View Towards the Great Attractor (Detail)
May 19, 2005
This photo shows the central region of the Southern constellation of Norma (The Level) and in the direction of the "Great Attractor". This region is at an angular distance of about 7Â° from the main plane of the Milky Way, i.e. less than 15 times the width of the image shown. In this colour composite, the foreground stars in the Milky Way mostly appear as whitish spots (the "crosses" around some of the brighter stars are caused by relections in the telescope optics). Many background galaxies are also seen. They form a huge cluster (ACO 3627) with a number of bright galaxies near the center - they stand out by their larger size and yellowish colour. Note the strong warping of the galaxy to the left of the center, which may be caused by gravitational interaction with one or both of the bright galaxies that are seen above and below it.
Topics: Large-scale structure of the cosmos, Virgo Supercluster, Local Group, Norma Cluster, Hubble Deep Field, Great Attractor, Galaxy formation and evolution, Galaxy, Milky Way, Spiral galaxies