Contains: M 87, NGC 4486, NGC 4477, NGC 4474, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4459, NGC 4438, The Eyes, NGC 4435, NGC 4425, NGC 4413, M 86, NGC 4406, NGC 4402, NGC 4388, IC 3311, M 84, NGC 4374
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Markarian's Chain

Technical card

Imaging telescope or lens: Takahashi FSQ85

Imaging camera: QSI683wsg

Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G + EQDIR

Guiding telescope or lens: Takahashi FSQ85

Guiding camera: Lodestar

Filter: Astrodon LRGB Tru-Balance E-series Gen II

Accessory: USB FOCUS USB_focus

Resolution: 3210x2449

Dates: May 12, 2015

Frames: 32x300"

Integration: 2.7 hours

Avg. Moon age: 23.28 days

Avg. Moon phase: 38.11% job: 637601

RA center: 186.897 degrees

DEC center: 13.048 degrees

Pixel scale: 2.474 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 89.995 degrees

Field radius: 1.387 degrees


Markarian's Chain is a stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E. Markarian, who discovered their common motion in the early 1960s.

The chain, pictured above, is highlighted on the upper right with two large but featureless lenticular galaxies, M84 and M86, and connects to the large spiral on the lower left, M88. Prominent on the lower right but not part of Markarian's Chain is the giant elliptical galaxy M87. The home Virgo Cluster is the nearest cluster of galaxies, contains over 2000 galaxies, and has a noticeable gravitational pull on the galaxies of the Local Group of Galaxies surrounding our Milky Way Galaxy. The center of the Virgo Cluster is located about 70 million light years away toward the constellation of Virgo.

Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. It is located at RA 12h 27m and Dec +13° 10′.

At least seven galaxies in the chain appear to move coherently, although others appear to be superposed by chance.


Captured from South Florida.




Sky plot

Sky plot


Markarian's Chain,