Imaging telescope or lens: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Imaging camera: Canon T3i Full Spectrum 600D
Guiding telescope or lens: Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Guiding camera: QHY-5-L-II-M Planatary & Autoguider
Focal reducer: Orion .8X Focal Reducer
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Dates: April 29, 2017
Frames: 68x90" ISO1600
Integration: 1.7 hours
Avg. Moon age: 3.46 days
Avg. Moon phase: 12.92%
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00
Astrometry.net job: 1570384
RA center: 186.899 degrees
DEC center: 13.200 degrees
Pixel scale: 1.836 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: -178.447 degrees
Field radius: 1.013 degrees
Locations: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, Connecticut, United States
Markarian's Chain is a beautiful string of galaxies that is part of the Virgo Cluster. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E. Markarian, who did extensive research on these galaxies in the early 1960s. Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435.
I took full advantage of the one clear night we had last weekend and imaged this object as well as M104, the Sombrero Galaxy. One of the most interesting members of the chain are the galaxies NGC 4435 and NGC 4438. Together they make up what is known as The Eyes. At 52 million light years away, the two interacting galaxies resemble eyes intently staring at something or someone.
In just imaging Markarian's Chain, I have manged to capture three more Messier objects for my catalog.
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