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Lesson Tag: Fall

Barred Spiral Galaxy (M109)

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size M109 Barred Spiral Galaxy 11h 57m 36s +53° 22′ 28″ Ursa Major +9.6 8.1×5.6 arcmins Overview Ursa Major, also known as the Great Bear or the Plough – depending on where you live – is a circumpolar constellation. That means it is above the horizon all the …

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Algol and Other Variable Stars

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size Algol Star 03h 08m 10s +40° 57′ 20″ Perseus +2.1 (variable) n/a Overview From our perspective, the stars appear fixed; their position and brightness is unvarying. In reality, we know that the stars are whizzing around our Milky Way galaxy – just as our own Sun is …

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The Eagle Nebula (M16)

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size Eagle Nebula (M16) Emission Nebula 18h 18m 48s -13° 47′ 00″ Serpens +6.4 35′ x 28′ Overview We all became understandably fixated with Jupiter and Saturn in the summer. This month, they still present a pleasing view, which means many of us will have the Teapot asterism …

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Galaxy NGC 7814

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size NGC 7814 Spiral Galaxy 00h 03m 15s +16° 08′ 44″ Pegasus +10.5 4.4′ x 1.9′ Overview The Great Square of Pegasus is a well-known asterism and, for many, its arrival in evening skies is a sign that fall is just around the corner. Many star hops begin …

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The Skull Nebula, NGC 246

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size Skull Nebula Planetary Nebula 00h 47m 04s -11° 52′ 22″ Cetus +10.4 1.0×3.5 arcmin Overview We stay with Cetus for our third challenge of the month: the Skull Nebula, NGC 246 (also, Caldwell 56). This planetary nebula was first observed by William Herschel in November 1785. What …

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M77, Spiral Galaxy

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size M77 Spiral Galaxy 02h 42m 41s -00° 00′ 48″ Cetus +9.0 6.1×5.6 arcmins Overview The 77th item in Messier’s catalog is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Cetus, the whale. The galaxy was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780, and added to Messier’s list that …

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M2, Globular Cluster

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size M2 Globular Cluster 21h 33m 27s -00° 49′ 24″ Aquarius +6.5 16.0 arcmins Overview Our first challenge this month is to find the second object in Charles Messier’s catalog. Although he discovered it independently, he wasn’t the first astronomer to point a telescope in its direction. Jean-Dominique …

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Open Cluster NGC 1245

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Size NGC 1245 Open Cluster 03h 14m 42s +47° 14′ 00″ Perseus +8.4 32 arcmins Overview Our final challenge of the month takes us to the constellation of Perseus and a small but beautiful cluster of stars. Its position within the constellation makes it a straightforward find and …

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Double Stars in Pegasus

Target Type R. A. Dec. Constellation Magnitude Separation* (A) 3 Pegasi Double Star 21h 37m 44s +06° 37′ 06″ Pegasus +6.2 39.0″ at 348° (B) 72 Pegasi Double Star 23h 33m 57s +31° 19′ 31″ Pegasus +6.1 0.6″ at 108° (C) 85 Pegasi Double Star 00h 02m 10s +27° 04′ 56″ Pegasus +5.8 0.8″ at …

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