M 104, NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy

2/17/2018 M104/NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo Taken with TEC 140mm Telescope

2/17/2018 9:53 UT or 1:53 AM PST Latitude: 33° 29′ 01.48″ North Longitude: 116° 43′ 19.24″ West Elevation: 4321 ft. Jupiter Ridge #4 Observatory; OCA site, near Anza, CA. Seeing: E Transparency: 6 SQM: 20.85 Telescopes / Optics: TEC 140mm f/7 Mount: AP1200 Camera: SBIG ST10xme CCD & CFW10. FOV: 48’ x 32’ FWHM: 2.42 Filter: Astrodon LRGB series E Gen. 2 Information: M104 NGC 4594 Captured with CCDSoft; RGB= 3 x 5 minute; L= 13x x 5 minute -20°c. Total LRGB= 110 minutes (2 hours) Processed with CCDStack, Photoshop CS6 & Pixel Insight.

M104 / NGC 4594  is a peculiar galaxy of unclear classification. M104’s diameter is 50,000 Ly about 1/3 the size of our own Milky Way.  This Galaxy is 31.1 Mly from earth, shinning at magnitude 8. It reside in the constellation of Virgo, near Corvus. M104 has many globular clusters, estimated to be nearly 2,000 in number — 10 times more than the number of globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy.        

M 1o4’s core is very illuminated, where a one-billion-solar-mass black hole resides. This galaxy has an estimated mass of 800 billion stars similar to our own sun. M104 is one of the most massive objects in the Virgo galaxy cluster.

M 104 was discovered on May 11, 1781 by Pierre Méchain,

Charles Messier made a hand-written note about this and five other objects (now collectively recognized as M104 – M109) to his personal list of objects now known as the Messier Catalogue. It was not included until 1921  about the 10 years after Mt. Wilson’s 100” telescope was up and running (1917)

M109 /NGC 3992 Barred Spiral Galaxy

M109 / NGC 3992 a Barred Spiral Galaxy 83 MLY; Taken with TEC 140mm f/7 Refractor
Telescope / LensTEC 140mm f/7 Refractor
Mount TypeAstro-Physics 1200
CameraSBIG ST10xme CFW10
 Filters LRGB Astrodon G-2
 Exposure95 minutes LRGB; 5 min. subs
 ProcessingCCDStack-2, Photoshop CS6
 DateImages taken 02/17/2018
 Location  Jupiter Ridge # 4,  (OCA- Anza Site)
Conditions4321 ′ magnitude 5.8  20.78 SQM

M109 /NGC 3992 Barred Spiral Galaxy approximately 83 million light years from Earth located in the Constellation URSA Major (Big Dipper). (location is 11:57.6 (R.A.) and +53:23 (Dec.). This barred spiral galaxy is readily visible through telescopes of 6″ aperture or better. Really looks good in 10″ telescopes at a Dark Sky site. When looking at the M109 /NGC 3992 Barred Spiral Galaxy, remember it is approximately 175,853.82 light years in diameter. (Milky Way is 100,000). M 109’s apparent Magnitude of 10.6 and size 7.6′ x 4.7′ (arc-minute)

The Messier objects were M 1-M 103 discovered and named by Charles Messier (see )until after the fifties when M 104-M 110 were added. M 109 is listed in The New General Catalog it is listed as NGC 3992.

This image was capture through a 5.5″ f/7 TEC refractor using a CCD with KAF 3200me chip cooled to -20c, each exposure was 5 min long 3 for each color channel (RGB) the rest were luminous.

Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies

Markarian's Chain of Galaxies ; M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435
Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies, with 8 prominent members: M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. Taken with 80mm TMB Refractor f/4.8 384mm. Constellation of Virgo. Also know as Virgo Cluster

Telescope / Lens TMB 80mm f/6, Tele Vue 0.8 reducer f/4.8
Mount Type Astro-Physics 1200
Camera SBIG ST10XME , KAF3200
 Filters Astro-Don LRGB Generation 2
 Film  CCD, NABG
 Exposure LRGB of 3 hours 15 minutes (L=2 hours 15 minutes.; color 60 minutes) -20° C
 Processing CCDSoft,  CCDStack & Photoshop CS6
 Date 04/20/2018
 Location  Jupiter Ridge # 4,  (OCA Anza Site)
 Conditions 4321 ′ magnitude 5.8  20.85 SQM

Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies part of the Virgo Cluster, form a smooth curve and is named  after the American Astrophysicist Benjamin Markarian.  He discovered the common motion of  the members  in the 1960’s.   Charles Messier discover M84 (NGC 4374) & M86 (NGC 4406) in 1781, both of which are elliptical or lenticular type galaxies.  M84 at magnitude 10 (60 Mly) and M86 at 8.9 (52 Mly).  The main galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435

The upper left Super Giant Elliptical Galaxy is M87, on of the most massive galaxies of the local group.  It has approximate 12,000 globular clusters compared to our Milky Way’s  150-200.

Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies is a delight to view in larger instruments.  Using telescope of 14 inches or more in aperture are really satisfying.  Use a wide angle eyepiece of 26-50mm focal length to get the full impression of this galactic Cluster.

Early Spring is the best tome to view the Constellation Virgo, The Virgo Galaxy Cluster and Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies.


NGC 891 Edge on Spiral (HV19) Caldwell 23


NGC 891 Edge on SpiralGalaxy (HV19) Caldwell 23
NGC 891 Edge on Spiral Galaxy (HV19) Caldwell 23

NGC 891 Edge on Spiral Galaxy Crop
NGC 891 Edge on Spiral Galaxy Crop

Telescope / Lens TEC 140mm f/7 Refractor
Mount Type Astro-Physics 1200
Camera ST8XME
 Filters Astro-Don  LRGB
 Film  CCD
 Exposure 4 hours 5 minutes 245  RGB=45 min. @ -25° C
 Processing CCDSoft, AIP4Win, CCDStack & Photoshop CS2
 Date 9-8-2007
 Location  June Mountain, near Dexter, Oregon
 Conditions 3252′ magnitude 6.2 Skies; Clear & Steady


NGC 891 Edge on Spiral (HV19) Caldwell 23

NGC 891 is a great Edge on Galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda. NGC 891 is 30 million light years from earth at apparent magnitude 10.8 and 120 thousand light years across.  At 13.5′ x 2.5 arcminutes, it shows up nicely in medium to large amateur telescopes.

This Edge on Spiral galaxy’s dust lanes are prominent and show nice detail in long exposures. The dust lanes are similar to out own Milky Way if observed from the same distance edge on.  On a clear summer night, the dark rift from Cygnus down to Sagittarius is now given a different perspective.                                                                                                                                                                                        William Herschel  discovered NGC 891  on October 6, 1784, this galaxy is a member of the NGC 1023 group of galaxies


NGC 7331 Deer Lick Group of Galaxies and Stephan’s Quintet

NGC 7331 Deer Lick Group of Galaxies and Stephan’s Quintet

NGC 7331 Deer Lick Group of Galaxies and Stephan's Quintet
NGC 7331 Deer Lick Group of Galaxies and Stephan’s Quintet
140mm f/7 Refractor, SBIG ST10XME LRGB filters Total exposure 4.5 Hours

Telescope / Lens TEC 140mm f/7 Refractor
Mount Type Astrophysics 1200
 Filters Astrodon LRGB
 Film  CCD
 Exposure 185minutes (3 hours 5 min); LRGB (L=125,RGB=60@)
 Processing CCDSoft, CCDStack, AIP, Photoshop CS2-CS6
 Date  10/25/2008
 Location 25 miles SE of Cottage Grove, Oregon; 122° 52.595′ W 43° 31′ N
 Conditions 4568′ magnitude 6 Skies; Clear & 5-7 m.p.h. wind

NGC 7331 (Deer Lick Group of Galaxies ) & NGC 7320 Stephens Quintet

The upper left is Stephens Quintet and the lower right is the Deer Lick group in the constellation of Pegasus. NGC 7331 the largest Galaxy in the Deer Lock group is 9° Northwest of ß Pegasi. The lower right edge of NGC7331 is pointed North and the companion galaxies are to the East. Galaxy NGC 7331 resembles what our own Milky Way galaxy would look like some 50 million light years away. This galaxy has an overall brightness of magnitude 10.3 . This group is a nice visual treat in medium to large amateur scope (10″ and up) NGC 7331 is 10.6′ x 3.8′ (the moon is 28′)

Stephens Quintet (upper left) is a small group of interacting galaxies 300 million light years away. You can see the lower two galaxies are interacting and a long arm extents from the one to the right. This detail is readily evident in the full resolution image. NGC7318A & NGC 7318B (magnitude 14) are colliding and nearby NGC 7319 (magnitude 14.4) may also be involved since it has an arm that stretches out. NGC 7320 (Mag. 13.3) is the top oblong one and NGC 7317 (14.8) is out to the left. Out further to the upper right of the main group is NGC 7320C at magnitude 16.6.

NGC 7331 Deer Lick Group of Galaxies
NGC 7331 Deer Lick Group of Galaxies cropped View

Galaxy NGC 7331 “Caldwell 30” 40 million light years. 12.1′ x 1.0′ magnitude 10.4.  The other lenticular unbarred spirals NGC 7335, 7336 & barred spiral galaxy NGC 7340, elliptical galaxy NGC 7340.  They are 332, 365, 348 and 294 million light years distant, respectively.

Discovered by William Hershel in 1784,

Stephan's Quintet NGC 731
Stephan’s Quintet NGC 7318B Cropped View

Stephan’s Quintet is a grouping of 5 galaxies, forming a compact group of galaxies. In the constellation of Pegasus, discovered in 1877 by Edouard Stephan,  also known as Hickson Compact Group 92. NGC 7318B collides with the group and a shock wave larger than our own Milky Way galaxy spread between the galaxies.  NGC 7320 is only a foreground galaxy at 39 million light years.  The other five form a group 220-330 million light years away.