Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Messier Galaxy Image Gallery

Galaxies are perhaps one of the most attractive deep-sky objects to observe and photograph. They represent massive collections of dust, gas and countless billions of stars and are best described as islands of space matter across the universe. They are characterized as being either spiral or elliptical in nature and usually have a bright central core. Equally stunning to observe (with large-aperture telescopes) and image are galaxy clusters which represent collections of gravitationally-bound groups of galaxies whose members number from tens to thousands and which are classified on the basis of their richness (ie. number of galaxy members), shape (spherical, flat or irregular) and content (spiral or elliptical). Charles Messier's list of deep-sky celestial gems includes approximately forty bright and large galaxies.

Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, represents a galaxy within the Local Group (of Galaxies) numbering 30 galaxies in total, five million light years in diameter and which is moving in unison towards the constellation of Virgo. Other prominent galaxies within the Local Group include Andromeda (150,000 light-years in diameter), Triangulum (40,000 light-years in diameter) and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (30,000 and 20,000 light-years in diameter respectively). The center of the Local Group is believed to lie between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. The richest member of our Local Group is the Virgo Cluster which is believed to contain approximately 2500 galaxies mostly elliptical in nature.

Note: Perhaps the most well-known catalogue of galaxy clusters is the work by George Abell and his publication entitled "The distribution of rich clusters of galaxies" (1958) describing 2712 rich clusters identified from the Mount Palomar Observatory Sky Survey plates. This list was extended in 1989 with the publication of "A catalog of rich clusters of galaxies" and which represents an all-sky survey covering both northern and southern hemispheres and includes 4073 rich galaxy clusters.

Please click on any image of interest for further image and imaging details.


M31 in And

M32 in And

M33 in Tri

M49 in Vir

M51 in CVe

M58 in Vir

M59 in Vir

M60 in Vir

M61 in Vir

M63 in Com

M64 in Com

M65 in Leo

M66 in Leo

M74 in Psc

M77 in Cet

M81 in UMa

M82 in UMa

M83 in Hyd

M84 in Leo

M85 in Psc

M86 in Cet

M87 in UMa

M88 in UMa

M89 in Hyd

M90 in Vir

M91 in Com

M94 in Cve

M95 in Leo

M96 in Leo

M98 in Com

M99 in Com

M100 in Com

M101 in UMa

M102 in Dra

M104 in Vir

M105 in Leo

M106 in Com

M108 in UMa

M109 in UMa

M110 in And