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Contains:  M 58, NGC 4579, M 90, NGC 4569, M 89, NGC 4552, M 91, NGC 4548, M 88, NGC 4501, M 87, NGC 4486, NGC 4473, The Eyes, NGC 4438, M 86, NGC 4406, NGC 4388, M 84, NGC 4374, NGC 4302
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Markarian's "Ball & Chain" - mosaic galactic delight, 


            Barry Wilson
Markarian's "Ball & Chain" - mosaic galactic delight

Markarian's "Ball & Chain" - mosaic galactic delight

Technical card

Resolution: 8401x5873

Dates:June 9, 2019

Astrodon E-Series Blue filter: 72x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon E-Series Green filter: 71x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon E-Series Red filter: 72x600" bin 1x1
Astrodon Luminance E-Series: 144x600" bin 1x1

Integration: 59.8 hours

Avg. Moon age: 6.59 days

Avg. Moon phase: 41.57% job: 2758442

RA center: 187.428 degrees

DEC center: 13.187 degrees

Pixel scale: 2.096 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 0.589 degrees

Field radius: 2.983 degrees

Locations: Entre Encinas y Estrellas E-EyE, Fregenal de la Sierra, Extremadura, Spain

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: e-EyE Extremadura


The completed LRGB 8 panel mosaic of this celebrated galactic chain in Virgo. Olly Penrice coined the label "Ball and Chain" for the circular pattern and linking 'chain' - quite apt.

This project has been the most ambitious mosaic Steve and I have entertained and its completion became a race with diminishing altitude, moonlight and turbulent Spring weather patterns as we persevered between 28th March and 9th June to collect the data. The final subs being collected when barely 30 degrees altitude.

Nevertheless the clarity of detail in the galaxies is worth studying in high resolution - I am continuing to be amazed at the sharp optics of the FSQ106; it is a great combination with the KAF8300.

Processing was a challenge with seemingly endless calibration (!) and then tweaking of backgrounds. The final .XISF file size in PixInsight was 1.2 Gb and the project took 30 minutes to save, amounting to some 48 Gb (and this is with a two year old 27" iMac). There is almost 60 hours of data integration. The jpeg I uploaded is a shade over 11 Mb so a high resolution tour should reveal some good structure. Enjoy!

Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne
Processing: Barry Wilson



Barry Wilson
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Markarian's "Ball & Chain" - mosaic galactic delight, 


            Barry Wilson