This image of Messier 84 (M84, NGC 4374) and Messier 86 (M86, NGC 4406) also includes two other bright galaxies identified as NGC 4402 and NGC 4387. These galaxies are located in the constellation Virgo and are members of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies[1,2,4,5]. In addition to these prominent bright galaxies, many faint background galaxies are visible throughout the image.
M84 (Large galaxy on the right in the image) is the 84th object in Charles Messier.s Catalog and is approximately 55 million light years distant. M86 (Large galaxy on the left in the image) is included as the catalog's 86 entry. It is a little closer to the Earth than M84 at approximately 52 million light years distant. Both M84 and M86 are classified as elliptical or lenticular galaxies[1,2].
Markarian's Chain was named after Benjamin E. Markarian, an Armenian astrophysicist, who was the first to discover that the galaxies share a common motion through space. M86 and M84 are located at the end of Markarian's Chain and, due to their appearance, are commonly known as the Eyes in the chain.
Located at the top of the image is NGC 4402. This edge on spiral galaxy is approximately 50 million light years from the Earth and is a member of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
NGC 4387 is the small elliptical galaxy located in the lower portion of the image. The galaxy is approximately 55.5 million light years distant. The diameter of the galaxy is estimated to be about 18.5 thousand light years.