Astronomy Picture of the Day

Markarian's Chain of Galaxies

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Markarian's Chain of Galaxies

Across the heart of the
Virgo Cluster of Galaxies
lies a striking string of galaxies known as Markarian's Chain.

The chain,
pictured above, is highlighted on the upper right with
two large but featureless
lenticular galaxies,
M84 and
and connects to the large
spiral on the lower left,

Prominent on the lower right but not part of
Markarian's Chain is the giant
elliptical galaxy

The home Virgo Cluster is the nearest
cluster of galaxies, contains over 2000 galaxies,
and has a noticeable gravitationally 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.

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

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