Markarian's Chain, M87 in Virgo Cluster - Sketch
Borot Lutz, Negev desert, Israel, ~6.9 NELM.
21-22/04/2012 , 03:00
Skywatcher BKP250 10" F/5 Newtonian, Hyperion 31mm eyepiece, 39X, 1.86° TFOV. Parts of the sketch were rendered with 18mm ES-82° eyepiece.
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.
"Virgo Cluster", constellation Virgo, distance 54 Mly, number of members ~1300, brightest members are M84, M86, M87.
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" 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.