DEEP SKY
  Gavin James
  07808 480621
  gavin@gjmultimedia.co.uk
 
Astronomy Deep Sky     << previous next >>
 
The Perseus Cluster

The Perseus Cluster (Abell 426) is not a star cluster, but a galaxy cluster, and a pretty darn big one too! It is located in Perseus, just east of Algol, where Medusa's slain head appears. The apparent diameter of the cluster is quoted as about 860' or just over 14º. The field of view of this image is a maximum of 1.8º, so only around 2% of the whole galaxy cluster. As said, the Perseus Cluster is huge! In fact, it is one of the most massive objects in the known universe. It is situated around 240 million light years away from Earth and contains thousands of galaxies. This image contains 287 identified PGC objects, roll your mouse over the image to view the annotated version.

The central bright galaxy in the image, Perseus A or NGC 1275 is of great interest. In 2003 a team of astronomers led by Dr. Andrew Fabian at Cambridge University discovered one of the deepest notes ever detected, a B♭, after 53 hours of Chandra observations. No human will actually hear the note, because its time period between oscillations is 9.6 million years, which is 57 octaves below the keys in the middle of a piano. The sound waves appear to be generated by the inflation of bubbles of relativistic plasma by the central active galactic nucleus in NGC 1275.

Research Assistant: tbc

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The Perseus Cluster
Abell 426
Galaxy Cluster
Perseus
240 million light years
n/a
860 arcminutes
60 million light years
Perseus A, 1786, William Herschel
November
03h 21m 02s
+41º 34’ 37”
Skywatcher Esprit 100ED
7 nights, October & November 2018
L = 16 x 1200s
RGB = 18 x 600s each
14 hours 20 minutes

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