The Grus Quartet, NGC 7552, 7582, 7590, 7599

Here we are looking well away from the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy into a realm many, many millions of light years away. In the midst of a field containing thinly dispersed stars of our own Galaxy are countless galaxies, the four of the Quartet appear the largest and are closest to us at distances estimated at 55-70 Mly. They are beautiful spiral galaxies presented to us in a range of orientations: NGC 7552, at the top right, is a lovely face-on barred spiral; NGC 7582, in the middle, is a loosely wound spiral, whilst the pair at the bottom, NGC 7590 and NGC 7599, are more tightly wound.  Note the compact cores, red star-forming regions and dusty structures visible.

Close inspection of this deep exposure reveals that there are many hundreds of deep yellow and red objects with fuzzy outlines; these are in fact distant galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away! To the left of NGC 7590 and NGC 7599 is what appears to be a substantial galaxy cluster dominated by two giant elliptical galaxies. There are several such collections in the field in addition to several very distant edge-on spirals.

 

Camera: SBIG STL11000M, Astrodon filters Scope: Takahashi TOA-130, f=1000mm, f7.7+flattner (fov ~2.1 x 1.4)
Mount: Takahashi EM-200 Temma2 Guiding: external, E-finder
Filters/Exposures: L:R:G:B = 180:100:90:90min7h40m Location: Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
Dates: August 2014 Processing: CCDStack2, RegiStar and Photoshop CS5