Galaxy cluster in Coma Berenices (Abell 1656)

I captured this image over two nights, having been forced to quit early the first night due to a cable gremlin. This image was very challenging to process, because it is riddled with small galaxies that need to be enhanced, but the frames were unaccountably noisier than usual. The result is a compromise between enhancement of faint features, and suppression of noise, which I detest greatly. I also enhanced star colors more than usual, in an effort to distinguish them from the smaller galaxies.

This image needs to be viewed at high resolution to see the large number of tiny galaxies (click on the image above to get the hi-res version). But move your mouse over the image and you'll see outlines of all the galaxies brighter than magnitude 18 (obtained from Starry Night). There are many galaxies in the image even fainter than that.

south of Foymount, Ontario; April 6 and April 29, 2011; Orion Pro on Orion 120ED; no filters; seeing good (first night) to fair (second night); autoguided; 17x1000 seconds.




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