Tagged: Universe Today Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 5:58 pm on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ancient Impacts Shaped the Structure of the Milky Way, , , , , , Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “Ancient Impacts Shaped the Structure of the Milky Way” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    1
    Accroding to new research, the Milky Way may still bear the marks of “ancient impacts”. Credit: NASA/Serge Brunier.

    18 July , 2017
    Matt Williams

    Understanding how the Universe came to be is one of the greater challenges of being an astrophysicist. Given the observable Universe’s sheer size (46.6 billion light years) and staggering age (13.8 billion years), this is no easy task. Nevertheless, ongoing observations, calculations and computer simulations have allowed astrophysicists to learn a great deal about how galaxies and larger structures have changed over time.

    For example, a recent study by a team from the University of Kentucky (UK) has challenged previously-held notions about how our galaxy has evolved to become what we see today. Based on observations made of the Milky Way’s stellar disk, which was previously thought to be smooth, the team found evidence of asymmetric ripples. This indicates that in the past, our galaxy may have be shaped by ancient impacts.

    The study, titled “Milky Way Tomography with K and M Dwarf Stars: The Vertical Structure of the Galactic Disk“, recently appeared in the The Astrophysical Journal. Led by Deborah Ferguson, a 2016 UK graduate, the team consisted of Professor Susan Gardner – from the UK College of Arts and Sciences – and Brian Yanny, an astrophysicist from the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics (FCPA).

    This study evolved from Ferguson’s senior thesis, which was overseen by Prof. Gardner. At the time, Ferguson sought to expand on previous research by Gardner and Yanny, which also sought to understand the presence of ripples in our galaxy’s stellar disk. For the sake of this new study, the team relied on data obtained by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey‘s (SDSS) 2.5m Telescope, located at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico.

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, NM, USA

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 11:37 am on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Gaia Finds Six Stars Zipping out of the Milky Way, Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “Gaia Finds Six Stars Zipping out of the Milky Way” an Introduction 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    7 July , 2017
    Matt Williams

    1
    An artist’s conception of a hypervelocity star that has escaped the Milky Way. Image Credit: NASA

    In 2013, the European Space Agency launched the Gaia spacecraft.

    ESA/GAIA satellite

    As the successor to the Hipparcos mission, this space observatory has spent the past three and a half years gathering data on the cosmos.

    Before it retires sometime next year (though the mission could be extended), this information will be used to construct the largest and most precise 3D astronomical map ever created.

    In the course of surveying the cosmos, Gaia has also revealed some very interesting things along the way. For example, after examining the Gaia catalog with a specially-designed artificial neural network, a team of European researchers recently detected six new hypervelocity stars in the Milky Way. And one of these stars is moving so fast that it may eventually leave our galaxy.

    Their study – titled An Artificial Neural Network to Discover Hypervelocity Stars: Candidates in Gaia DR1/TGAS – was recently published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. It was presented late last month at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, which was being held from June 26th to June 30th in Prague, Czech Republic.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 3:33 pm on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , The Corvus Constellation, Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “The Corvus Constellation” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    7 July , 2017

    Welcome to another edition of Constellation Friday! Today, in honor of the late and great Tammy Plotner, we take a look at the “Raven” – the Corvus constellation. Enjoy!

    In the 2nd century CE, Greek-Egyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemaeus (aka. Ptolemy) compiled a list of all the then-known 48 constellations. This treatise, known as the Almagest, would be used by medieval European and Islamic scholars for over a thousand years to come, effectively becoming astrological and astronomical canon until the early Modern Age.

    One of these constellation is the Corvus constellation, a southern constellation whose name in Latin means “Raven”. Bordered by the constellations of Virgo, Crater and Hydra, it is visible at latitudes between +60° and -90° and is best seen at culmination during the month of May. Today, it is one of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

    1
    Celestial map of the constellation Corvus, the Raven. Credit and Copyright ©: Torsten Bronger

    As usual, this is a great blog post which I do not mean to poach, so I only give you an introduction. But you must visit the whole post to see all of the complexity.
    The post is credited in honor of the late and great Tammy Plotner.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 5:27 pm on June 26, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Messier 48, , Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “Messier 48 – the NGC 2548 Open Star Cluster’ 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    26 June 2017
    Tammy Plotner

    Welcome back to Messier Monday! We continue our tribute to our dear friend, Tammy Plotner, by looking at the open star cluster of Messier 48. Enjoy!

    In the 18th century, while searching the night sky for comets, French astronomer Charles Messier kept noting the presence of fixed, diffuse objects in the night sky. In time, he would come to compile a list of approximately 100 of these objects, with the purpose of making sure that astronomers did not mistake them for comets. However, this list – known as the Messier Catalog – would go on to serve a more important function.

    One of these is the open star cluster known as Messier 48 (aka. NGC 2548). Located approximately 1,500 light years from Earth in the direction of the Hydra constellation, Charles Messier actually got the position of this cluster wrong, a mistake which was corrected by Caroline Herschel in 1783 (hence why she is sometimes credited with its discovery). This object is visible to the naked eye on a clear night, providing light conditions are favorable.

    Description:

    At a modest 300 million years old, this group of about 50 easily visible stars and 80 total members spans an area of space which covers 23 light years. By studying proper motion over time with an astrograph telescope, astronomers have determined it is roughly 1500 light years away from our solar system. But how are determinations like this made? By long term studies and painstaking photographic plates, which address which stars are moving, at what speeds, and in what direction.

    1
    The open star cluster Messier 48. Credit: Wikisky

    See the full article here .

    Tammy was a professional astronomy author, President Emeritus of Warren Rupp Observatory and retired Astronomical League Executive Secretary. She’s received a vast number of astronomy achievement and observing awards, including the Great Lakes Astronomy Achievement Award, RG Wright Service Award and the first woman astronomer to achieve Comet Hunter’s Gold Status. (Tammy passed away in early 2015… she will be missed)

    4
    http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/b/daves-universe/archive/2015/02/13/astronomy-enthusiast-tammy-plotner-dies-after-struggle-with-ms.aspx

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 4:36 pm on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Moon orbiting the dwarf planet 2007 OR10, , , Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “An Astronomical Detective Tale and the Moon of 2007 OR10” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    21 June , 2017
    David Dickinson

    1
    These two images reveal a moon orbiting the dwarf planet 2007 OR10. NASA/Hubble/ESA/STScI

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    It isn’t every day we get a new moon added to the list of solar system satellites. The combined observational power of three observatories — Kepler, Herschel and Hubble — led an astronomical detective tale to its climatic conclusion: distant Kuiper Belt Object 2007 OR10 has a tiny moon.

    NASA/Kepler Telescope

    ESA/Herschel spacecraft

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 3:45 pm on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , The Sun Probably Lost a Binary Twin Billions of Years Ago, Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “The Sun Probably Lost a Binary Twin Billions of Years Ago” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    14 June 2017
    Matt Williams

    1
    Stardust in the Perseus Molecular Cloud, a star-forming region in the Perseus constellation. Credit & Copyright: Lorand Fenyes

    For us Earthlings, life under a single Sun is just the way it is. But with the development of modern astronomy, we’ve become aware of the fact that the Universe is filled with binary and even triple star systems. Hence, if life does exist on planets beyond our Solar System, much of it could be accustomed to growing up under two or even three suns. For centuries, astronomers have wondered why this difference exists and how star systems came to be.

    Whereas some astronomers argue that individual stars formed and acquired companions over time, others have suggested that systems began with multiple stars and lost their companions over time. According to a new study by a team from UC Berkeley and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), it appears that the Solar System (and other Sun-like stars) may have started out as binary system billions of years ago.

    This study, titled Embedded Binaries and Their Dense Cores, was recently accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In it, Sarah I. Sadavoy – a radio astronomer from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the CfA – and Steven W. Stahler (a theoretical physicist from UC Berkeley) explain how a radio surveys of a star nursery led them to conclude that all Sun-like stars began as binaries.

    2
    The dark molecular cloud, Barnard 68, is a stellar nursery that can only be studied using radio astronomy. Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO

    ESO/VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/FORS1

    They began by examining the results of the first radio survey of the giant molecular cloud located about 600 light-years from Earth in the Perseus constellation – aka. the Perseus Molecular Cloud. This survey, known as the VLA/ALMA Nascent Disk and Multiplicity (VANDAM) survey, relied the Very Large Array in New Mexico and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile to conduct the first survey of the young stars (<4 million years old) in this star-forming region.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    The two began their work together by conducting new observations of both single and binary stars within the dense core regions of the Perseus cloud. As Sadavoy explained in a Berkeley News press release, the duo were looking for clues as to whether young stars formed as individuals or in pairs:

    “The idea that many stars form with a companion has been suggested before, but the question is: how many? Based on our simple model, we say that nearly all stars form with a companion. The Perseus cloud is generally considered a typical low-mass star-forming region, but our model needs to be checked in other clouds.”

    Another interesting implication of the study has to do with something known as the “Nemesis hypothesis”. In the past, astronomers have conjectured that a companion star named “Nemesis” existed within our Solar System. This star was so-named because the theory held that it was responsible for kicking the asteroid which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs into Earth’s orbit. Alas, all attempts to find Nemesis ended in failure.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 9:06 pm on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “What is the Drake Equation?” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    1
    The Drake Equation, a mathematical formula for the probability of finding life or advanced civilizations in the universe. Credit: University of Rochester

    13 June , 2017
    Matt Williams

    The Formula:

    The formula for the Drake Equation is as follows:

    N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L

    Whereas N is the number of civilizations in our galaxy that we might able to communicate with, R* is the average rate of star formation in our galaxy, fp is the fraction of those stars which have planets, ne is the number of planets that can actually support life, fl is the number of planets that will develop life, fi is the number of planets that develop intelligent life, fc is the number civilizations that would develop transmission technologies, and L is the length of time that these civilizations would have to transmit their signals into space.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 10:43 am on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Mars Rover Concept Vehicle (MRCV), Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “We’d Like One of These For Here on Earth. NASA’s New Mobile Mars Laboratory Concept Rover” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    13 June , 2017
    Matt Williams

    1
    The Mars Rover Concept Vehicle, unveiled on June 5th to kick off NASA’s Summer of Mars. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

    When it comes time to explore Mars with crewed missions, a number of challenges will present themselves. Aside from the dangers that come with long-duration missions to distant bodies, there’s also the issue of the hazards presented by the Martian landscape. It’s desiccated ans cold, it gets exposed to a lot of radiation, and its pretty rugged to boot! So astronauts will need a way to get around and conduct research in comfort and safety.

    To meet this challenge, NASA created a vehicle that looks like it could give the Batmobile a run for its money! It’s known as the Mars Rover Concept Vehicle (MRCV) a working vehicle/mobile laboratory that was unveiled last week (June 5th, 2017) to kick off NASA’s Summer of Mars. Those who attended the event at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex were fortunate to be the first to see the new Mars explorer vehicle up close.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 2:34 pm on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Messier 46 and Messier 47, Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “Messier 46 – the NGC 2437 Open Star Cluster” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    12 June , 2017
    Tammy Plotner

    1
    The open star clusters of Messier 46 and Messier 47, located in the southern skies in the Puppis constellation. Credit: Wikisky

    During the 18th century, famed French astronomer Charles Messier noted the presence of several “nebulous objects” in the night sky. Having originally mistaken them for comets, he began compiling a list of them so that others would not make the same mistake he did. In time, this list (known as the Messier Catalog) would come to include 100 of the most fabulous objects in the night sky.

    1
    The Messier catalogue comprises nearly all the most spectacular examples of the five types of deep sky object – diffuse nebulae, planetary nebulae, open clusters, globular clusters, and galaxies – visible from European latitudes. Furthermore, almost all of the Messier objects are among the closest to our planet in their respective classes, which makes them heavily studied with professional class instruments that today can resolve very small and visually spectacular details in them. A summary of the astrophysics of each Messier object can be found in the Concise Catalog of Deep-sky Objects.

    Since these objects could be observed visually with the relatively small-aperture refracting telescope (approximately 100 mm, or four inches) used by Messier to study the sky, they are among the brightest and therefore most attractive astronomical objects (popularly called “deep sky objects”) observable from Earth, and are popular targets for visual study and photography available to modern amateur astronomers using larger aperture equipment. In early spring, astronomers sometimes gather for “Messier marathons”, when all of the objects can be viewed over a single night. [So, Wikipedia]

    One of these objects is the open star cluster known as Messier 46, which is located about 5,500 light years away in the southern Puppis constellation. Located in close proximity to another open cluster (Messier 47), this bright, rich cluster is about 300 million years old and is home to many stars – an estimated 500 – and some impressive nebulae too.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 7:44 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Messier 45 – The Pleiades Cluster, Universe Today   

    From Universe Today: “Messier 45 – The Pleiades Cluster” 

    universe-today

    Universe Today

    5 June , 2017
    Tammy Plotner

    1
    Pleiades stars. Image: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory. Credit: D. Soderblom and E. Nelan (STScI), F. Benedict and B. Arthur (U. Texas), and B. Jones (Lick Obs.)

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Caltech Palomar Observatory, located in San Diego County, California, US

    U Texas McDonald Observatory Hobby-Eberle 9.1 meter Telescope, located near the unincorporated community of Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County, Texas

    The UCO Lick C. Donald Shane telescope is a 120-inch (3.0-meter) reflecting telescope located at the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California

    Welcome back to Messier Monday! In our ongoing tribute to the great Tammy Plotner, we take a look at the universally-renowned cluster known for its seven major points of light – The Pleiades Cluster!

    During the 18th century, famed French astronomer Charles Messier noted the presence of several “nebulous objects” in the night sky. Having originally mistaken them for comets, he began compiling a list of them so that others would not make the same mistake he did. In time, this list (known as the Messier Catalog) would come to include 100 of the most fabulous objects in the night sky.

    One of these is the famous Pleiades Cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters (and countless other names). An open star cluster located approximately 390 to 456 light years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus, this cluster is dominated by very bright, hot blue stars. Being both bright and of one of the nearest star clusters to Earth, this cluster is easily visible to the naked eye in the night sky.

    Description:

    The nine brightest stars of the Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology: Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygete, Celaeno, and Alcyone, along with their parents Atlas and Pleione. To the X-ray telescopes on board the orbiting ROSAT observatory, the cluster also presents an impressive, but slightly altered, appearance.

    DLR/NASA ROSAT satellite

    3
    An optical image of the Pleiades. Credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF

    The Pleiades stars seen in X-rays have extremely hot, tenuous outer atmospheres called coronas and the range of colors corresponds to different coronal temperatures. This helps to determine mass and the presence of brown dwarf stars within Messier 45. As Greg Ushomirsky (et al) said in a 1998 study:

    “We present an analytic calculation of the thermonuclear depletion of the light elements lithium, beryllium, and boron in fully convective, low-mass stars. Under the presumption that the pre-main-sequence star is always fully mixed during contraction, we find that the burning of these rare light elements can be computed analytically, even when the star is degenerate. Using the effective temperature as a free parameter, we constrain the properties of low-mass stars from observational data, independently of the uncertainties associated with modeling their atmospheres and convection. Our analytic solution explains the dependence of the age at a given level of elemental depletion on the stellar effective temperature, nuclear cross sections, and chemical composition. These results are also useful as benchmarks to those constructing full stellar models. Most importantly, our results allow observers to translate lithium nondetections in young cluster members into a model-independent minimum age for that cluster. Using this procedure, we have found lower limits to the ages of the Pleiades (100 Myr) and Alpha Persei (60 Myr) clusters. Dating an open cluster using low-mass stars is also independent of techniques that fit upper main-sequence evolution. Comparison of these methods provides crucial information on the amount of convective overshooting (or rotationally induced mixing) that occurs during core hydrogen burning in the 5-10 Mo stars typically at the main-sequence turnoff for these clusters.”

    As one of the closest of star clusters to our solar system, M45 is dominated by hot blue stars that have only formed within the last 100 million years. Alongside Maia is a reflection nebula discovered by Tempel faint nebula which accompanies Merope was discovered by master observer E.E. Barnard. These were first believed to be left over from the formation of the cluster.

    4
    Messier 45. Credit: Boris Stromar

    However, it didn’t take many years of observation of proper motion for astronomers to realize the Pleiades were actually moving through a cloud of interstellar dust. While this pleasing blue group is still only 440 light years away, it only has about another 250 million years left before tidal interactions will tear it apart. By then, its relative motion will have carried it from the constellation of Taurus to the southern portion of Orion!

    Of course, many observers aren’t quite sure if they are seeing the nebulosity in M45 or not. Chances are, if you’re seeing what appears to be a “fog” around the bright stars – you’re on it. Only large aperture or photography reveals the full extent of the reflection nebula… and there’s a whole lot of scientific reasons for it. Said Steven Gibson (et al) in a 2003 study:

    “The scattering geometry analysis is complicated by the blending of light from many stars and the likely presence of more than one scattering layer. Despite these complications, we conclude that most of the scattered light comes from dust in front of the stars in at least two scattering layers, one far in front and extensive, the other nearer the stars and confined to areas of heavy nebulosity. The first layer can be approximated as an optically thin, foreground slab whose line-of-sight separation from the stars averages ~0.7 pc. The second layer is also optically thin in most locations and may lie at less than half the separation of the first layer, perhaps with some material among or behind the stars. The association of nebulosity peripheral to the main condensation around the brightest stars is not clear. Models with standard grain properties cannot account for the faintness of the scattered UV light relative to the optical. Some combination of significant changes in grain model albedo and phase function asymmetry values is required. Our best-performing model has a UV albedo of 0.22+/-0.07 and a scattering asymmetry of 0.74+/-0.06. Hypothetical optically thick dust clumps missed by interstellar sight line measurements have little effect on the nebular colors but might shift the interpretation of our derived scattering properties from individual grains to the bulk medium.”

    Since the Pleaides really is close to our solar system, have astronomers been able to detect anything within its boundaries that has surprised them? The answer is yes. according to a 1998 study by E.L. Martin:

    “We present the discovery of an object in the Pleiades open cluster, named Teide 2, with optical and infrared photometry that places it on the cluster sequence slightly below the expected substellar mass limit. We have obtained low- and high-resolution spectra that allow us to determine its spectral type (M6), radial velocity, and rotational broadening and to detect H? in emission and Li I in absorption. All the observed properties strongly support the membership of Teide 2 in the Pleiades. This object has an important role in defining the reappearance of lithium below the substellar limit in the Pleiades.”

    6
    The M45 cluster. Credit: Wikipedia Commons/Did23

    And what star is that? One cataloged as known as HD 23514, which has a mass and luminosity a bit greater than our Sun. But it’s a star surrounded by an extraordinary number of hot dust particles. “Unusually massive amounts of dust, as seen at the Pleiades and Aries stars, cannot be primordial but rather must be the second-generation debris generated by collisions of large objects,” said Song, “”Collisions between comets or asteroids wouldn’t produce anywhere near the amount of dust we are seeing.”

    The astronomers analyzed emissions from countless microscopic dust particles and concluded that the most likely explanation is that the particles are debris from the violent collision of planets or planetary embryos. Song calls the dust particles the “building blocks of planets,” which can accumulate into comets and small asteroid-size bodies and then clump together to form planetary embryos, eventually becoming full-fledged planets.

    “In the process of creating rocky, terrestrial planets, some objects collide and grow into planets, while others shatter into dust,” Song said. “We are seeing that dust.”

    History of Observation:

    The recognition of the Pleiades dates back to antiquity, and its stars are known by many names in many cultures. The Greeks and Romans referred to them as the “Starry Seven,” the “Net of Stars,” “The Seven Virgins,” “The Daughters of Pleione,” and even “The Children of Atlas.” The Egyptians referred to them as “The Stars of Athyr;” the Germans as “Siebengestiren” (the Seven Stars); the Russians as “Baba” after Baba Yaga – the witch who flew through the skies on her fiery broom.

    7
    The Pleiades by Elihu Vedder (1885). Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

    The Japanese call them “Subaru;” Norsemen saw them as packs of dogs; and the Tongans as “Matarii” (the Little Eyes). American Indians viewed the Pleiades as seven maidens placed high upon a tower to protect them from the claws of giant bears, and even Tolkien immortalized the star group in The Hobbit as “Remmirath.” The Pleiades were even mentioned in the Bible! So, you see, no matter where we look in our “starry” history, this cluster of seven bright stars has been part of it.

    Charles Messier would log it on March 4, 1769 where his only comment would be: “Cluster of stars known by the name Pleiades: the position reported is that of the star Alcyone.” Even though historic astronomers did little more than comment on M45’s presence, we’re still glad the Charles logged it – for it never received another “official” catalog designation!

    Locating Messier 45:

    Most normally the Pleiades are easily found with the unaided eye as a very visible cluster of stars about a hand span northwest of Orion. However, if sky conditions are bright, M45 might be a little more difficult to spot. If so, look for bright, red star Aldebaran and set your sights about 10 degrees (an average fist width) northwest.

    It will show very easily in any size optics and under virtually any conditions – except for clouds and daylight! Messier 45’s large size makes it an ideal candidate for binoculars, where it will cover about half the average field of view. When using a telescope, chose the least amount of magnification possible to see the entire cluster and use higher magnification to study individual stars.

    7
    The location of the Centaurus constellation in the southern sky. Credit: IAU/Sky & Telescope magazine/Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg

    And as always, here are the quick facts on this Messier Object to help you get started:

    Object Name: Messier 45
    Alternative Designations: M45, the Pleiades, Seven Sisters, Subaru
    Object Type: Open Galactic Star Cluster, Reflection Nebula
    Constellation: Taurus
    Right Ascension: 03 : 47.0 (h:m)
    Declination: +24 : 07 (deg:m)
    Distance: 0.44 (kly)
    Visual Brightness: 1.6 (mag)
    Apparent Dimension: 110.0 (arc min)

    We have written many interesting articles about Messier Objects here at Universe Today. Here’s Tammy Plotner’s Introduction to the Messier Objects, , M1 – The Crab Nebula, M8 – The Lagoon Nebula, and David Dickison’s articles on the 2013 and 2014 Messier Marathons.

    Be to sure to check out our complete Messier Catalog. And for more information, check out the SEDS Messier Database.

    Sources:

    Messier Objects – Messier 45: The Pleiades Cluster
    Wikipedia – Pleiades
    SEDS – Messier 45
    Arecibo Observatory – The Pleiades

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: