Latest Messier objects Stories
For the first time, astronomers have produced a fully 3D view of the Pillars of Creation using the Very Large Telescope to capture the iconic billowing dust pillars in new detail and discover never-before-seen features.
Astronomy enthusiasts have a golden opportunity to see what National Geographic refers to as a “stunning galaxy” on Friday night, as Messier 104 – better known as the Sombrero Galaxy – will be visible in the southern part of the sky, according to the website.
A new Rice University-led survey of one of the most active star-forming regions in the galactic neighborhood is helping astronomers better understand the processes that may have contributed to the formation of the sun 4.5 billion years ago. The survey of Carina Nebula is available online in the Astronomical Journal.
According to NASA, galaxies can come in many different shapes and sizes, and their orientation relative to us can sometimes make them look even more bizarre than usual. The new photo of the so-called “Little Sombrero” got us thinking: What are some of the most unusual galaxies ever discovered by astronomers? Here are a few of our favorites.
Astronomers have discovered that the old Whirlpool Galaxy has some fancy new plumes.
In honor of its upcoming 25th anniversary, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the site where it captured one of its most iconic images, the three giant columns of cold gas known as the “Pillars of Creation.”
While images of the Milky Way or Andromeda galaxies may dominate our mind’s image of what a galaxy looks like, the fact is that the largest objects in the Universe come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, most galaxies in the cosmos are known as dwarf galaxies.
The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mold the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.
Stars that are just beginning to coalesce out of cool swaths of dust and gas are showcased in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS).
Astronomers have studied two star clusters using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and infrared telescopes and the results show that the simplest ideas for the birth of these clusters cannot work
The NGC 5866, located in the Draco constellation, is named after the galaxy with the highest magnitude however some catalogs list NGC 5907 as the brightest member. The M51 Group and the M101 Group are NGC 5866 closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them separate.
The M101 Group, one of many in the Virgo Supercluster, is located in Ursa Major and named after the brightest galaxy in the group, the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101). The group is composed mostly of members that are companions of the Pinwheel Galaxy. The M51 Group and the NGC 5866 Group are M101's closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them...
The M51 Group, located in Canes Venatici, is named after the brightest galaxy in the group, the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51A). The few other notable members include the companion galaxy to the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51B) and the Sunflower Galaxy (M63).
Planetary Nebula -- A planetary nebula is an astronomical object that usually appears nebulous and disk-like in low-resolution observations. Because of this appearance, similar to the appearance of planets in early observations, the "planetary" adjective was attached and has since been retained for historical consistency. According to current observations and models, planetary nebulae in fact have little to do with planets. Instead, as a small star (less than a few times the mass...
Galaxy -- Stars are almost always found in collections called galaxies, together with gas, dust, and large amounts of dark matter detected by its gravitational effects. These are all held together by gravitational attraction and orbit a common centre. There is some evidence that black holes may exist at the centre of some or most galaxies. Galaxies come in three main types: ellipticals, spirals, and irregulars. A slightly more extensive description of galaxy types is given by the Hubble...
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