## APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

APOD Robot
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### APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster

Explanation: The Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the closest cluster of galaxies to our Milky Way Galaxy. The Virgo Cluster is so close that it spans more than 5 degrees on the sky - about 10 times the angle made by a full Moon. With its heart lying about 70 million light years distant, the Virgo Cluster is the nearest cluster of galaxies, contains over 2,000 galaxies, and has a noticeable gravitational pull on the galaxies of the Local Group of Galaxies surrounding our Milky Way Galaxy. The cluster contains not only galaxies filled with stars but also gas so hot it glows in X-rays. Motions of galaxies in and around clusters indicate that they contain more dark matter than any visible matter we can see. Pictured here, the heart of the Virgo Cluster includes bright Messier galaxies such as Markarian's Eyes on the upper left, M86 just to the upper right of center, M84 on the far right, as well as spiral galaxy NGC 4388 at the bottom right.

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Ann
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

Face of Markarians Chain APOD 15 June 2022.png

My pareidolia hits me hard whenever I see the "face" of M86, M84, NGC 4388, NGC 4402 and NGC 4387 (that's the "nose" galaxy)!

But what I find even more fascinating is the fact that huge elliptical galaxy M86 is stealing gas from nearby battered spiral NGC 4438 (one of the "Eyes" galaxies, the one with a bluish disk).

Bridge of gas between NGC 4438 and M86 Tomer Tal Jeffrey Kenney and NOAO AURA NSF.png

The image above is from A Spectacular H$\alpha$ Complex in Virgo: Evidence for a Collision Between M86 and NGC 4438 and Implications for Collisional ISM Heating of Ellipticals by Jeffrey D. P. Kenney et al. Go here to read about it.

And I may as well use up all my three attachments:

Hydrogen Alpha in Markarians Chain Patrick Dufour.png

The above image was taken by Patrick Dufour. This is what he wrote about his picture:
Patrick Dufour wrote:

During a search to learn more about this Virgo galaxy cluster, I came across a research that highlighted the collision of the giant galaxy M86 and its neighbor NGC 4438 (http: //www.astro. yale.edu/kenney/pages/projects.html). On the majority of images taken in color by amateurs, we cannot see this interaction other than by acquiring images in the H-Alpha band. That said, the signal is so weak that even 30-minute exposures barely make a noticeable difference. But clearly, large professional telescopes are able to get this information and I challenged myself to take as many exposures as necessary to bring out the phenomenon. Here is after almost 30 hours of exposures only in H-Alpha spread over a long period given a short presence in the sky of Chile since the month of May.

Let's finish with another APOD, this one by Mark Hanson from August 14, 2018:

Nice, isn't it? But according to the caption, the red bridge of gas between NGC 4438 and M86 may just be foreground high-altitude galactic cirrus in our galaxy! But honestly, isn't that too much of a coincidence that a bridge of gas connecting a spiral galaxy and a faintly red-glowing elliptical galaxy would be just foreground cirrus, completely unconnected to the galactic spectacle millions of light-years behind it?

Ann
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Eclectic Man
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

ASIDE:

I followed the link in the description for 'Makarians eyes' and the selected the 'Discuss' link fro the page https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070608.html

I got a page offering me the opportunity to buy the web address.

orin stepanek
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

Nice observation Ann; I'd never have noticed!
VirgoCluster_RBA_1080_labeled.jpg
So many; Yet so untouchable!
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Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

johnnydeep
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

Lots of weird looking "stuff" in this pic. Are they all irregular galaxies? Here are a few from the upper left quadrant:

virgo cluster oddballs.JPG
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De58te
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

I'm amazed at how uniform the stars are in these galaxies. Usually on APOD we see classical galaxies which have multi colors. Usually a yellow/white core surrounded by arms that have sections with red new star formation areas here and there with other areas of hot blue young stars interspersed. However here the two Messier galaxies are nearly lookalikes with pinkish colored stars in the core and surrounded almost uniformly with gray white stars. The 'Nose' galaxy below is also uniformly white. As is the smaller Mackarian eye nearly uniform white. No red star forming regions detectable as well as hot blue stars. In contrast the larger Mackarian galaxy has nearly uniformly blue stars surrounding it. What is going on here?

Chris Peterson
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

De58te wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:30 pm I'm amazed at how uniform the stars are in these galaxies. Usually on APOD we see classical galaxies which have multi colors. Usually a yellow/white core surrounded by arms that have sections with red new star formation areas here and there with other areas of hot blue young stars interspersed. However here the two Messier galaxies are nearly lookalikes with pinkish colored stars in the core and surrounded almost uniformly with gray white stars. The 'Nose' galaxy below is also uniformly white. As is the smaller Mackarian eye nearly uniform white. No red star forming regions detectable as well as hot blue stars. In contrast the larger Mackarian galaxy has nearly uniformly blue stars surrounding it. What is going on here?
The colors in this image are highly distorted. M84 and M86 are both yellow white in most images, stripped of gas and have little new star formation. Higher resolution, differently processed images of the Eyes show the same sort of structures and colors commonly found in spiral galaxies, but tidally disrupted into a distorted mess.
Chris

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Ann
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

johnnydeep wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:04 pm Lots of weird looking "stuff" in this pic. Are they all irregular galaxies? Here are a few from the upper left quadrant:

Thanks billion for pointing out those galaxies, Johnny!

I can't say anything about any of them except the largest one, IC 3355. It is indeed an irregular galaxy, it is quite blue, and it is falling through the Virgo cluster and feeling ram pressure of the hot Virgo intracluster gas as it does so, which makes it lose a lot of its own gas!

IC 3355 SDSS.png
IC 3355. Image: SDSS.
Neutral hydrogen in IC 3355 SDSS.png
HI (neutral hydrogen) superimposed on an SDSS image of IC 3355.

The small galaxies at lower left in your image look like irregular dwarf galaxies to me, but I must point out that an SDSS image of the brighter of the two galaxies at left (LEDA 169314) made it look quite yellow.

The galaxy at far right looks really weird, as if something exploded and the shards spread every which way!!

I can't resist showing you another irregular galaxy, IC 3418, falling through the Virgo Cluster, feeling the hot intracluster gas like a headwind as it falls and being stripped of much of its own gas in the process:

Ann
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johnnydeep
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

Thanks again, Ann!
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AVAO
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

Ann wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:16 am
...But according to the caption, the red bridge of gas between NGC 4438 and M86 may just be foreground high-altitude galactic cirrus in our galaxy! But honestly, isn't that too much of a coincidence that a bridge of gas connecting a spiral galaxy and a faintly red-glowing elliptical galaxy would be just foreground cirrus, completely unconnected to the galactic spectacle millions of light-years behind it?

Ann
The cirrus clouds in the area can be seen in the submillimeter range, which is correct. But also the bridge between M86 and NGC 4438 can be seen in different wavelengths. In the Composit Image the X-ray gas is visible in blue (source: KIPAC), so you can be pretty sure.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/521 ... b4e1_b.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/521 ... bce2_k.jpg
...image collage from different sources and wavelengths...

Ann
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

AVAO wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:26 pm
Ann wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 5:16 am
...But according to the caption, the red bridge of gas between NGC 4438 and M86 may just be foreground high-altitude galactic cirrus in our galaxy! But honestly, isn't that too much of a coincidence that a bridge of gas connecting a spiral galaxy and a faintly red-glowing elliptical galaxy would be just foreground cirrus, completely unconnected to the galactic spectacle millions of light-years behind it?

Ann
The cirrus clouds in the area can be seen in the submillimeter range, which is correct. But also the bridge between M86 and NGC 4438 can be seen in different wavelengths. In the Composit Image the X-ray gas is visible in blue (source: KIPAC), so you can be pretty sure.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/521 ... b4e1_b.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/521 ... bce2_k.jpg
...image collage from different sources and wavelengths...
Thanks, AVAO, that is so interesting!

I found a GALEX ultraviolet image of NGC 4438 (and NGC 4435, which it is interacting with). And Hubble has revealed that the central black hole of NGC 4438 appears to spit out gas, which might be captured by the huge gravity of M86.

Eyes galaxies GALEX Wikisky.png
The Eyes Galaxies, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435, in ultraviolet by GALEX.
Note the blue tail from NGC 4438 pointing to the right, toward M86.

Ann
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beryllium732
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### Re: APOD: In the Heart of the Virgo Cluster (2022 Jun 15)

What's those fussy stars or all those more distant eleptic galaxies or dwarf galaxies?