Interactive Mosaic of the Markarian Region

All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here for an interactive image with labels

Field of view:  10 x 6.6 degrees
RA (J2000): 12h 31m 31s
Dec (J2000): 12 degrees 43' 00"
Position Angle (Pinpoint):  plus 23 degrees

This image represents a 4 panel mosaic of the Markarian region that spans a field of view of 10 x 6.6 degrees.  In order to take full advantage of its large size, I have chosen to present it using  Zoomify software (requires Adobe FlashPlayer), which allows you to navigate around the image at various magnification levels.  The controls are self-explanatory and make it convenient to explore the mosaic at relatively high resolution.   When navigating the image, please be patient as new regions download to full resolution.  You can also move around the area by clicking and dragging your mouse (or using the direction arrows on your keyboard).  I have also created a separate page using the same mosaic, with superimposed labels from The Sky software.   Markarian's chain was named after an Armenian astronomer in the 1970s and represents a beautiful stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster.  Our own Local Group of galaxies (Milky Way, large and small Magellenic Clouds, M31, M32, M100, M33) is currently receding from the Virgo Cluster at a rate of about 1000 km/second.  However, it is anticipated that our Local Group will eventually stop receding from the Virgo Cluster and will ultimately accelerate towards this region (gravity from the Virgo Cluster influences us even at distances of 70 million light years).

Photographic Details:
Date:  February 16 and 17, 2009.
Scope:  Takahashi FSQ106 at f5 on the Takahashi NJP Mount
Autoguider:  SBIG ST-402 with 60mm guidescope, focal length 227mm
Camera:  STL11K -20C
Baader luminance filter, 50.8mm unmounted
Exposures:  This 4 panel mosaic was obtained in an automated manner using CCD Commander.  Each panel represents approximately 90 minutes total exposure, using the best subs from two consecutive nights (quality of individual subs determined by CCD Inspector).  Total exposure approximately 6 hours.
Post-processing:  Calibrated, aligned, and Sigma Clip combined in Maxim, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Mosaic registered using Registar, and further processing was done in Photoshop CS.
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