On May 2, 2010 my photo of the Coma Galaxy Cluster (Abell 1656) was featured on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. I have received several requests for permission to use the image but one seemed a bit unusual – they wanted to use it as an illustration for a book about fossil trackways. I granted them permission to use the photo but then sort of forgot about it as I hadn’t heard anything for a few years. Then to my surprise I got an email from them a few days ago saying the book has been published and they would like to send me a complimentary copy, which arrived a couple days ago.
If you’re interested, the book is available on Amazon here.
So what does a photograph of a cluster of galaxies have to do with a book on fossil trackways? In the book, they have a chapter that uses astronomical distances to put the vast age of the trackways into perspective. In the case of the Coma Cluster, it is so far away that the light we see from it left around the time that the trackways were made – about 313 million years ago.
Here’s a shot of the book cover and the page with my photograph.