Thousands of Galaxies Immersed in the Reddish Hydrogen Gas of Virgo Cluster

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The image features a deep wide-field scene captured at 300mm and comprising 43h of total integration exposure, showing galaxies at a distance of 48 million light-years away from Earth, where lies the Virgo Cluster. This collection of galaxies located in the constellation of Virgo, forms the heart of the larger Virgo Supercluster from which the Local Group containing our own Milky Way galaxy, belongs. It’s also known that our own Milky Way galaxy has clouds of hydrogen gas within, lying between us and the Virgo cluster. The image shows more than 1890 galaxies visible and identified in the annotated version below, and immersed in some of these hydrogen-alpha clouds, while mixed with the clouds contained in the cluster itself. At left, we can see the M100 galaxy, while at the right center shows the upside down “Question Mark (?)” shaped by the galaxies known as Markarian’s Chain, which includes the gigantic elliptical galaxy M87, the enormous elliptical galaxy M86 and M84, as well as the colorful galaxies M90, M91 and M88. The image was captured from Dark Sky® Alqueva Official Observatory, in Portugal, over the course of 11 nights.

PT: A imagem revela um campo amplo e profundo captado a 300 mm e que compreende 43h de exposição total de integração, mostrando galáxias a uma distância de 48 milhões de anos-luz da Terra, onde fica o Aglomerado de Virgem. Esta coleção de galáxias localizada na constelação de Virgem, forma o coração do maior superaglomerado de Virgem, do qual pertence o Grupo Local que contém a nossa própria galáxia, a Via Láctea. É sabido que a Via Láctea contém nuvens de gás hidrogénio, situadas entre nós e o aglomerado de Virgem. A imagem mostra mais de 1890 galáxias visíveis e identificadas na versão anotada abaixo, e imersas em algumas dessas nuvens de hidrogénio-alfa, misturadas com as nuvens contidas no próprio aglomerado. À esquerda, podemos ver a galáxia M100, enquanto no centro direito um conjunto de galáxias que parece estar disposta na forma de um “Ponto de Interrogação (?)” invertido, e conhecidas como a Cadeia de Markarian. Deste conjunto destaca-se a gigantesca galáxia elíptica M87, a enorme galáxia elíptica M86 e M84 , bem como as mais coloridas galáxias M90, M91 e M88. A imagem foi captada a partir do Observatório Oficial Dark Sky® Alqueva, em Portugal, ao longo de 11 noites.

 Above: The annotated version produced with PixInsight script, based in several known catalogues to identify the main objects in the image like Messier; NGC-IC; PGC; ARP.

PT: Acima, A versão legendada com anotação produzida pelo script do PixInsight baseado em vários catálogos reconhecidos, identificando assim os principais objectos visíveis na imagem como Messier; NGC-IC; PGC; ARP.


Technical details | Detalhes Técnicos

Canon fixed prime lens 300mm f/2.8 set to f/3.5 + Canon 6D modified | ISO2500 – Exp. 70 seconds x 2221 RGB lights | Total integration: (2591 min) 43h. Mount EQ6 Pro – Auto-guiding off. Processing on PixInsight 1.8.9-1, photoshop CC 2023. Cumeada Observatory from Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Reguengos de Monsaraz.


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