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Latest Messier objects Stories

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...

c7c451d7a4f3c0d79f3b1f5082e017681
2009-08-26 07:20:00

Today ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favorite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike. This massive star factory is so named for the dark dust bands that trisect its glowing heart, and is a rare combination of three nebula types, revealing the fury of freshly formed stars and presaging more star birth. Smoldering several thousand light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the Trifid Nebula presents a compelling...

c4fdd16e9ddc81f201141067d43c304a1
2009-08-19 14:28:40

About ten years ago Space Shuttle Columbia launched hauling 55,000 pounds worth of astronomers' dreams -- the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This was the heaviest payload a space shuttle ever lifted "“ and one of the best day's labor the work-horse space shuttle ever put in. August 19, 2009, marks Chandra's 10 year "first light" anniversary.** Last week some Chandra team members celebrated the observatory's past decade of dramatic discoveries. Project scientist Martin Weisskopf has devoted...

972f6d037f71e75276ae2976cd6888ea1
2009-07-16 08:05:00

Today ESO has released a new and stunning image of the sky around the Eagle Nebula, a stellar nursery where infant star clusters carve out monster columns of dust and gas. Located 7000 light-years away, towards the constellation of Serpens (the Snake), the Eagle Nebula is a dazzling stellar nursery, a region of gas and dust where young stars are currently being formed and where a cluster of massive, hot stars, NGC 6611, has just been born. The powerful light and strong winds from these...

946bd2848d1b15a3ee50180e73c76fa71
2009-07-07 08:05:00

The Omega Nebula, a stellar nursery where infant stars illuminate and sculpt a vast pastel fantasy of dust and gas, is revealed in all its glory by a new ESO image. The Omega Nebula, sometimes called the Swan Nebula, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). An active star-forming region of gas and dust about 15 light-years across, the nebula has recently spawned a cluster of massive, hot stars. The intense light...

f10c0b24792f731936242678e228864e1
2009-06-19 10:30:00

Herschel opened its 'eyes' on June 14 and the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer obtained images of M51, "Ëœthe whirlpool galaxy' for a first test observation. Scientists obtained images in three colors which clearly demonstrate the superiority of Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope ever flown. This image shows the famous "Ëœwhirlpool galaxy', first observed by Charles Messier in 1773, who provided the designation Messier 51 (M51). This spiral...

7cef29d2a0722d3c1072169ba082fce61
2009-04-28 14:45:00

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Mission marks its sixth anniversary studying galaxies beyond our Milky Way through its sensitive ultraviolet telescope, the only such far-ultraviolet detector in space. The mission studies the shape, brightness, size and distance of galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic history, giving scientists a wealth of data to help us better understand the origins of the universe. One such object is pictured here, the galaxy NGC598, more commonly known as M33. In...

3a892f4b3a77795fb7dd8d4bd2ac69921
2009-04-23 09:40:04

Research by astronomers at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies suggests that shadows hold the key to how giant star-forming structures like the famous "Pillars of Creation" take shape. The pillars are dense columns within giant clouds of dust and gas where massive stars form.  Several theories have been proposed to explain why the pillars develop around the edge of ionized gas bubbles surrounding young, very hot stars. Using computer models, the Dublin group has found that...

f3ac9d3af99fd18dfbe37a435c20a213
2009-04-07 15:25:00

A new Hubble image highlights striking swirling dust lanes and glittering globular clusters in oddball galaxy NGC 7049. The NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies. NGC 7049 is found in the constellation of Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG). Typical BCGs are some of the oldest and most massive galaxies. They provide...

35300b46204434ac9fabfe351c339cdc
2009-04-03 18:35:00

One of our closest galactic neighbors shows its awesome beauty in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is a member of what's known as our Local Group of galaxies. Along with our own Milky Way, this group travels together in the universe, as they are gravitationally bound. In fact, M33 is one of the few galaxies that is moving toward the Milky Way despite the fact that space itself is expanding, causing most galaxies in the universe to...


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
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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