January 26, 2005
M102 is really the only controversial entry in Messier's catalogue. Some have concluded it was an erroneous duplicate observation of M101, a conclusion which Messier's friend and fellow observer Mechain stated some years after his original discovery. However, a number of cogent arguments suggest that both men actually observed the Spindle Galaxy, NGC5866 in the constellation Draco, and it is this galaxy which is shown here. It is a lenticular galaxy of type S0 (essentially a spiral galaxy without the spiral structure). This picture was created from observations with the T2KA CCD camera at the Kitt Peak National Observatory's 0.9-meter telescope in March of 1995.
Topics: Lenticular galaxies, Messier 102, Astronomy, Pierre Mechain, 102, Messier 84, Spiral galaxy, Hubble sequence, Astronomical catalogues, NGC, Messier objects, Galaxy