Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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The Fath: Galaxy Cluster

 
Click the image for a 100% size full frame view. (3990 x 2660 - 970 KB)

Instrument

12.5" RCOS @  ~f/9 (2880 mm fl) 0.64 arcsec / pixel.  Shown at 0.64 and 1.03 arcsec / pixel.

Mount

Paramount ME

Camera

SBIG STL-11000 w/ internal filter wheel, AstroDon 6nm Ha Filter

Acquisition Data

10/17/2011 to 10/24/2011 Chino Valley, AZ... with CCDAutoPilot3 & CCDSoft.  AOL guided

Exposure

Lum  450 min. (30 x 15 min. bin 1x1)

RGB  405 min. ( 9  x 15 min. each bin 2x2)

Software

  • CCDSoft, CCDStack, Photoshop CS and Noel Carboni's actions.

  • PixFix32 (pre-beta) to repair column defects.

  • eXcalibrator for (b-v), (v-r) color balancing, using 6 stars from the NOMAD1 database.

  • CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject, combine the sub exposures.

  • PhotoShop on-linear stretching and LRGB combine.

  • Noiseware Pro, a PhotoShop plug-in.

Comment

The image is shown rotated 75 clockwise.

The Fath is a small cluster of galaxies, near the center of the larger cluster Abell 262. Located in the Andromeda constellation, it is at a distance of about 204 million light-years and includes NGC 703-710. The elliptical galaxy, NGC 708, dominates the cluster.

The Fath is named after astronomer Edward Arthur Fath, 1880-1959. There does not seem be any historical connection between Dr. Fath and the cluster. This suggests that it is named as such, simply because the cluster looks like the letter "F."

Dr. Fath did groundbreaking research that led to determining that spiral nebulae are actually distant galaxies. For more info click here.