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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
NGC 497 is making me feel old
      #5502179 - 11/03/12 10:43 AM

Last night I found NGC 497 for the first time, otherwise known as the ET Cluster.

As I was sketching it, I thought....what a great object for a public night! It's bright, and the form of "ET" is easily discernable.

Then I thought back to last weekend in which the majority of the viewers in my scope were under the age of twenty. ET came out in 1983, which would be at least 10 years before these individuals were born. They probably have never even heard of the movie ET.

But I remember seeing ET in theaters....but that was....gulp....essentially three decades ago.

Ah heck....I'm going to go eat some Resee's Pieces as I wonder why my hair is turning grey.


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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: NGC 497 is making me feel old new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5502212 - 11/03/12 11:08 AM

Fwiw, before being called ET cluster, it was originally nicknamed the owl cluster ... then the airplane (swept-back wings, so I'd assume 50-60's), then ET, and the latest being Wall.E (2008 movie) - at least that's my chronological understanding

From that point of view, it makes a great conversation/outreach topic on the influence of culture, and there's something for every generation to connect with.


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thewheel
member


Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Half Mile from Tucson
Re: NGC 497 is making me feel old new [Re: core]
      #5502482 - 11/03/12 02:26 PM

457

I know because I forgot it at a star party last month!


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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: NGC 497 is making me feel old new [Re: thewheel]
      #5502492 - 11/03/12 02:35 PM

457! I guess I really am getting old!

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Jim Nelson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: SE Michigan
Re: NGC 497 is making me feel old new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5502785 - 11/03/12 06:33 PM

I always think of it as a Dragonfly.

Oddly enough, Pac-Man is still a widely understood cultural reference. That really surprises me. Not that I would choose the Pac-Man Nebula as an outreach object...


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Skylook123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: NGC 497 is making me feel old new [Re: Jim Nelson]
      #5504348 - 11/04/12 06:29 PM

After picking up the ET name for a while, it started getting called Johnny 5 after the robot in Short Circuit - you can see the robot waving and saying "No Disassemble! No Disassemble!" A surprising number of adults get that at my public events.

Some references call it the Kachina Doll cluster as well.

As you look at it, notice where the wings join the body. Near one side (his right arm in my truss dob) is a small knot of a few stars. At a school star party ast year I had a sixth grader say it looked like his heart.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: NGC 497 is making me feel old new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5508206 - 11/07/12 11:24 AM

Our club has its largest outreach on 16 November. NGC457 is my default object. Always a crowd pleaser.

David


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