NOAO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Optical photograph of part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, taken by the 4-metre Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. The Virgo Cluster is the nearest major cluster of galaxies, lying 50 million light years away in the constellation of Virgo. It consists of about 1000 galaxies spread across a region 10 million light years wide. The two bright elliptical galaxies seen in this image are M86 (just above and to the right of centre) & M84 (far right). The centre of the cluster, occupied by the active galaxy M87, lies out of the frame of the photo at lower left.
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