Astronomy Picture of the Day



Markarian's Chain of Galaxies

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#95113 by @ 12.10.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Markarian's Chain of Galaxies


Explanation:
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 lower right with two large but featureless
lenticular galaxies,
M84 and
M86,
and connects through several large
spiral to the upper left, including M88.

The home Virgo Cluster is the nearest
cluster of galaxies, contains over 2,000 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.

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

The above image
is just a small part of a mosaic dubbed the
Big Picture taken by the
Samuel Oschin Telescope at
Palomar Observatory,
in California,
USA.

A mural of the Big Picture will be displayed at the newly renovated
Griffith Observatory near
Los Angeles, California.




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