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M86 and NGC 4402

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#1 rolandlinda3

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:04 PM

The facts:

With a thin layer of high cirrus moving in, the seeing was below average on Sunday evening about 10 pm EDT but good enough to wander around M84 and M86. What caught my eye with the astro video output was NGC 4402 in the same field with M86. Contrast was weak and the best adjustment on screen under these conditions is to adjust the contrast and brightness so one has a dark chocolate background to maximize the contrast to the targets. I dutifully used a medium brown Artagain rough sketch paper to try to capture the background along with the evident detail of the objects. Both objects are interesting, but 4402 is the more fascinating with its dark lanes that unevenly slice the edge-on view of the galaxy.

The Lesson:

The Virgo cluster is simply magnificent. It is hard to go anywhere and not see a galaxy. While the scripture below is true for observations with eyes alone, it was not until the last few decades that common every-day people like me could wander around this area with good optics and marvel that He set all these in place--only to be seen in detail well after the words were written.

Proverbs 3:19 By wisdom The Lord laid the earth's foundations; by understanding he set the heavens in place...

Roland

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#2 frank5817

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:17 PM

Roland,

Very nice galaxy sketches. About this time of year I like to get some quality time with the great Virgo cluster. This year so far I would need a radio telescope.
I am happy you got out and captured this excellent pair. Now I can feel I am seeing some galaxies. Excellent! :cool:

Frank :)

#3 varmint

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:49 PM

Roland,

Very nice galaxy sketches. About this time of year I like to get some quality time with the great Virgo cluster. This year so far I would need a radio telescope.
I am happy you got out and captured this excellent pair. Now I can feel I am seeing some galaxies. Excellent! :cool:

Frank :)


I'm in the same boat as Frank, though for different reasons. My skies are covered in a layer of fog, but if the fog were to lift I would never see any of the Virgo cluster since it's washed out with the light pollution from the SF Peninsula.

My only views of M86 were from the Messier Marathon two weekends ago, of which I am certain I also saw the NGC neighbor. Beautiful skies those were.

Thank you for sharing, it is a shame that most folks won't be able to view galaxies, and the detail you picked up in the "edge on" is remarkable. I like your choice of paper too, I think it works well for this sketch.

#4 CarlosEH

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:56 AM

Roland,

Excellent observations of M86 and NGC 4402. These are two very interesting galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Links;
http://www.hawastsoc...y/vir/vir4.html
http://www.hawastsoc...y/vir/vir5.html
http://www.maa.clell...ier/E/m086.html
http://apod.nasa.gov...d/ap080425.html
http://chandra.harva...photo/2003/m86/

Carlos

#5 rolandlinda3

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:04 AM

Thank you Frank Jim and Carlos. The detail in the edge-on was very nice...and unexpected. Most of the typical astro photo images that google brings up do not show the detail--probably because the dark lanes easily overexpose. I can adjust the video output, however, as well as the monitor to make sure I get it. I would like to try again with a larger aperture but also with the camera to see what more can be obtained for a sketch.

Like most of you...this is a wet and rainy time for us. We have had very few nights to observe. It will change.

Clear skies.

Roland






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