Markarian 421 (Mrk 421, Mkn 421) is a blazar located in the constellation Ursa Major. The object is an active galaxy and a BL Lacertae object, and is a strong source of gamma rays. It is about 397 million light-years (redshift: z=0.0308 eq. 122Mpc) to 434 million light-years (133Mpc) from the Earth. It is one of the closest blazars to Earth, making it one of the brightest quasars in the night sky. It is suspected to have a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its center due to its active nature, and has a companion galaxy (Markarian 421-5) that is fueling the gas jets observed pointing away from the galaxy.