The vast open realm of space includes some of the most gorgeous, eye-catching and marvelous wonders. Catalogs of stars, galaxies, nebulae and other cosmological bodies have been created over the ages; the Messier catalog is no different. Named after French astronomer Charles Messier, the catalog consists of 110 entries (including a few of my favorites, Orion Nebula, the Sombrero Galaxy, Markarian’s Chain and the Dumbbell Nebula).
Most of these objects lie within the spiraled arms of the Milky Way galaxy, in which all of these objects are home to.
Some of the cool wavelengths able to be seen in these images are optical consisting of your standard visible (ROYGBIV) spectrum with the standard RGB sensors, there was also some gamma-ray detection for a possible SMBH (super massive black hole) in the heart of Messier 87; as well as the really interesting jet being ejected from the core of the galaxy. Other wavelengths pictured are infrared imaging (wish I could do this) for the image of the double star in M40. One of the cooler images uses infrared to capture the white dwarf in the center of its celestial body, the Ring Nebula. To do this I used skyview, here is the link in case you want to give it a try... https://skyview.gsfc...gi/titlepage.pl
- TRIFID NEBULA, Messier 20(M20) best seen in optical paths of color in the electromagnetic spectrum. The images above were taken in full RGB and red filtered. A composition of RGB is seen with dark globules and hydrogen and helium regions. RA: (18h 03.8m) Declination: (-23° 02’) TRANSIT: ( 5/13/2020; 3:24AM)
- Messier 40(M40), aka Winnecke 4, is a double star system in the constellation Ursa Major that orbit the center of mass between the two stars. Best seen in infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum. RA: (12h 23.2m) Declination: (57° 58’) TRANSIT: ( 5/13/2020; 9:41PM)
- The Whirlpool Galaxy, Messier 51(M51), is an amazing object, in the constellation of Canes Venatici, in which to image. As you can see it is a merging galaxy with NGC 5195, the two galaxies are connected by a dust-rich tidal bridge. RA: (13h 30.7m) DEC: (47° 06’) TRANSIT: (5/13/2020; 10:45PM)
- One of my favorite summertime objects to image, the Ring Nebula, Messier-57(M57), and the narrowband imaging of the white dwarf star in the center that outputs radiation causing the glowing of the elemental gasses in the nebula(not shown due to file size). RA: (18h 54.3m) DEC: (33° 03’) TRANSIT: ( 5/13/2020; 4:15AM)
- Messier 87(M87), aka Virgo A, and aka NGC 4486. In the image you can see a really cool features of M87; you can see the jet being ejected from the central core. RA: (12h 31.8m) DEC: (12° 17’) TRANSIT: (Current date; 9:49PM)
The images I had chosen are some of the most fantastic objects in the night sky. I have chosen them because they have signficant features that are particular to me and my interests in the field of study; some are colorful and vivid, while others are faint fuzzy galaxies that could harbor alien civiliaztions. Then there are double stars which are amazing in their own rights; they are two stars that orbit each other, when I think of these star systems I wonder how their physics are in relation to our own - most likely vastly different.
The objects chosen were:
- Messier-20, the Trifid nebula [RA: (18h 03.8m) Declination: (-23° 02’)]
- Messier-40, a double-star system in Ursa Major [RA: (12h 23.2m) Declination: (57° 58’)
- Messier-51, the Whirlpool Galaxy [RA: (13h 30.7m) DEC: (47° 06’)
- Messier-57, the Ring Nebula [RA: (18h 54.3m) DEC: (33° 03’)
- Messier-87, an elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Virgo [RA: (12h 31.8m) DEC: (12° 17’)
Using these wavelengths helps us discover new and endless objects deep in space to help us get a better understanding of one of the main questions humans have been asking ourselves for millenia…where do we come from? The late, great Dr. Stephen Hawking had researched his entire life to try and resolve some of these questions to better understanding of where we come from and why we are here in his “Quest for the Theory of Everything”. Optical wavelengths are great to help the human eye see some of these spectacles, but it is not within the visible spectrum where most fundamental objects lie, such as black holes; can they be the question to existence and are they wormholes into other dimensions? All perplexing problems we desire to find the answers for.