Galaxies

Category archives for Galaxies

“The proverb warns that ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.” -Thomas Szasz But on this Messier Monday, you’re lucky enough that you’re about to be introduced to one of the great northern galaxies of the Messier catalogue that is feeding itself! There…

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” -Franz Kafka The night sky is our window into the Universe beyond the Solar System, and in some cases, even beyond our own galaxy! Perhaps the oldest useful collection of deep-sky objects, the Messier catalogue showcases 110 of the most prominent night sky wonders,…

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” -Terry Pratchett It’s the end of the week once again, and so let’s have a go at another Ask Ethan! Perhaps inspired by a great…

“Dream no small dreams, for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Welcome back to yet another Messier Monday here on Starts With A Bang! Each Monday, we highlight one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier catalogue, showing you where and how to find…

Messier Monday: The Pinwheel Galaxy, M101

“I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.” -Voltaire Every object that we look at for Messier Monday has its own flavor, its own qualities, and its own unique characteristics. By far the most numerous of the 110 deep-sky objects making up the Messier catalogue are the galaxies, of which there are…

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” -Patrick Henry It’s not a good idea to showcase a galaxy for you every Messier Monday, considering that even a crescent Moon can render most of them completely unobservable. Now that the autumnal equinox has passed, however,…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” -Joseph Campbell It took Charles Messier and his assistant, Pierre Méchain, a lifetime to scan and survey the sky for all the permanent deep-sky objects visible in their telescopes that could possibly be…

The Little Bit of Dark Matter We Know

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux … is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad It was in the 1930s, looking at dense clusters of…

“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.” -Victor Hugo A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the most distant galaxy (so far) in the known Universe, a galaxy so far away that it takes exclusively infrared observations from our most power space telescopes (Hubble and Spitzer) in order…

“We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known universe.” -Edwin Powell Hubble With 110 deep-sky objects scattered throughout the heavens,…