Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
Markarian's Chain of Galaxies
Mouse over the above image for galaxy catalog identification
chain was named after an Armenian astronomer in the 1970s and
represents a beautiful chain 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 and M87 is the dominant
galaxy in the lower left of the above image. The catalog
numbers for most of the galaxies are shown by running your mouse
over the above image. However, if you look closely you should
be able to find at least another half-dozen faint fuzzy galaxies
that are not labeled.
North is up in the above image.