Abell 2151 - Hercules Galaxy Cluster


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Abell 2151 - Hercules Galaxy Cluster: Abell 2151 is a dense cluster of galaxies in the constellation Hercules. The cluster is around 500 million light-years away, and contains numerous spiral and interacting galaxies. NGC 6045 is the interesting "integral" spiral galaxy near the center. NGC 6050 is the brighter of the pair of colliding spiral galaxies to the right of the center of the frame. In addition to the many obvious galaxies in this most impressive cluster, most of the other "points" of light are actually just more distant galaxies that are unresolved in this image. This field of view (19'x13') covers about half of the entire cluster.

NGC: 6054
Right Ascension: 16h 05m
Declination: 17° 44'
Apparent Magnitude: 10.0

Date: May 2012
Equipment:
Telescope: Meade 16" Schmidt Cassegrain with f6.3 reducer
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding: Meade 5" refractor/DSI Pro/PHD/AO-8
Exposure:
Luminosity = 13x10 minutes binned 1x1
R:G:B = 15:14:12x5 minutes binned 2x2
The camera was at -30°C or -35°C depending on the night

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack and combined with Sigma Combine. Adjusted curves and levels of L and RGB independently. Slight blur on the dim areas and sharpening on non-star bright areas. RGB combined in CCDStack at 1:1:1.6 ratio. Adjusted curves and levels, and reduced noise of RGB via Carboni action. L was combined with RGB and final adjustment and tweak in Photoshop.
Scale: 0.53"/pixel on highest resolution

Links to images of this object on other sites:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070719.html
http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n6050.html
http://www.astr.ua.edu/gifimages/hercules.html

Additional Comments: About half of the luminance subframes were discarded for various reasons. The color flats weren't "spot on", so the black cutoff was increased a bit to "hide" the defects. Additional luminance data might be added in the future.
A previous image of this cluster was taken in 2008, and can be found here: http://www.fortlewis.edu/observatory/image_detail.asp?ID=3


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