8/22/2020 Abell 2634

23 August 2020

The Abell galaxy cluster 2634, located in the northern portion of the “Great Square” that forms the most distinctive part of Pegasus. There’s a lot of uncertainty as to the distance to this cluster, but it is believed to be several hundred light years away from Earth.

If you closely you can see over a hundred galaxies in this image. The red-shifted galaxies are some of the oldest light in the night sky.

Nothing found in this image would be visible to the naked eye – even under the best of conditions. The central galaxy, NGC 7720, is magnitude 13.7. The brightest of the stars in this image are no brighter than magnitude 10.5. (See this article to learn more about how visual magnitude works).

Hidden in this image is irregular galaxy LEDA 85553 (highlighted in red). There’s one more blue galaxy in this image, known as LEDA 85609.

I find these small oddball stellar formations to be really interesting. And they do sometimes get overlooked even by the pros. The Cygnus soap bubble wasn’t discovered until amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich photographed it in 2008. Before that, the major observatories had thought it to be some sort of telescope or sensor defect! 

Images taken from Seattle. 15 minute subs for each R,G,B,L filter. 88 images total for a total exposure time of 22 hours.