion of the sky in the direction of Ursa Major, the Hercules Galaxy Cluster can perhaps be considered an equivalent opus aptly named the Amateur Deep Field image.




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