Hickson 61 - The Box and a deep look into space

Hello everybody!

In this image we have moved the main object - Hickson 61 (“The Box”) off centre to give other actors their stage.

Hickson 61 is a “galaxy group” with four members. But only theoretically, because if you look at the distances, you find that only NGC 4169, 4174 and 4175 (the three white galaxies) have a similar escape velocity and thus distance, namely between 169 million and 180 million light years. NGC 4173, the largest galaxy in the group, is only 50 million light years away.

To the right of the image we find three more NGC galaxies, 4131, 4132 and 4134. They have very similar escape velocities to NGC 4169 and Co, around 3600 to 4000 km/s, which again gives a similar distance.

Furthermore, we see a myriad of galaxies in the background, partly scattered, partly in clusters like Abell 1496 on the far left or [RRB2014] RM at the bottom… Their predominantly reddish colour comes simply from the redshift.

Taken in spring 2022 with the 10" f/4 Lacerta-Newton and a Moravian G2-8300. Exposed for 13 h under quite good conditions. The sessions were of course controlled by Voyager again.

All the best, Markus

6 Likes

Your framing does justice to all of the “actors.” :slightly_smiling_face: Galaxy cluster images can be challenging to process because of the difficulty of enhancing galaxies without damaging stars profiles. Today’s AI-based plug-ins make the job a little easier. Your galaxy-to-star-field balance looks great to me. Excellent image!

Glenn