While a couple of promising comets have fizzled out this spring, the slow and steady Comet C/2017 T2 (PanSTARRS) is keeping astrophotographers happy as it moves through the northern constellation Ursa Major. On May 24, the comet passed the lovely pair spiral galaxies M81 and M82 near the bowl of the Big Dipper. The event was framed spectacularly in the above image by Terry Hancock and Tom Masterson using the Takahashi E-180 Astrograph at Grand Mesa Observatory in Colorado. This image is a testament to a high level of expertise and it shows how astrophotography at the hands of skilled and talented practitioners can approach high art [Read more…] about Galaxies and Comet C/2017 T2 (PanSTARRS)Share This:
Take any three stars and they’ll form some kind of triangle. But there is only one constellation Triangulum. It’s a small but ancient star group surrounded by the larger constellations Andromeda to the north and west, Pisces to the southwest, Aries to the south, and Perseus to the northeast. While modest, Triangulum hosts many fine sights for stargazers on a northern autumn (or southern spring) evening. Look for it about 10º due south of the star Almaak (γ Andromedae) and just northeast of Aries [Read more…] about A Trek Through TriangulumShare This:
Striking in photographs and picturesque in a telescope, the Sombrero galaxy offers a fine, if unusual, example of an edge-on spiral galaxy. This is a lovely object, with a huge and brilliant central galactic bulge likely caused by the machinations of a massive black hole, and an inky-dark dust lane that resembles the brim of the traditional Mexican hat that lends its name to this distant island universe [Read more…] about The Sombrero GalaxyShare This:
Thanks to gravity, most galaxies clump together in groups or clusters, so a neighboring galaxy is usually never far away. But the galaxy NGC 6503 has found itself in a lonely position, perched at the edge of a strangely empty patch of space called the Local Void. The galaxy is near enough and bright enough to spot with a small telescope in the northern constellation Draco, the Dragon [Read more…] about NGC 6503, the Lost-in-Space GalaxyShare This:
Today, let’s look at the spiral galaxy M83, a lovely cosmic lotus blossom and one of the showpieces in the southern deep sky.
Barely visible from northern latitudes, M83 lies roughly 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. It’s one of the 25 brightest galaxies in the sky, and one of the closest and brightest barred spiral galaxies. At magnitude 7.6, it’s easily visible with binoculars and small telescopes about 18° due south of the bright star Spica, in Virgo, and just north of the star Menkent in the constellation Centaurus [Read more…] about The Southern Pinwheel – M83Share This: