Celestial hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Virgo (Vir)  ·  Contains:  M 86  ·  NGC 4387  ·  NGC 4406

Image of the day 07/01/2024

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    A Galaxy within a Galaxy - M86 and its Swirling Hydrogen Maelstrom (50h LRGB + 100h Ha), Timothy Martin
      A Galaxy within a Galaxy - M86 and its Swirling Hydrogen Maelstrom (50h LRGB + 100h Ha), Timothy Martin

      A Galaxy within a Galaxy - M86 and its Swirling Hydrogen Maelstrom (50h LRGB + 100h Ha)

      Image of the day 07/01/2024

      Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
        A Galaxy within a Galaxy - M86 and its Swirling Hydrogen Maelstrom (50h LRGB + 100h Ha), Timothy Martin
          A Galaxy within a Galaxy - M86 and its Swirling Hydrogen Maelstrom (50h LRGB + 100h Ha), Timothy Martin

          A Galaxy within a Galaxy - M86 and its Swirling Hydrogen Maelstrom (50h LRGB + 100h Ha)

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          Description

          Perhaps engendered by an encounter with the nearby Eyes (NGC 4435 & 4438) galaxies, streams of hydrogen course through and around M86. It would be nice to think that this gas might somehow bring a dying elliptical galaxy back to life with new star formation someday. But such a conclusion is way beyond my ken. I'm just happy to be able to shoot this and perhaps be the first to reveal the fact that something weird is going on inside M86. I've made the straight-up LRGB image the mouse overlay image for comparison.

          There have been other images that show an Ha bridge between The Eyes and M86 as well as an Ha halo surrounding M86, with Mark Hanson's effort being one of the best I've seen. But I'm not aware of anyone else going this deep on the Ha to present this new perspective on an old favorite. I'm unaware of any image that has captured what you're seeing above after spending most of six months scouring the interwebs for it. Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

          EDIT: I was indeed wrong. This image, recently published, escaped my eye and is really excellent: https://astrob.in/e36804/0/
          In my defense, I was out in the middle of nowhere on an RV trip when it was published.

          I've been concentrating the TOA on the Markarian's Chain area all year. And I'm continuing to shoot Ha on this area with the goal of getting to 150 hours before it dips below the horizon until next spring. My hope is that the effort will produce a wide field of Markarian's Chain and M87 that will express the dust and gas present in the region in a novel way. I apologize for not posting the imaging details for every single day I shot this, but it covers 56 nights over five months. I just didn't have it in me to spend two hours with the Astrobin Acquisition details screen.

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