March 2018 - Picture of the Month
Markarian's Chain in Virgo
It's galaxy season so I decided to look for some galaxies to feature this month. Fortunately David provided this great image of the iconic Markarian's chain that he took last year.
Benjamin Markarian who died on 29 September 1985 was an Armenian astrophysicist who gave his name to Markarian's Chain of galaxies in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies after he discovered that this string of galaxies moves with a common motion. The Virgo Cluster is the nearest cluster of galaxies and contains over 2000 galaxies. It has a noticeable gravitational pull on the galaxies of our own Local Group of Galaxies which surround our Milky Way Galaxy. The centre of the Virgo Cluster is located about 70 million light- years away toward the constellation of Virgo.
This image shows part of Markarian's Chain and is marked by the Messier galaxies M84 and M86 to the right and the interacting pair of galaxies NGC 4438 and NGC 4435, known as The Eyes or ARP 120, in the centre of the image. There are many small, faint galaxies in this image.
The image comprises 20 luminance and eight each of RGB subs, all of five minutes exposure with a 107mm APM triplet and an QSI 583 camera.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.