About 60 million light years away, in the constellation of Leo, is this magnificent group of galaxies, number 44 in a catalog of 100 such clusters compiled by astronomer Paul Hickson. This scene is an interesting study in the range of galaxy types. Just above center is NGC 3190, a striking spiral that we see nearly edge on. The dust lane traversing it is characteristic of spiral galaxies. NGC3193 is the 'S' shaped galaxy to the right.
The galaxies in Hickson 44 are close enough that they interact with each other gravitationally. This causes the individual galaxies to become distorted and in some cases even share material. This image was taken on April 8 and 9, 2010 and totals 5.2 hours of exposure. Imaged with my Hyperion Astrograph and STL11000M camera. Click on the image for better details.