The Capodimonte Deep Field
composite image of 35,000 galaxies - not stars
note how the galaxies are all neatly lined up along filaments of intergalactic electric currents
forming networks of strings like so many beads on a thread
By ESO - European Space Agency
the image covers about a quarter of the Capodimonte Deep Field
The Osservatorio Astronomico Capodimonte Deep Field (OACDF) is a multi-colour imaging survey project that is opening a new window towards distant parts of the universe. It is conducted with the ESO Wide Field Imager (WFI) , a 67-million pixel advanced camera attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory (Chile). As a pilot project at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte (OAC) the OACDF aims at providing a large photometric database for deep extragalactic studies.
For the above image the astronomers selected a field measuring about 1 x 1 deg in the southern constellation of Corvus (The Raven). This is now known as the Capodimonte Deep Field (OACDF). The above photo (PR Photo 15a/01) covers one-quarter of the full field (Subfield No. 2 - OACDF2) - some of the objects seen in this area of more than 35,000 objects are nearly 100 million times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye in the dark sky.
Below is an enlargement of a portion of the above image (from near the lower edge just left from the center). Note the faint networks of galaxies in the background of the enlargements, that are barely visible, are likewise strung out along filamentary lines.
Below, an extremely
distant view into a galaxy cluster
estimated at 500 million light years distant
even there, the same principle of the filamentary alignment of the galaxies is evident
with the filaments themselves being faintly visible.
galaxy cluster ACO 3341 obtained with VIMOS of European Space Organization
However, the same filamentary alignment
that we see in the very distant view, is
also visible in the 'small',
in star clusters as the one shown below, of a portion of star cluster M4, a mere 6,000 light-years away, in our own galaxy