Virgo Galaxies

A 125 megapixel image of a small portion of the Virgo Constellation with all the stars removed, leaving only the galaxies.

This image of a small portion of the Virgo Constellation was created using a 385mm telescope and a 26mp camera. The shoot was broken down into a 10 pane mosaic. Each pane was shot 31 times at an exposure of 300 seconds from my backyard with a ZWO ASI2600MC camera, William Optics GT81 telescope, and Losmandy GM811G equatorial mount. Taken over several nights throughout last week. All combined the total integration time of the final image was 25.83 hours. In post processing all the individual stars were removed then the resulting 229mp image was cropped almost in half and reduced to fit the page. In this reduced size copy every speck represents a discernible galaxy in the full size version.

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."

--Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky."

--Carl Sagan, Cosmos

This circular image is a representation of the entire night sky showing the constellations. You see the small circle pointed to by the arrow; that's the area of the above photo.