Part of Markarian's Chain, "The Eyes", or NGC4438 and NGC4435 are part of the Virgo cluster. NGC4438 is the larger one and NGC4435 is the smaller, lenticular galaxy. A wide field view will show a dozen bright galaxies. This pair, as a result of the similar size and brightness of cores, are known as "The Eyes".
These interacting galaxies (NGC4438 on the left and NGC4435 to the upper right) lie in the heart of the Virgo cluster. If either of these galaxies were originally a spiral form, such structures were disturbed long ago by gravitational forces due to the close encounters with other galaxies and the heavyweight - M87. These galaxies are around 40 million light years away. These galaxies are severely disturbed by the interactions between each other and with others in the neighborhood.
There are dozens of faint galaxies in the background in this image, dominated by the 11.0 magnitude SA(s)O/a peculiar type distorted spiral NGC4438. Just to its upper right is the distorting galaxy, 11.7 magnitude NGC4435 - a barred spiral 2.7 arcminutes in length. The faint blue arms of the dominant galaxy have been tidally ripped out of the normal location by the barred spiral, which is considered an interacting pair. A very strange object lies in the middle of this field, forming an equilateral triangle with M86 - IC3355. This 15.2 magnitude irregular type galaxy is shaped like a orange slice, and is very blue. The background galaxies are deep yellow shades because of their extreme distances.
The galaxies in this photo, from the upper left are: NGC4473, NGC4458, NGC4461, NGC4438, NGC4435, M86. Just above M86 is NGC4402, and just below is NGC4388. At the tail end of the chain in this photo is M84.
- TAK FSQ
- SBIG ST-2000
- Astrodon Filters
- TAK EM-400
L= 20*4 minutes
R, G, B, 20*3 minutes each
- Initial calibration, registration, combines, and LRGB production in CCDStack
- Gradient removal, noise control in PSCS2