Photographic map of the Virgo Galaxy ClusterWith galaxy density unusually high and foreground star density quite low a visual observer can easily get lost in the Virgo Cluster. Most maps available, however, are rendered by sky charting software and fail to give a meaningful impression of what to expect in the eyepiece. Our attempt for a better solution is a photographic chart of the area of interest centered on Makarian's Chain. It was captured in April 2012 under the crisp skies of La Palma island using a modified Canon EOS350D with a Zeiss Sonnar 135mm lens on an Astrotrac tracker. The map was generated using the green channel of a stack of 16 x 4min exposures and covers an area of about 9 x 6 degrees. The limiting magnitude of the finder chart is around 16mag, galaxies down to a visual magnitude of 13mag are labeled. Observers can use the 5mag star 6 Com on the right border of the map to start a visual tour of the galaxy cluster. 6 Com is conveniently placed about 6 degrees east of Beta Leonis. You can download the finder chart to be prepared for your next visit to the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Happy hunting!
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