This image of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster captures hundreds of the cluster’s members, including Perseus A, which is the left-most of the large pair in the center. This odd looking galaxy, also known as NGC 1275, is 237 million light years away. It is a radio galaxy, emitting strongly in the radio frequency. The center of the galaxy may contain a supermassive black hole with a mass more than 340 million times the mass of the Sun. That is not small. You might notice some detail of the fragile filamentary structures of NGC 1275, which show up as a reddish lacy structure surrounding the central bright galaxy core. These filaments are cool despite being surrounded by gas that is around 55 million degrees hot. They are suspended in a magnetic field which maintains their structure and demonstrates how energy from the central black hole is transferred to the surrounding gas.
The Perseus Galaxy Cluster, containing NGC 1275
Telescope: 16″ f3.75 Dream Scope
Camera: FLI ML16803
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure: 10.5 hours (42x300s L + 3x28x300s RGB)
Acquisition: September – October 2019 – Processing: May 2021
Location: Southern Alps, France