Markarian’s Chain

After imaging the galaxy chain with the 200 telelens, at f/2.8, I turned the f/5 telescope to it. Not surprisingly, I registered way less light – also given the lack of guiding at the longer focal limiting the length of the exposures. I remember a discussion on the field with fellow amateur astronomers, about how objects are named, seemingly arbitrarily – however, many of the members of this chain are physically linked, not just a chance alignment, mostly, and it was an astronomer named Markarian who measured their motion. Member galaxies include the two bright ellipticals, M84, M86  and some other NGC members: NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435.

I used the modded Canon 1100D, 11×90 sec, ISO 3200, N 150/750, Baader MPCC Mark III coma corrector, on the HEQ5 mount. Light acquired on 2017-04-01, Dângău Mare, Cluj. I used astrometry.net‘s plate solving.

The most prominent objects are:

  • M 86, NGC 4406 [Vir], lower left, 9m [wiki]
  • M 84, NGC 4374 [Vir], lower left towards the corner, 9.4m [wiki]
  • NGC 4438 [Vir] The Eyes, image center, 10m [wiki]
  • NGC 4473 [Com], at the right, 10.1m [wiki]
  • NGC 4477 [Com], on the right margin, 10.4m [wiki]
  • NGC 4435 [Vir] The Eyes, image center, 10.8m [wiki]
  • NGC 4461 [Vir], to the right from the Eyes, 11.1m [wiki]
  • NGC 4388 [Vir], the large spiral above M84, 11.3m [wiki]
  • NGC 4425 [Vir], a smaller spiral above M86, 11.8m [wiki]
  • NGC 4402 [Vir], smaller spiral at 5 o’clock from M86, 12.2m [wiki]
raw sample

raw sample

raw curved

raw curved

stack

stack

extracted flat

extracted flat

stage

stage

At 200mm: Markarian’s Chain is on the left

At 200mm: Markarian’s Chain is on the left

plate solved

plate solved

Markarian’s Chain – final image

Markarian’s Chain – final image

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