Markarian’s Chain

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A famous string of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo, named after the astronomer Benjamin Markarian who first discovered their common motion.  The chain contains several Messier catalogue objects and is visible in the late winter and spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  The galaxies are located between 65-75 million light years away and are nice objects to observe with a telescope if you can do so from a dark sight.

This image was created from a data set acquired in Spring 2019 with my FSQ85 refractor.

Image is centred on “The Eyes” of NGC4435 and NGC4438 just below dead centre of the image.  At the bottom is the monstrous supergiant elliptical galaxy M87, the most massive object in the local universe harbouring the famous black hole recently imaged with the event horizon telescope.

Markarian's Chain FSQ85 and G2-8300
Markarian's Chain in Virgo

 Below is an inverted version that help show the galaxies with more contrast.

Inverted Version

Technical Information

The data set was acquired with my FSQ85 refractor with the 0.73 reducer and Moravian Instruments G2-8300 CCD camera with Astrodon  LRGB filters.  

Data set is as follows: Lum > 26 x 600s ; Red 14 x 300s ; Green > 14 x 300s ; Blue > 14 x 300s

Everything binned 1×1 on my MESU 200 mount and using off axis guiding.  The data was acquired in two nights.  The data is processed with PixInsight and Photoshop.

Below are two annotated versions; a simpler version showing the main Messier, NGC and IC catalogues and then, at the bottom, a version adding the hundreds of PGC (Primary Galaxy Catalogue) objects deep in the universe many of which are billions of light years away.

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