Markarian's Chain

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Markarian's Chain
Markarian's Chain in an amateur telescope
Observation data (Epoch J2000)
Constellation(s) Virgo
Right ascension 12h 27m
Declination +13° 10′
See also: Galaxy groups, Galaxy clusters, List of galaxy clusters

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.[1] Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. It's 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.[2]


  1. ^ Markarian, B.E. (1961). "Physical chain of galaxies in the Virgo cluster and its dynamic instability". Astronomical Journal 66: 555–557. Bibcode:1961AJ.....66..555M. 
  2. ^ Litzroth, E. (1983). "The Markarian chain of galaxies in the constellation Virgo". Astronomische Nachrichten 304 (2): 69–72. Bibcode:1983AN....304...69L. doi:10.1002/asna.2113040204. ISSN 0004-6337.