Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2023 February 16
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The Hydra Cluster of Galaxies
Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Lorenzi, Angus Lau, Tommy Tse
Text: ChatGPT (apologies to Edgar Allen Poe)


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
O'er volumes of astronomy and forgotten lore,
I stumbled upon this snapshot, cosmic and eerie,
A sight that filled my heart with awe and more.

Two stars, like sentinels, anchored the foreground,
Of our Milky Way galaxy, a sight to behold,
Beyond them, a cluster of Hydra, galaxies abound,
100 million light-years away, a story to be told.

Three large galaxies, ellipticals and a spiral blue,
Dominant and grand, each 150,000 light-years wide,
But it was the overlapping pair that caught my view,
Cataloged as NGC 3314, a sight I cannot hide.

Abell 1060, the Hydra galaxy cluster's name,
One of three large galaxy clusters close to our Milky Way,
A universe bound by gravity, a celestial game,
Where clusters align over larger scales, I cannot sway.

At a distance of 100 million light-years, this snapshot's size,
1.3 million light-years across, a cosmic delight,
A momentary glimpse into the universe's guise,
But even this shall fade, and be nevermore in sight.

Tomorrow's picture: formerly 2023 CX1

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