NGC4216 and Friends


Ron Brecher

Ontario, Canada

SBIG STL-11000M camera, Baader LRGB filters, 10″ f/6.8 ASA astrograph, Paramount MX. Guided with QHY5 on a n 80 mm f/6 refractor. FocusMax for focusing. CCD Commander to automate the sessions. Acquistion and guiding with TheSkyX. Al pre-processing and processing in PixInsight. Shot from my SkyShed in Guelph, Ontario. First Quarter Moon. Average to very good transparency and good seeing.

18x10m R and G, and 16x10m B unbinned frames (total=8hr40m). Full processing details at

The three most prominent galaxies in this image are NGC4216 (centre), NGC4222 (lower left) and NGC4206 (upper right). All belong to the Virgo galaxy cluster. NGC4216 is not far from the centre of this large galaxy cluster, and lied about 55 million light years distant. It sports around 700 globular clusters, about 5 times as many as the Milky Way galaxy. This galaxy shows relatively little star formation for a galaxy of this type. It does show a fair amount of knotty detail and prominent dark lanes. To gain a sense of perspective, remember that all the stars in this image are in the foreground, lying within our own Milky Way galaxy. In addition to the three main galaxies identified above, there are dozens more of all sizes, all part of the same galaxy cluster.

It is nice to finally be getting some decent skies and bearable temperatures. Last night transparency and seeing were perhaps the best in a year or so. Unfortunately the moonlight limited deep sky imaging, so I looked at Jupiter through an eyepiece. Beautiful!