A stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. The chain consists of eight bright galaxies that appear along a curving line on the border of the constellations Virgo and Coma Berenices. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, Benjamin Markarian, who discovered their common motion in the early 1960s.
Although there are several other galaxies in this image, the eight that make up the chain are:
starting from the lower right, the two bright ellipticals
M84 (NGC 4374) and
M86 (NGC 4406)
just below center, the pair of lenticulars
NGC 4435 and
to the left of center, the paired elliptical
NGC 4458 and spiral
and in the upper left corner, elliptical
NGC 4473 and spiral
A stack of ten exposures, 4 minutes @ ISO 800, Canon T3i on Orion 8" Newtonian Astrograph.
Markarians Chain Image created: Mar 19, 2015
Image posted: Mar 20, 2015