Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 5:31 EDT

Latest Messier objects Stories

2007-12-02 18:47:17

Right in time for the festive season, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has discovered a huge cloud of high-temperature gas resting in a spectacular nearby star-forming region, shaped somewhat like the silhouette of Santa Claus. An early present for astronomers, the cloud suggests that hot gas from many star-forming regions leaks into the interstellar medium. The Orion nebula is the nearest dense star-forming region to Earth that contains stars much more massive than the Sun. XMM-Newton's...

2007-04-18 15:27:25

An international team of astronomers have collaborated to create the most detailed image ever produced of the Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237), a giant stellar nursery. The new image was assembled using data from INT Photometric H-Alpha Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane (IPHAS) and covers four square degrees of sky, equivalent in size to about twenty times the size of the full moon. Robert Greimel from the University of Graz, Austria, will present results from the survey in a talk on Wednesday...

2006-12-22 13:10:00

Known as the Tarantula Nebula for its spidery appearance, the 30 Doradus complex is a monstrous stellar factory. It is the largest emission nebula in the sky, and can be seen far down in the southern sky at a distance of about 170,000 light-years, in the southern constellation Dorado (The Swordfish or the Goldfish). It is part of one of the Milky Way's neighbouring galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Tarantula Nebula is thought to contain more than half a million times the mass of the...

2006-06-14 10:35:00

Cambridge, MA - Sibling rivalry is alive and well in outer space. The Milky Way galaxy has two sister spirals competing for attention from photographers. The Andromeda galaxy usually wins the contest, posing frequently for cosmic portraits. In this new image from the MMT Observatory's 6.5-meter telescope, the second sister finally gets her due notice. Here, the Triangulum galaxy emerges from the shadows to reveal stunning swirls of stars and dust dotted with brilliant pink nebulae. The new...

2006-02-28 08:45:15

NASA -- Giant galaxies weren't assembled in a day. Neither was this Hubble Space Telescope image of the face-on spiral galaxy Messier 101 (M101). It is the largest and most detailed photo of a spiral galaxy that has ever been released from Hubble. The galaxy's portrait is actually composed of 51 individual Hubble exposures, in addition to elements from images from ground-based photos. The final composite image measures a whopping 16,000 by 12,000 pixels. The Hubble archived observations that...

2005-12-27 13:55:00

Cambridge, MA -- The Perseus spiral arm - the nearest spiral arm in the Milky Way outside the Sun's orbit - lies only half as far from Earth as some previous studies had suggested. An international team of astronomers measured a highly accurate distance to the Perseus arm for the first time using a globe-spanning system of radio dishes known as the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), which offers the sharpest vision of any telescope in existence. Additional VLBA measurements will help...

2005-11-09 13:05:00

JPL -- A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals billowing mountains of dust ablaze with the fires of stellar youth. Captured by Spitzer's infrared eyes, the majestic image resembles the iconic "Pillars of Creation" picture taken of the Eagle Nebula in visible light by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. Both views feature star-forming clouds of cool gas and dust that have been sculpted into pillars by radiation and winds from hot, massive stars. The Spitzer image shows the...

2005-10-17 14:27:26

JPL -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a stunning infrared view of Messier 31, the famous spiral galaxy also known as Andromeda. Andromeda is the most-studied galaxy outside our own Milky Way, yet Spitzer's sensitive infrared eyes have detected captivating new features, including bright, aging stars and a spiral arc in the center of the galaxy. The infrared image also reveals an off-centered ring of star formation and a hole in the galaxy's spiral disk of arms. These...

2005-08-10 18:06:57

Gemini -- Like archaeologists unearthing a 'lost city', astronomers using the 8-meter Gemini South telescope have revealed that the galaxy NGC 300 has a large, faint extended disk made of ancient stars, enlarging the known diameter of the galaxy by a factor of two or more. The finding also implies that our own Milky Way Galaxy could be much larger than current textbooks say. Scientists will also need to explain the mystery of how galaxies like NGC 300 can form with stars so far from their...

2005-08-10 09:00:00

Images of Two Magnificent Spiral Galaxies from ESO Data Archive ESO -- What does the Galaxy in which we live look like? It is almost certain that we will never be able to send a probe out of our Milky Way to take a snapshot, in the same way as the first satellites could do to give us striking images of planet Earth. But astronomers do not need this to imagine what our bigger home resembles. And they have a pretty good idea of it. The Milky Way with its several hundreds of billion...

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...

More Articles (13 articles) »