messier

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“Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error.” -Benjamin Rush Welcome back to another Messier Monday! Each week, we take an in-depth look at one of the 110 deep-sky wonders of the Messier Catalogue, from distant galaxies to nearby star clusters, from nebulous star factories to ancient globular bunches, and from stellar remnants to…

“The deeper reason we fear our own glory is that once we let others see it, they will have seen the truest us, and that is nakedness indeed. […] It is an awkward thing to shimmer when everyone else around you is not, to walk in your glory with an unveiled face when everyone else…

“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…

“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;…

“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” -Winston Churchill To kick off every week for nearly a year now, we’ve begun it with Messier Monday, where we take an in-depth look at the 110 deep-sky objects that make up…

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…

“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” -Khalil Gibran It’s time again for another Messier Monday! The Messier Catalogue was the original comprehensive and accurate catalogue of fixed, deep-sky objects visible to any dedicated (northern hemisphere) skywatcher with even the most primitive of astronomical equipment. Over the centuries,…

“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…