Astrophoto: Galaxies Galore!

Article written: 27 Apr , 2012
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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What a great view of Markarian’s Chain! Amateur astronomer Richard Richins took this image with a 300mm Canon f/4 lens (mounted to a Canon T2i). Look closely, as Richard says there are well over 100 galaxies in this image! Click the image for a larger, better view of Markarian’s Chain, which is a stretch of galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies appear almost linked together in a curved line. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E. Markarian, who discovered their common motion in the early 1960s. Some of the galaxies seen here include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. How many can you find?

Thanks to Richard for sharing his image with Universe Today. See more of his work at his website, Enchanted Skies.

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4 Responses

  1. GregtheThird says

    Perhaps these galaxies are connected together by a dense filament of primordial dark matter upon which they formed. If you trace out these filaments they tend to lead right to a cluster or supercluster of galaxies. My guess is that dark matter filaments make up the web-like latticework of the universe. Rather than WIMPS diffusely scattered throughout galaxies, dark matter may instead be concentrated along such filments at the very center of galaxies. If these are primordial structures, gas from the intergalactic medium would fall towards them and form the first galaxies and SMBHs. More gas would then fall in over time to form spirals which rotate perpendicular to their axis. Galaxies that do not form along these filaments would then be dark matter free and stars would rotate more slowly around them. Thus far I have yet to think of any observations that contradict this way of modeling of dark matter. Of course there is no basis to speculate how dark matter could have wound up as concentrated filaments shortly after the big bang.

  2. GregtheThird says

    Perhaps these galaxies are connected together by a dense filament of primordial dark matter upon which they formed. If you trace out these filaments they tend to lead right to a cluster or supercluster of galaxies. My guess is that dark matter filaments make up the web-like latticework of the universe. Rather than WIMPS diffusely scattered throughout galaxies, dark matter may instead be concentrated along such filments at the very center of galaxies. If these are primordial structures, gas from the intergalactic medium would fall towards them and form the first galaxies and SMBHs. More gas would then fall in over time to form spirals which rotate perpendicular to their axis. Galaxies that do not form along these filaments would then be dark matter free and stars would rotate more slowly around them. Thus far I have yet to think of any observations that contradict this way of modeling of dark matter. Of course there is no basis to speculate how dark matter could have wound up as concentrated filaments shortly after the big bang.

  3. Amadinejad's Nightmare says

    Fantastic shot! Well done, Mr. Richins.

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