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 is 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.