Across the heart of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies lies a striking string of galaxies known as Markarian’s Chain. 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. Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. At least seven galaxies in the chain appear to move coherently, although others appear to be superposed by chance.

Date and place: May 8 2010; Traian, Teleorman, Romania

Camera: Canon EOS 450D Baader modified

Telescope: Skywatcher 80ED

Exposure: 7 x 600s

Aperture: 7.5

ISO: 1600