NGC 5566, A Galaxy Trio in Virgo (Copy)


A Galaxy Trio in Virgo, NGC 5566

A remarkable telescopic composition in yellow and blue, this scene features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. All of the stars in the image including the spiky one are in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.  Predominately yellow, with sweeping spiral arms and dust lanes, NGC 5566 is enormous, about 150,000 light-years across which makes it larger than the Milky Way at 110,000 light-years and is the largest galaxy in the enormous Virgo cluster of galaxies comprising 2000 galaxies. To the upper left lies small, blue NGC 5569. On the upper right lies the third galaxy, NGC 5560, is multicolored and apparently stretched and distorted by its interaction with NGC 5566. The galaxy trio is a good example of cosmic interaction and are now understood as a common part of the evolution of galaxies. The Virgo cluster is one of 100 galaxy clusters which include our local group of  40 galaxies that are a part of the Virgo supercluster comprising 47,000 gravitationally interacting galaxies occupying 110 million light years across. Superclusters like the Virgo are the largest objects in the universe.


Optics: Planewave 20″ CDK20
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MEII
Camera: FLI PL 16803
Filters: L,R,G,B,Astrodon 3nm Ha
Dates/Times: June 2020
Location: Adler Earth & Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole WY
Exposure Details: L=20x20min, R,G,B=17x20min,2:2, 70 images over 15 hr
Acquisition: MaxIm DL SkyX, SBIG STi, Astrodon MOAG
Processing:  MaxIm DL, Pixinsight, Photoshop CC2020