March 25th 2017; Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma (Spain)
It was from the top of the Roque de los Muchachos at an altitude of 2400 mtrs that I spent a few hours on a project that I had in mind for some time: Markarian’s Chain. Around midnight this galaxy group culminated near zenith and I was anxious to find out exactly how many galaxies I was able to capture with my 10″ dobson in this famous area.
With my lowest magnification I wasn’t able to capture the whole field, so I decided to abandon my usual drawing circle and go for a (almost full) A4 size to sketch all the faint fuzzies. I made a comparison of the size, brightness, shape and overall impression of the galaxies and wrote down all details so that I was able to make a more realistic drawing afterwards. I managed to locate 17 galaxies in an area of 1.8° x 1.5° of which M84 and M86 were the brightest members (obviously) and NGC 4468 being the weakest on the verge of visibility.
Here’s my impression of the group: