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The Hubble Space Telescope’s jaw-dropping Messier catalogue

28 Jun 2018, 06:00 UTC
The Hubble Space Telescope’s jaw-dropping Messier catalogue
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A spectacular view of galaxy M106 in Charles Messier’s famous catalogue. This image is a composite of shots taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and images of the galaxy’s outer regions collected by amateur astronomer Robert Gendler with colour processing by Gendler and fellow amateur Jay GaBany. Image: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) and R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team); Acknowledgment: J. GaBany
The Messier catalogue includes some of the most fascinating astronomical objects that can be observed from Earth’s Northern Hemisphere. Among them are deep-sky objects that can be viewed in stunning detail using larger telescopes but are also bright enough to be seen through a small telescope. This characteristic makes Messier objects extremely popular targets for amateur astronomers possessing all levels of experience and equipment. They are so popular, in fact, that they have inspired a special award from the Astronomical League (an organisation for amateur astronomers) given to observers who are able to spot each of these objects. Those who succeed receive a certificate and are given the distinction of being in the Messier Club.
While the Hubble Space Telescope has not produced images of every object in the Messier catalogue, it has observed ...

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