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Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

R900/0081

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Credit

JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, forming Markarian's Chain. The chain extends from upper left to lower right. The galaxies are larger, fuzzier blobs when compared to the surrounding stars of our own Milky Way Galaxy, and are much further away, around 70 million light years. They are in the constellation of Virgo. Of the galaxies seen here, the largest are the two lenticular galaxies at centre right to far right: M86 and M84. In the centre, there are two spiral galaxies: NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. More than a dozen galaxies make up Markarian's Chain. A galaxy consists of billions of stars orbiting a common centre of gravity. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe.

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