Markarian’s Chain – work in progress

Markarian’s chain was named after an Armenian astronomer in the 1970s and represents a beautiful stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. Our own Local Group of galaxies (Milky Way, large and small Magellenic Clouds, M31, M32, M100, M33) is currently receding from the Virgo Cluster at a rate of about 1000 km/second. However, it is anticipated that our Local Group will eventually stop receding from the Virgo Cluster and will ultimately accelerate towards this region (gravity from the Virgo Cluster influences us even at distances of 70 million light years). M84 and M86 are the 2 large elliptical galaxies on the right (from right to left). M88 is the prominent spiral galaxy on the upper left. The most dominant galaxy in this region is M87, which is out of the field of view to the lower left. But is will soon be visible, as this picture is the first of a four panel mosaic.

Markarian’s Chain

Telescope: 16″ f3.75 Dream Scope
Camera: FLI ML16803
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure: 7 hours (40x300s L + 3x14x300s RGB)
Date: February 2019
Location: Southern Alps, France

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