Astronomical Sketches

Deep Sky Atlas

Illustrated Deep Sky guide

Telescope Calculator

astronomical Photo Gallerytelescope articles

Sketch of the Markarian's Chain and M87 in Virgo cluster.

markarian's chain sketch, virgo cluster, messier 84, 86, 87

Location and conditions: Borot Lutz, Negev desert, Israel, ~6.9 NELM.
Date: 21-22/04/2012 , 03:00
Instrument: Skywatcher BKP250 10" F/5 Newtonian, Hyperion 31mm eyepiece, 39X, 1.86° TFOV. Parts of the sketch were rendered with 18mm ES-82° eyepiece.
Drawing details: Graphite pencil sketch on a white paper, made while observing with telescope under a red light. Sketch is non-inverted and north oriented. Scanned, inverted and processed in Photoshop.  Observer: Michael Vlasov.

Galaxy cluster details: "Virgo Cluster", constellation Virgo, distance 54 Mly, number of members ~1300, brightest members are M84, M86, M87.

Objects in field of view:
Messier 87: "Virgo A", elliptical galaxy, 9.8m
Messier 84: lenticular galaxy, 10.1m
Messier 86: lenticular galaxy, 9.8m
NGC 4477: lenticular galaxy, 10.4m
NGC 4473: elliptical galaxy, 10.1
NGC 4461: spiral galaxy, 11m
NGC 4458: elliptical galaxy, 12m
NGC 4438: spiral galaxy, 10.1m
NGC 4435: spiral galaxy, 10.6m
NGC 4402: spiral galaxy, 12.9m
NGC 4425: spiral galaxy, 12.1m
NGC 4413: spiral galaxy, 12.9m
NGC 4388: spiral galaxy, 11.2m
NGC 4387: elliptical galaxy, 12.1m
NGC 4478: elliptical galaxy, 11.3m
NGC 4476: elliptical galaxy, 12.3m
markarian's chain sketch annotated

"Markarian's Chain" is a chain of galaxies in Virgo Cluster, which are positioned along a curved line. Also most of them appear to have similar motion. The chain involves two Messier objects (M84, M86) and half a dozen NGC's.
Under dark skies - Markarian's Chain region is a magnificent sight in the eyepiece. This particular night I was able to count 16 galaxies in field of view of my 10" Newtonian.
In this drawing you can also see the Messier 87, or "Virgo A", which is a supergiant elliptical galaxy in Virgo cluster's core. Near M87 there are two tiny elliptical galaxies - NGC 4478 and NGC 4476.
In most of the galaxies I couldn't see any significant detail, apart from condensed cores in the brightest ones, and ellongated shapes. NGC 4477 however, which is a "face on" galaxy, showed a relatively large core, surrounded by round, faint and uniform halo. Also the NGC 4438 showed some faint glow spreading to it's NW side. Another objects worth mentioning are two edge-ons: NGC 4402 and NGC 4413. They are both faint, thin and lined along the Markarian's chain at it's sides. NGC 4388 has a bright, ellongated core, which is slightly shifted off the galaxy's center to east. Obviously a larger aperture (or even darker skies) are required to view the fine details of these objects.

Original drawing:
markarian's chain sketch - drawin

back to deep sky sketches gallery

אתרי תצפיות אסטרונומיות בישראל מפת זיהום אור של ישראלמזג האוויר האסטרונומיאסטרונומיה בישראל - אתרי אינטרנט