IC 1101 (North Up, East Left)
IC 1101 is a supergiant elliptical galaxy at the center of the Abell 2029 galaxy cluster, lying at a distance of ~ 1 billion light-years. The galaxy is classified as a supergiant elliptical (E) to lenticular (S0) and is the brightest galaxy in A2029. The galaxy's morphological type is debated due to it possibly being shaped like a flat disc but only visible from Earth at its broadest dimensions. IC 1101 is among the largest known galaxies, but there is debate in the astronomical literature about how to define the size of such a galaxy. Photographic plates of blue light from the galaxy (sampling stars excluding the diffuse halo) yield an effective radius (the radius within which half the light is emitted) of ~212,000 light-years. The galaxy has a very large halo of much lower intensity "diffuse light" extending to a radius of ~2 million light-years. The authors of the study identifying the halo conclude that IC 1101 is "possibly one of the largest and most luminous galaxies in the universe. Like most large galaxies, IC 1101 is populated by a number of metal-rich stars, some of which are seven billion years older than the Sun, making it appear golden yellow in color. It has a bright radio source at the center, which is associated with a supermassive black hole. This image comprises 10 x Luminance (300 seconds each) and 5 x Red, Green and Blue (150, 152 and 122 seconds each), 0.5m f/2.9 ASA Astrograph with FLI ML3200 camera at an altitude of 60 degrees on 31 March 2017. The fields of view of the images at the top and bottom are 34’ x 23’ and 18’ x 12’ respectively.
Hills Observatory: 1 January 2013 to 26 May 2020