Markarian's Chain

(Also known as: M84, M86, NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 & NGC 4435)

Markarian’s Chain. A patch of sky roughly four Moon diameters across as viewed from Earth with a simply staggering number of galaxies in it.

Officially Markarian’s Chain is made up of the 8 large galaxies that form a diagonal line across the image. In addition, in the bottom left is M87, the galaxy containing the supermassive blackhole that was photographed by the Event Horizon Telescope earlier this year and bottom left is a spiral galaxy called M88. In the background there are probably at least another 20 galaxies.

This image was taken over 5 nights in April and May 2019 - the nights are getting shorter! Images were captured using a monochrome astrophotography camera using red, green, blue and luminance filters. Total exposure time was around 8 hours, with an hour each on RGB and 5 hours on luminance.

Image Details:

  • RA: 12h 27m 00s
  • DEC: +13° 10' 00"
  • Constellation: Virgo
  • Shot from: Netley Abbey, UK
  • Dates: 9th April — 4th May 2019


  • Luminance: 131 x 15 seconds
  • Luminance: 263 x 1 minute
  • R: 80 x 45 seconds
  • G: 119 x 30 seconds
  • B: 121 x 30 seconds
  • Total Integration: 7 hours, 55 minutes, 45 seconds