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Don Reed | all galleries >> Galleries >> Astrophotography > Markarian's Chain
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29-Apr-2019 Don Reed

Markarian's Chain

Markarian's Chain is a group of a dozen or so galaxies, averaging about 60 million light years distant from Earth, and appearing in our sky in the direction of the constellation Virgo.

Working with a 4 inch refractor telescope in Paris in 1781, French astronomer Charles Messier discovered two of these galaxies - the elliptical galaxies M86 (the large galaxy just right of center in this image) and M84 (the large galaxy to the right of M86). His telescope lacked the light-gathering power to allow him to see the other nearby galaxies. The group is named after Benjamin Markarian, who discovered in the 1960's that these galaxies are actually physically grouped together, and do not simply appear in the same part of the sky from Earth.

This image is composed from 26 three minute exposures made with an ASI071MC Pro camera on the night of 29-Apr-2019.

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