Messier Monday: An Elliptical Rotating Wrongly, M59 (Synopsis)

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” -Dr. Seuss

With 110 objects in the Messier catalogue, and 40 galaxies (more than any other class of object), you might take a "if you've seen one, you've seen them all" attitude. But if you did, you'd be missing out on some truly amazing facts and phenomena happening right here in our own backyard!

Image credit: courtesy of Sloan Digital Sky Survey/WIKISKY, via http://www2011.mpe.mpg.de/highlights.html. Image credit: courtesy of Sloan Digital Sky Survey/WIKISKY, via http://www2011.mpe.mpg.de/highlights.html.

After all there are six giant elliptical galaxies in the Messier catalogue, but not only is today's object the most elliptical (departing from sphericity), but the core of this galaxy itself is rotating the wrong way!

Image credit: McDonald Observatory, NASA/AURA/STScI, via http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/news/gallery/core-galaxy-ngc-4621. Image credit: McDonald Observatory, NASA/AURA/STScI, via http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/news/gallery/core-galaxy-ngc-4621.

What's its deal? Come find out here on today's Messier Monday!

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