|Object Type||Galaxy E3|
|Size||9.0' x 6.0'|
M86 is a giant eliptical galaxy in Virgo that is a member of the huge Virgo cluster of galaxies. Easily visible as a bright circular haze in an 8" telescope, M86 displays little structure apart from a slightly brighter centre. The edge-on spiral galaxy above M 86 is NGC 4402.
M86 is one of the brighter members of a chain of galaxies at the centre of the Virgo cluster, called Markarian's Chain. Starting from the east at the 11th magnitude NGC 4477 and its 13th magnitude companion NGC 4479, the chain arcs south-westwards past the giant ellipitical galaxies M84 and M86, to end at the 11th magnitude NGC 4267. In the image below, the central portion of the chain is displayed, centred near M86. Starting from the left (east) the galaxies are: NGC 4461, 4458, 4438, 4435, 4425, 4413, M86, 4402, 4388, 4387, and M84. Several other fainter galaxies are also visible in the image.