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Markarian (Gallery).jpg

                                                    Markarian's Chain - Virgo Coma Cluster

    Celestial parade made of stretching chain of galaxies in the hearth of Virgo Cluster. Also called Virgo Coma Cluster, is the largest and closest galaxy cluster to our own Milky Way galaxy. Immense cluster that contains more than 2000 galaxies clumped together relatively in one spot in the sky.  This beautiful chain of galaxies is very well known object among the astronomers that goes by the name of "Markarian's Chain", named after Armenian astrophysicist Benjamin E. Markarian.

    This field of view does not include the whole Markarian's chain and only grasp most obvious and large galaxies. But there is much more to it, when looking very carefully, one can find that the field is filled with dozens of very small galaxies. This whole area is very interesting as it contain galaxies of most forms and shapes.

    Especially interesting a beautiful pair of interacting galaxies in the center of the image.  These are NGC 4435 and NGC 4438, while NGC 4438 being distorted with shades of blue. That distorted shape of the galaxy comes from a very close encounter with its smaller companion when gravitational forces ripped away dust and gas from both galaxies. This pair is also known by nickname "the Eyes". While observing them with amateur small telescopes, they look like pair of eye's through the eyepiece.

    To the bottom right, two bright and featureless elliptical galaxies - M86 (left) and M84 (right), which discovered by Charles Messier in 1781. In a funny way, this pair and two additional galaxies to the bottom, resembling the "face", looking at you from the depth of the cosmos. 

This image has been nominated for Astronomy Picture of the Day HERE.

NGC 4438


NGC 4402


NGC 4388



Technical Info:

Optics :          Takahashi FSQ-106 EDX4 @ 530 mm

Camera :        QSI 660 - WSG8

Filters :          Astrodon Gen 2 E-Series - RGB Filter Set - 1.25"

Mount :          NEQ-6 Pro (Self Hypertuned/Belt Mod)​

Guiding:         QSI OAG + SX Lodestar 2 + PHD 2.6.5. 

Acquisition :    Sequence Generator Pro ( 

Exposure :       L     (1x1) - 60 x 180    3 Hours 

                      R     (2x2) - 23 x 180    1 Hour 9 Minutes 

                      G     (2x2) - 23 x 180    1 Hour 9 Minutes  

                      B     (2x2) - 23 x 180    1 Hour 9 Mnutes 

                      Total Exp: - 6 Hours 27 Minutes

Calibration:     Bias, Flats, Darks

​Processing :    PixInsight 1.8.06 (1457)

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