Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Latest Messier objects Stories

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

2009-02-25 08:15:00

A deep new image of the magnificent Helix planetary nebula has been obtained using the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory. The image shows a rich background of distant galaxies, usually not seen in other images of this object. The Helix Nebula, NGC 7293, lies about 700 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius (the Water Bearer). It is one of the closest and most spectacular examples of a planetary nebula. These exotic objects have nothing to do with planets, but are the...

2009-02-05 10:00:00

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy detect that stars were forming at record speeds in the small core region of an infant galaxy When galaxies are born, do their stars form everywhere at once, or only within a small core region? Recent measurements of an international team led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy provide the first concrete evidence that star-forming regions in infant galaxies are indeed small - but also hyperactive, producing stars at...

2008-12-11 11:22:01

Found in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud, 30 Doradus is one of the largest massive star forming regions close to the Milky Way. Enormous stars in 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, are producing intense radiation and searing winds of multimillion-degree gas that carve out gigantic bubbles in the surrounding cooler gas and dust. Other massive stars have raced through their evolution and exploded catastrophically as supernovae, expanding these bubbles into X-ray- brightened...

2008-02-26 08:50:00

Imagine looking at a tree through eyeglasses that only allow red light to pass through. The tree is going to look a lot different than how it would look without the glasses. The same goes for a galaxy when astronomers look at it through different types of telescopes. This new image from NASA's Swift satellite demonstrates what happens when astronomers look at a galaxy in ultraviolet light rather than the visible light that we see with our eyes. Swift took the image through a series of filters...

2008-01-17 08:34:02

Austin, TX -- Having the sharpest pictures always is a big advantage, and a sophisticated radio-astronomy technique using continent-wide and even intercontinental arrays of telescopes is yielding extremely valuable scientific results in a wide range of specialties. That's the message delivered to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Austin, Texas, by Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a leading researcher in the field of ultra-precise astronomical position...

Latest Messier objects Reference Libraries

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.

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...

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).

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...

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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