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Technical card

Resolution: 5192x3559

Astrometry.net job: 1558641

RA center: 186.535 degrees

DEC center: 12.916 degrees

Pixel scale: 3.338 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -148.642 degrees

Field radius: 2.918 degrees

Locations: Home Roof Observatory, Nicosia, N/A, Cyprus

Description

Centre-framed on M86, this is Markarian's Way, a scorpion-tail like chain of Galaxies amidst the Virgo Supercluster of Galaxies (recall that a Galaxy contain trillions of stars, each with a number of their own planets and there are over 25 Galaxies in this image). Presented by Benjamin Markarian in 1963, this exquisitely laid out galactic chain requires that a poet be sent to do it justice. Of it’s members, M86 is an elliptical galaxy rich in globular clusters and which displays a blue-shift, meaning that it is moving towards us, at a speed of 244km/s. On it’s bottom right, M84, also an elliptical galaxy, has two streams of matter jetting from its core, signifying the presence of a supermassive black hole. On the top left of M86, we see “The Eyes Galaxies” (NGC 4435- NGC 4438), which are a pair of interacting Galaxies approximately 52 million light-years away. Other member galaxies in the chain include NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461 and NGC 4458, but littered all around the image, is a plethora of over members in the Virgo Supercluster, my favourite being the unbarred spiral galaxy M99 all the way to the right, which is approximately 50 million light-years away.

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Author

Minos Kritikos
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Markarian's Way, Minos Kritikos