Miguel Claro He is a professional photographer, author, and science communicator based in Lisbon, Portugal, who creates stunning images of the night sky. K European Southern Observatory photo ambassador and member of the world at night and the official astrophotographer for Dark Sky Alqueva Reservewhich specializes in astronomical “skyscapes” that bridge the Earth and the night sky.
Join Miguel here as he takes us through the image of “thousands of galaxies immersed in reddish hydrogen gas from the Virgo cluster.”
This image shows the Virgo Cluster, a group of galaxies located in the constellation Virgo.
The deep wide-field view captured here is 300mm deep and consists of 4 hours of full exposure to integration, showing galaxies at a distance of 48 million light-years from Earth.
The Virgo cluster forms the core of the larger Virgo supercluster to which the Local Group of galaxies, containing our own Milky Way, belongs. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, also contains clouds of hydrogen gas between us and the Virgo cluster.
Related: Milky Way Galaxy: Everything you need to know about our cosmic neighborhood
Read more: How to Photograph the Milky Way: A Guide for Beginners and Enthusiasts
More than 1,890 galaxies are visible in the image. They’re immersed in star-forming clouds, and you can see more details (and designations) in the image annotated above. (Annotations are based on IAU monikers used by the community, but your culture may have different names.)
On the left in the image we can see the Messier 100 (M100) galaxy, while in the right center is an inverted “question mark” in the shape of galaxies known as the Markarian series. The series includes the giant elliptical galaxy M87, the massive elliptical galaxy M86 and M84, and the colorful galaxies M90, M91 and M88.
The image was taken from an official dark sky area at Portugal’s Alqueva Observatory, over the course of 11 nights.
Do you want to capture amazing sky scenes like this? Our guides about the best telescopes and the best binoculars will help you. Learning about the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography will also help you capture amazing deep-sky scenes.
Editor’s note: If you take your own photos of the sky and would like to share them with Space.com readers, submit your photo(s), comments, name, and location to [email protected].
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