Pictures of Markarian's Chain
Markarian’s Chain is a string of galaxies near the core of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Discover more about this galactic chain and images of the deep-sky target.
Markarian’s Chain is a string of galaxies located towards the centre of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, and is a favourite of those who love a spot of deep-sky astronomy because the whole galactic chain can be neatly observed within a single field of view.
Markarian’s Chain contains at least 7 different galaxy members that appear to move coherently: notably 2 huge, bright lenticular galaxies known as M84 and M86 (both members of the famous Messier Catalogue of deep-sky objects).
The Chain also contains a duo of interacting galaxies often referred to as Markarian’s Eyes: NGC 4435 and NGC 4438.
The Virgo Cluster is a galaxy cluster that contains up to 2,000 galaxies and is gravitationally interacting with our own Local Group of galaxies. Its centre is about 70 million lightyears from Earth towards the Virgo constellation.
Below are some of the best images of Markarian’s Chain sent to us by readers of BBC Sky at Night Magazine and astrophotographers around the world.