Abell 426 is the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. It is located in the constellation of Perseus.
More than 50 galaxies are visible in the above image of the heart of this galaxy cluster, one of the most massive objects in the universe. It is also one of the closest galaxy clusters to us at a distance of 250 million light-years, and is the brightest cluster in the sky in X-rays. It is part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster that contains more than 1,000 galaxies.
Giant galaxy NGC 1275, the largest galaxy in the image, is also known as radio source Perseus A (3C 84). A prodigious source of high-energy x-rays and radio emissions, NGC 1275 contains a supermassive black hole at its center which apparently powers massive filaments of radio-emitting plasma.
NGC 1275 is a Seyfert galaxy that has one of the most bizarre appearances of any galaxy known. This is partly caused by another dusty spiral galaxy seen edge-on and along the same line of sight from our perspective as NGC 1275. This galaxy appears to be headed directly towards NGC 1275, probably to be destroyed and ultimately absorbed by NGC 1275 as they collide.
NGC 1275 is 100,000 light-years wide and is located 235 million light-years away. The galaxy hosts numerous globular clusters containing hundreds of thousands to millions of stars each, as well as massive young blue star clusters. It was discovered on October 17, 1786 by William Herschel.
The golden colored galaxies in the above image are mostly giant elliptical and lenticular galaxies. A couple of more traditional looking spiral galaxies, such as Sb spiral NGC 1268 at lower right, and UGC 12397 at top center, can also be identified by their more bluish color.
Four digit galaxy identification numbers are NGC catalog galaxies. Five digit galaxy identification numbers are PGC catalog galaxies.
North is to the top in the above image.