This is a shot of the central region of the Virgo galaxy cluster. All of the individual stars in this image belong to our own Milky Way galaxy but all of the larger, more ‘fuzzy’, objects are entire galaxies far beyond made up of their own collections of billions of stars. (The larger/closer galaxies in the image are around 54 million light years away.)
There are approximately 244 galaxies in this image (around 10 hours of total exposure). Many of the smaller galaxies are 'background’ galaxies and not associated with the Virgo cluster. Most of the galaxies in this image are also of a type known as 'elliptical’. Unlike spiral galaxies, they usually lack structure and can be anything from perfectly spherical to somewhat flattened.
SH2-171 by Luca Argalia Via Flickr: Dati: 18 x 10 min. 800 Iso + 3 Dark + 25 flat e darkflat software: Iris e Photoshop CS2 Strumenti: ottica Takahashi FSQ106 f/5 su Skywatcher EQ6 pro - Canon 40D CentralDS. 29/07/2016 - Monte Romano (RA), Temp. esterna: 19,5° C temperatura al sensore -3,5°C - Umidità 75%