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Perseus A

C24, NGC 1275

The Perseus Cluster is one of the largest known galaxy clusters, and among the most important of the thousands of galaxies that make up the cluster is the object known as Perseus A. The general form of this galaxy is elliptical, but in its centre a spiral structure can be seen. This spiral form is created by material being drawn into the vast central black hole, the source of intense radiation. Emerging outward from the central regions and stretching through the surrounding matter of the galaxy are a series of tangled filaments forced outward by the black hole at the galaxy's heart.

Perseus A lies near the centre of the Perseus Cluster, lying some 220 million light years from the Milky Way Galaxy. The cluster is notable for the unusually dense gases that fill the space between its galaxies, and these gases are evident in the space around Perseus A. Beyond the galaxy itself, swirls of intergalactic material are illuminated by the active galaxy, reaching out for hundreds of light years beyond the galaxy's edge.


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