Tag Archives: Virgo

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster of Galaxies 

Image Credit: R. Brent Tully (U. Hawaii) et al., SDvision, DP, CEA/Saclay

 It is not only one of the largest structures known — it is our home. The just-identified Laniakea Supercluster of galaxies contains thousands of galaxies that includes our Milky Way Galaxy, the Local Group of galaxies, and the entire nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The colossal supercluster is shown in the above computer-generated visualization, where green areas are rich with white-dot galaxies and white lines indicate motion towards the supercluster center. An outline of Laniakea is given in orange, while the blue dot shows our location. Outside the orange line, galaxies flow into other galatic concentrations. The Laniakea Supercluster spans about 500 million light years and contains about 100,000 times the mass of our Milky Way Galaxy. The discoverers of Laniakea gave it a name that means “immense heaven” in Hawaiian.

APOD NASA 10-Sep-14

Sombrero galaxy

The Sombrero Galaxy (also known as Messier Object 104M104 or NGC 4594) is an unbarred spiral galaxy in theconstellation Virgo located 28 million light-years (8.6 Mpc) from Earth. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero. Astronomers initially thought that the halo was small and light, indicative of a spiral galaxy, but Spitzer found that the halo around the Sombrero Galaxy is larger and more massive than previously thought, indicative of a giant elliptical galaxy. The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of +9.0, making it easily visible with amateur telescopes, and it’s considered by some authors to be the brightest galaxy within a radius of 10 megaparsecs of the Milky Way.[6] The large bulge, the central supermassive black hole, and the dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Geoptik “Formula25″ Newton 10″ 1250mm
Imaging cameras: Home made 450D Cmos Cooled – Baader
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Geoptik 50/200 mm finderscope
Guiding cameras: Shoestring Astronomy USB Guide Port Interface, Xbox LiveWebcam
Software: photoshop, Pleiades Astrophoto, S.L. PixInsinght 1.8 RC7
Accessories: Giosi Made Fasce anticondensa, Home made Arduino Focuser (project sir Jolo – ascom-jolo-focuser), Baader MPCC mpcc coma correcteur
Dates: March 1, 2014
Frames: 13×600”
Integration: 2.2 hours

Author:  Giosi Amante
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 1 Aug 2014

Planetary Nebula Abell 36 

Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Univ. Arizona

 The gorgeous, gaseous shroud of a dying sunlike star, planetary nebula Abell 36 lies a mere 800 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. At that distance it spans over 1.5 light-years in this sharp telescopic view. Shrugging off its outer layers, the nebula’s central star is contracting and becoming hotter, evolving towards a final white dwarf phase. In fact, in Abell 36, the central star is estimated to have a surface temperature of over 73,000 K, compared to the Sun’s present 6,000 K temperature. As a result, the intensely hot star is much brighter in ultraviolet light, compared to its visual appearance here. The invisible ultraviolet light ionizes hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the nebula and ultimately powers the beautiful visible light glow.
NASA APOD 30-May-14