DSLR astrophotography by Sergi Verdugo

The Virgo cluster

Exposure: 27×720″ @ ISO 400
Telescope:  6″ f4 astrograph with Baader MPCC
Filter: Hutech IDAS LPS P2 MFA
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Pro
Camera: Cooled Canon 550D
Date: 24th March 2012
Location: Coll d’Ares (Àger, Lleida)
Comments: Hover the mouse over the image to get the annotated version.

The giant agglomeration of galaxies known as the The Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the nearest big cluster of galaxies, the largest proven structure in our intergalactic neighborhood, and the most remote cosmic objects with a physical connection to our own small group of galaxies, the Local Group, including our Milky Way galaxy.

The image shows only the central portion of the Virgo Cluster which contains, among others, a group of galaxies known as the Markarian’s Chain. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E. Markarian, discovered their common motion in the early 1960s. Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435.