messier monday

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“Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!” -Harry Truman, to a music critic who panned his daughter’s singing When you think about the Messier objects in the night sky, you hope for skies like the…

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” -John Wayne There’s a lot to look forward to on the precipice of the new year, and many of us will…

“Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.” -Maria Mitchell It’s time again for Messier Monday, where we highlight the various wonderous deep-sky objects of the night, and show you how to find them against the expansive backdrop of stars. The (almost) full Moon is…

“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,…

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…

“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…

“I would rather have one article a day of this sort; and these ten or twenty lines might readily represent a whole day’s hard work in the way of concentrated, intense thinking and revision, polish of style, weighing of words.” -Joseph Pulitzer When it comes to the Messier objects, though, it isn’t words that get concentrated;…

Messier Monday: The Wild Duck Cluster, M11

“Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg.” -Hans Christian Anderson Welcome back for another Messier Monday! There are 110 deep-sky objects in the Messier catalogue, some of the most prominent night-sky fixtures, as seen from Earth, running the gamut of astronomical phenomena from within…

“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…

“There is an ancient saying among men that you cannot thoroughly understand the life of mortals before the man has died, then only can you call it good or bad.” -Sophocles Imagine looking up at the night sky — able to survey the full depths of space — with eyes the size of saucers instead…