“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 … Read moreMessier Monday: A Galactic Highlight to Ring in the New Year, M96
“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” –Edna St. Vincent Millay It was just a little while ago that we were all speculating wildly — and optimistically — about Comet … Read moreThe Largest Trainwrecks in the Universe
“The proverb warns that ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.” –Thomas Szasz But on this Messier Monday, you’re lucky enough that you’re about to be introduced to one of the great northern galaxies of the Messier catalogue that is feeding itself! There … Read moreMessier Monday: A Spiral with an Active Black Hole, M106
“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 … Read moreMessier Monday: The Pinwheel Galaxy, M101
“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, … Read moreMessier Monday: A Secretly Active Spiral Galaxy, M77
“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 … Read moreMessier Monday: The Farthest Messier Spiral, M109
“Like all animals, human beings have always taken what they want from nature. But we are the rogue species. We are unique in our ability to use resources on a scale and at a speed that our fellow species can’t.” –Edward Burtynsky It’s really a romantic notion when you think about it: the heavens, the … Read moreWhere do Rogue Planets come from?
“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 … Read moreWhat does the Universe look like as seen from its most distant galaxy?
“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, … Read moreMessier Monday: Andromeda, the Object that Opened Up the Universe, M31
“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 … Read moreHow do we see through our own galaxy?