M86 - Virgo Cluster


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M86 - Virgo Cluster: M86 is The largest elliptical galaxy in this image of part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. This image also features M84, the other large elliptical. NGC 4438 is the interesting galaxy towards the top colliding with smaller NGC 4435, the two making up "The Eyes". These galaxies, and others out of the field of view, are part of Markarian's Chain of galaxies. The edge on spiral to the right is NGC4402, and the one to the left is NGC4388. There are scores of other, smaller or more distant galaxies in the image.

Messier: 86
NGC: 4406
Right Ascension: 12h 26.2m
Declination: 12° 56.8'
Apparent Magnitude: 9.8

Date: January 2012
Equipment:
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2
Telescope: Orion ED80T CF apo refractor
Televue 0.8x Field Flattener (53 mm from focal plane)
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding ST-80; DSI; PHD

Exposure:
L: 17x10 minutes, binned 1x1
The camera was at -35°C.

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack. Subs combined in Sigma Beta. Arcsine stretch import of L into Photoshop. No other processing of this image.
Scale: ~3.6"/pixel

Links to images of this object on other sites:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080708.html

Additional Comments: This image was an "extra" target to keep the camera running from midnight to dawn. There were an exceptional number of aircraft or meteor trails in the subframe images, so the frames with more prominent trails were not used in this stack. The combined FIT file used for this image can be downloaded from the data page of this web site: http://www.fortlewis.edu/observatory/raw_data.asp

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