|NGC 4459 & NGC 4477: Galaxy Pair (Coma Berenices) RA: 12h 29.6m / DEC: +13° 49'.0|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
The journey to this fine pair takes us deep into the heart of the Virgo galaxy cluster. Markarian's chain, a meandering string of galaxies extending 2.3 degrees from M84, in Virgo, to M88, in Coma Berenices, is where you will find these stellar gothams. The sketch at left presents a 129X view in my 10-inch, f/4.5 Newtonian. NGC 4459 is visible near 8.8 magnitude HD 108676 in the northwest quadrant of my rendering. This 10.3 magnitude spiral is elongated east-west over a 3'x2' area. NGC 4474, an 11.5 magnitude peculiar galaxy, is seen 14' to the east-northeast. Just inside the southern field boundary, 10.4 magnitude NGC 4477 fairly dominates the view. This SB-type spiral features a bright, stellar core embedded within a 3' diameter patch of nebulosity. A 12th magnitude GSC star simmers about 6' to the northwest. Another eight stars frame the view.
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Revised: January 25, 2003 [WDF]