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Latest Messier objects Stories

10446ae234273be5d57ce5ae1ba98e32
2011-01-06 15:10:00

The Crab Nebula, one of our best-known and most stable neighbors in the winter sky, is shocking scientists with a propensity for fireworks"”gamma-ray flares set off by the most energetic particles ever traced to a specific astronomical object. The discovery, reported today by scientists working with two orbiting telescopes, is leading researchers to rethink their ideas of how cosmic particles are accelerated. "We were dumbfounded," said Roger Blandford, who directs the Kavli Institute...

043eb7cc93375d828c0ea0830ba498ff1
2010-12-18 08:57:38

This collage of galaxies from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, showcases the many "flavors" that galaxies come in, from star-studded spirals to bulging ellipticals to those paired with other companion galaxies. The WISE team put this collage together to celebrate the anniversary of the mission's launch on Dec. 14, 2009.After launch and a one-month checkout period, WISE began mapping the sky in infrared light. By July of this year, the entire sky had been surveyed,...

3b319d5c15352e0514628c98e0a486501
2010-11-25 08:35:00

The Andromeda Galaxy was formed as the result of a massive collision involving two separate galaxies that occurred billions of years ago, an international team of researchers has discovered. The astronomers, led by Francois Hammer of the Paris Observatory, conducted complex computer simulations of the galaxy's structural formation, both in France and at the National Astronomical Observatory of China (NAOC). They then analyzed the results and prepared a study, which has been published in the...

eadc93c2fedd8d6fb3660866c9384b071
2010-10-21 07:10:00

Model explains evolution of unusual binary system, why large star not so luminous In a galaxy far away, an exceptionally massive black hole is traveling around a massive star in an unusually tight orbit. Also odd, the star is not as bright as it should be. Astronomers have puzzled over this X-ray binary system, named M33 X-7, but no one could explain all of its features. Now a Northwestern University research team has. The researchers have produced a model of the system's evolutionary history...

47946b2c63d2b65f4c15faf497a593951
2010-08-30 06:50:00

A billowing cloud of hydrogen in the Triangulum galaxy (Messier 33), about 2.7 million light-years away from Earth, glows with the energy released by hundreds of young, bright stars. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image provides the sharpest view of NGC 604 so far obtained. Some 1500 light-years across, this is one of the largest, brightest concentrations of ionized hydrogen (H II) in our local group of galaxies, and is a major center of star formation. The gas in NGC 604, around nine...

b8657b00e96bdebd6490fddb2d543169
2010-03-03 07:15:00

An Island of Stars in the Making on the Outskirts of Orion The delicate nebula NGC 1788, located in a dark and often neglected corner of the Orion constellation, is revealed in a new and finely nuanced image that ESO is releasing today. Although this ghostly cloud is rather isolated from Orion's bright stars, the latter's powerful winds and light have had a strong impact on the nebula, forging its shape and making it home to a multitude of infant suns. Stargazers all over the world are...

da06266c7d4bbea5c78e9e9e5d2add37
2009-12-14 10:10:00

A collection of 30 never-before-released images of embryonic planetary systems in the Orion Nebula are the highlight of the longest single Hubble Space Telescope project ever dedicated to the topic of star and planet formation. Also known as proplyds, or protoplanetary discs, these modest blobs surrounding baby stars are shedding light on the mechanism behind planet formation. Only the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, with its high resolution and sensitivity, can take such detailed pictures...

3d8f3e4a30385fe3dba7df5758081cab1
2009-10-14 07:15:00

Today ESO announces the release of a stunning new image of one of our nearest galactic neighbors, Barnard's Galaxy, also known as NGC 6822. The galaxy contains regions of rich star formation and curious nebulae, such as the bubble clearly visible in the upper left of this remarkable vista. Astronomers classify NGC 6822 as an irregular dwarf galaxy because of its odd shape and relatively diminutive size by galactic standards. The strange shapes of these cosmic misfits help researchers...

8595bb5d9de632747bb49345c49cc68d
2009-09-03 10:35:00

Astronomers have reported that the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy appears to have cannibalistic tendencies as it has expanded by "digesting" stars from other nearby galaxies. Writing in the journal Nature, an international team of astronomers made the discovery using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and its MegaCam/MegaPrime digital camera to conduct an ongoing survey. Experts have previously considered the concept of a cannibalistic galaxy, but the new study is the first to bring detailed...

fbaa988efb340fecb773e33c350058591
2009-08-27 08:25:00

An international team of researchers has debunked one of astronomy's long held beliefs about how stars are formed, using a set of galaxies found with CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope. When a cloud of interstellar gas collapses to form stars, the stars range from massive to minute. Since the 1950s astronomers have thought that in a family of new-born stars the ratio of massive stars to lighter ones was always pretty much the same "” for instance, that for every star 20 times more massive...


Latest Messier objects Reference Libraries

67_0efd63d045cdd74b7e0600e093355a42
2010-09-16 15:00:46

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.

67_db348e4983c412eb62668e4377457b50
2010-09-13 17:13:25

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...

67_90ce4ddfce29ea01827bb96393b20fce
2010-09-13 17:07:12

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).

6_c65813e67f1bee99b0418c20e5cbbe582
2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

6_e40db84a4338b0529465bda1f7ad78d62
2004-10-19 04:45:41

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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Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.