The Coma Galaxy Cluster
New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars: NGC 4874 etc...
Constellation: Coma Berenicis - The Hair of Berenike

No, there's nothing wrong with your eyes, neither with your monitor. It's also not my fault, the picture is not defocused. It is just an object that is hard to comprehend even for those who are familiar with the scales of our universe. All those fuzzy spots you see on the picture are galaxies, not to be confused with the few pinpoint stars among them! Most of them are located more than 300 million light years away. Think of it. When the light we see now was emitted from the stars forming these islands of matter within the vast voids of our more or less empty universe, the era of dinosaurs here on earth hadn't even started yet.

More than a hundred galaxies can be seen on this picture each of them bearing hundreds of billions of stars. The Virgo-cluster appears humble in comparison, but is much more prominent being only 50 million light years away. This is again a picture with a 3 hrs+ exposure. Needless to say, less effort wouldn't have yielded the result you are watching.

back to astrophotography page
back to gallery