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Virgo Cluster
(2013-04-28 23:20)

About this Object

The Virgo Cluster is a cluster of galaxies whose center is 54 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. Comprising approximately 1300 (and possibly up to 2000) member galaxies, the cluster forms the heart of the larger Virgo Supercluster, of which the Local Group is an outlying member. It subtends an arc of about 8 degrees of the cluster's center or a radius of about 2.2 million parsecs. Many of the brighter galaxies in this cluster, including the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87, were discovered in the late 1770s and early 1780s and subsequently included in Charles Messier's catalogue of non-cometary fuzzy objects. Described by Messier as nebulae without stars, their true nature was not recognized until the 1920s. Many of the member galaxies of the cluster are visible with a small telescope.

About this Image

This is the first image that I captured with a camera/lens piggybacked on a guided telescope. In retrospect, I believe that I could have teased more detail from some of the brighter galaxies, and maybe pulled in a few more of the dimmer galaxies if I had exposed just a little longer.

--- Date/Time ---
Local: 2013-04-28 23:20:00
UTC: 2013-04-29 03:20:00

--- Location ---
The Ashton Observatory at Johnson Farms, Ashton MD
(Latitude N39.15°, Longitude W77.01°, Elevation 510')

--- Conditions ---
Medium seeing

--- Optics ---
Televue NP101is 101mm f/5.35 Refractor

--- Camera ---
Canon EOS 60Da, 70mm

--- Exposure ---
Qty 24 30-second ISO 800 f/5.6

--- Post-Processing ---
RegiStax, PhotoShop

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