Galaxies

Category archives for Galaxies

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,…

The Most Distant Galaxy in the Universe

“People say sometimes that Beauty is superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” -Oscar Wilde…

How do we see through our own galaxy?

“I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.” -Johann Lambert When we look out at the Universe, our view is pretty consistently dominated by the…

“We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.” -Robert Frost It’s time again for another Messier Monday! To kick off each week, we’ve been taking a look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier catalogue. Compiled in the 18th Century to…

“We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it. We are born from it.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson The story of the Universe is the story of us all; we all share the same cosmic history, coming from a hot, dense state some 13.8 billion years ago known as the Big Bang and…