Saturday, July 5, 2008

Markarian's Chain of Galaxies

Markarian's Chain of galaxies is a small portion of the Virgo Cluster. The lower right portion of the picture resembles a human face with Messier galaxies M86 and M87 as the eyes, NGC 4388 as the mouth and NGC 4387 in the middle as the nose.

Technical Details:

Optics: Takahashi FSQ-106
Mount: Astro-Physics Ap900GTO
Camera: SBIG ST200XM
Filters Astrodon Luminance
Dates: March 3, 2008
Location: Deerlick Astronomy Village

Exposure Details
L = 225 Minutes
(From APOD 2001 January 26):

Well over a thousand galaxies are known members of the Virgo Cluster, the closest large cluster of galaxies to our own local group. The galaxy cluster is difficult to see all at once because it covers such a large area on the sky. A close examination of the image will reveal that many of the "stars" are actually surrounded by a telltale fuzz, indicating that they are Virgo Cluster galaxies. On average, Virgo Cluster galaxies are measured to be about 48 million light-years away.
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