M105 Group of Galaxies

Normally, I take images of galaxies with nice spiral arms. Sometimes I shoot edge on galaxies, which look flat from our angle. Then there is another group of galaxies, which are somewhat boring to look at. These are elliptical galaxies. In these galaxies, you cannot see any structure as all the stars are just clumped together in three-dimension and is without any structure. The stars go around the center of the galaxy in random orbits. Also, usually these galaxies are old in age, so they have a yellow color as their predominant color as there are few young hot blue stars. These galaxies are created by collision of 2 or more spiral galaxies. This is how our galaxy will look like when we merge with Andromeda, our neighboring large galaxy in about 4.5 billion years from now.

In this image, there are 3 large galaxies, 2 of which are ellipticals. The lower galaxy is M105 and is 32 million light years away. The galaxy in the middle is NGC 3384. The bluer galaxy on the left is the typical spiral galaxy and is coded NGC 3389. This galaxy, although in the same field of view, is actually about 60 million light years away!

I have an exercise for you. If you download this picture and carefully look for background galaxies, you will see about 27 small galaxies in this image. Tip – anything that is not a round star and is a little smudgy and non-round is a galaxy. Basically you are hunting for galaxies, some of which are billion plus light-years away!

I took this image over 13.5 hours (13 luminance of 30 minutes each and 7 images of RGB colors each of 20 minutes each).


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