Deep Sky Object in Spring
Markarian's chain (Galaxy group in Virgo)

Date & Time: May 7 2005, from 21:14 to 21:31 JST(+0900)
Composed 4 shots with 5 minutes exposed
Optical: TAKAHASHI 16cm(6.3") epsilon (f=530mm, F3.3)
Auto-guided with TAKAHASHI EM-200 Equatorial
Digital Camera: Nikon D70 (Remodeled)
Location: Koumi town, Nagano pref.

Camera Settings: Recording Format...12bit CCD-RAW, converted to 16bit TIFF(3008×2000)
CCD Sensitivity...ISO800

Principal members in Markarian's chain

NameR.A. (2000.0)Dec. (2000.0)SizeMagnitude
NGC4374(M84)12h 25m 3.7s+12° 53' 15"6.4×5.6'10.0
NGC4406(M86)12h 26m 11.7s+12° 56' 49"9.0×5.8'9.8
NGC443812h 27m 45.5s+13° 00' 36"8.6×3.2'10.9
NGC443512h 27m 40.5s+13° 04' 48"2.8×2.0'11.7
NGC446112h 29m 3.0s+13° 11' 08"3.5×1.4'12.1
NGC447312h 29m 48.8s+13° 25' 49"4.4×2.5'11.1
NGC447712h 30m 2.4s+13° 38' 11"3.8×3.4'11.3
This picture captured the central region of the Virgo cluster in which some thousand galaxies contained. You can see two bright elliptic galaxies of M84 and M86 on the right hand side. And as a start point at these galaxies, a gentle curve is stretched to northeast formed by several fine galaxies. Though this picture shows you only bright ones because taken with a small telescope, actually this noticeable curve consists of over ten galaxies with various sizes. The curve is called "The Markarian's chain" from a name of observer who noticed it at first. The Markarian's chain is a very characteristic row of galaxies in the Virgo cluster; you can enjoy jumping galaxies into your field of view one after another by tracing telescope along the curve.
Now it's considered that members of Markarian's chain have no special gravitational interactions, in short, these galaxies are paralleling apparently by chance. Same as various constellations formed by connecting characteristic stars, the Markarian's chain is , as it were, like a kind of constellation composed of galaxies.

Virgo Cluster


Copyright(c) 2005 by Naoyuki Kurita, All rights reserved.
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