Abell 2151 – The Hercules Cluster

Abell 2151 is a cluster of galaxies about 500 million light years away in the constellation of Hercules.  There are a total of about 300-400 galaxies in this image. I am especially interested in these remote galaxy clusters and it is sobering to think how many planets and civilisations must exist amidst this vastness.  Countless trillions.

LRGB Abell2151
Abell 2151 - The Hercules Cluster

Image Technical Data

Technical Details

Imaged from my backyard in Nottingham over four nights in late April and May 2020, during the Coronavirus lockdown.  We had some superb clear skies over the UK during this period with very good visibility and seeing – highly unusual for the UK.  I used my TEC 140 refactor at its native focal length of F7 and Atik 460 cooled CCD camera with Astrodon LRGB filters.  The telescope was mounted on my MESU 200 mount and guided with OAG.

All data is binned 1×1:

Lum > 23 x 600s ; Red 14 x 300s ; Green > 12 x 300s ; Blue > 16 x 300s

The total integration time is seven hours and twenty minutes; this is quite an investment of time in one object by UK standards.

Captured with Sequence Generator Pro and processed with PixInsight and Photoshop CC.

Abell 2151 Inverted Version
Abell 2151 inverted version

The two images immediately above are annotated versions of the primary picture at the top.  The version to the left shows the annotation with the NGC/IC catalogs of galaxies.  The one of the right adds the many PGC (Principle Galaxy Catalog) galaxies, many of which are much more remote than Abell 2151 and are billions of light years distant in the depths of the Universe.

The location of the Hercules galaxy cluster
©European Southern Observatory

To the left is a star chart showing the location (in red circle) of the Hercules cluster.

Alternate Version

Abell 2151_Complete
Same data set and processed slightly differently

Comments are closed.