Astronomy Photo of the Day: 4/29/14 – The Fornax Galaxy Cluster

Joshua FilmerApril 29th 2014
Image Credit: Marco Lorenzi
Image Credit: Marco Lorenzi

Found deep within the constellation of the furnace, we have the Fornax Galaxy Cluster. Found a staggering 60-million light-years away, this is the second closest galaxy cluster to Earth, after the Virgo Supercluster. This cluster offers a very important glimpse into the evolution of galaxies. One of the most interesting parts of this cluster is that it is currently undergoing a merger of galactic proportions. A smaller galaxy group is merging with the larger cluster, giving us some insight into the construction and history of the much larger clusters we observe around us.

In this image, most of the yellowish blobs of light you see are galaxies. There are about 60 galaxies associated with this cluster in total. Because I know you’re all wondering, the picturesque galaxy in the bottom right corner is NGC 1365. It is one of the largest galaxies in the cluster, and it is certainly one of the most identifiable.

See a larger image here.

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