Contains: NGC 4479, NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438, The Eyes, NGC 4435, NGC 4425, NGC 4413, M 86, NGC 4406, NGC 4402, NGC 4388, NGC 4387, M 84, NGC 4374
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20160607 Markarian's Chain

Technical card

Resolution: 3170x2479

Dates: June 4, 2016June 5, 2016June 7, 2016

Baader Planetarium B 36mm: 8x300" -20C bin 2x2
Baader Planetarium G 36mm: 8x300" -20C bin 2x2
Baader Planetarium L 36mm: 12x600" -20C bin 1x1
Baader Planetarium R 36mm: 8x300" -20C bin 2x2

Integration: 4.0 hours

Darks: ~15

Flats: ~20

Bias: ~15

Avg. Moon age: 10.62 days

Avg. Moon phase: 2.80%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4.83 job: 1141055

RA center: 186.883 degrees

DEC center: 13.164 degrees

Pixel scale: 2.040 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -177.599 degrees

Field radius: 1.140 degrees

Locations: Home, Lake St Louis, Missouri (MO), United States; Danville Conservation Area, New Florence, Missouri, United States


Markarian's chain of galaxies in Virgo was discovered in the 1960's by Armenian astronomer Benjamin Markarian. There are at least seven members of the chain that move together and are part of the Virgo Cluster. In the spring, our night sky faces away from the plane of our Milky Way, allowing observers to easily view outside our stellar neighborhood and into the vastness of deep space.

In the center of the image, NGC 4435 & NGC 4438 are commonly known as The Eyes. The two galaxies, about 52 million light-years away, appear to have had a interacted millions of years ago, perhaps leading to the creation of the smaller NGC 4435.

Messier objects M84 & M86 dominate the lower right part of the chain. The only two galaxies in the chain to be included in Charles Messier's famous list, they are both elliptical galaxies between 52 and 60 million light-years away. The pair are surrounded by NGC 4388, NGC 4425, NGC 4438, NGC 4435, and NGC 4402. Smaller galaxies, IC 3303, NGC 4387, NGC 4413, and IC 3355 are all clearly visible.

In the upper right, past the Eyes, lie NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4473, NGC 4477, and NGC 4479.

The field is also filled with dozens of smaller galaxies, most no more than a faint smudge.

Imaged on 6/4/16 from New Florence, MO and 6/5/16 & 6/7/16 from Lake St Louis, MO
Integration: 4 hours (LRGB)
Luminance: 12x600s @ 1x1 (120')
R/G/B: 8/8/8 x 300s @ 2x2 (40'/40'/40')
Scope: William Optics GTF 81 5 element refractor (535mm focal length)
Upgraded with Moonlite CF focuser with motor
Imager: QHY9Ms with Olivon OAG and QHYCFW2-s filter wheel
Guidecam: ASI120MM
Filters: Baader LRGB
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G
Processing and Software
Guiding with PHD2
Acquisition with Sequence Generator Pro
Integration and processing with PixInsight 1.8

Markarian's Chain in Virgo:
Annotated image:

‪#‎VirgoCluster‬ ‪#‎M86 #M84 #NGC4438‬ ‪#‎Virgo ‪#‎Galaxy‬ ‪#‎Space‬ ‪#‎Astronomy‬ ‪#‎Astrophotography‬‬



Mike Pusatera

Sky plot

Sky plot


20160607 Markarian's Chain, 


        Mike Pusatera