Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    jrkirkham's Avatar
    jrkirkham is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 34,653, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!Visitor Messenger Achievement!Got three Friends
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    2,793
    Points
    34,653
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,042
    Thanked 1,527x 887 Posts

    Default Even Charles Messier Had Bad Nights



    One night, in the fall of 1764, Charles Messier reported a "negative find", that is, he couldn't find what he was looking for. He was looking for a nebula above the tail of the bear in Ursa Major. The nebula was listed in an old book from over a hundred years before. What he did find was a pair of dim double stars around magnitudes 9 or 10. He decided that the original catalog must have made a mistake and listed this pair of stars as a nebula. He labeled them as #40 in his own catalogue. There has been some debate about M40 because they are the only pair of stars in the Messier list. Did he make a mistake? Is this what he intended? Because the NGC catalogue only lists clusters, nebulae, and galaxies, M40 has no NGC number. This common pair is made uncommon by those who recorded their observations.

    M40 is a relatively easy object to find in the spring sky. Start at Megrez. Megrez is the star where the handle joins the bowl in the big Dipper. Move slightly to the NE and you will come to a 6th magnitude star labeled as "70" on many star charts. At 50X the dainty star pair (M40) will be in the same field of view. It is just past 70, still moving on your NE heading.

    It is not much to look at, small, dim, and dainty. There are many other double stars in the sky. It does add a lot to know a bit about its history, however, and it will allow you to check another Messier object off your list.
    Rob
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    Current Projects: nothing organized, just preparing for retirement in a few years
    Main Scopes: Orion XT10, Dob / ES ED80T / Orion 90mm Mak-Cass / 50 mm Galileoscope refractor / Celestron 8" SCT / Orion Sirius Mount / Various cameras and lenses

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to jrkirkham For This Useful Post:

    MarkM (03-07-2010),pe51c (03-07-2010),WWPierre (03-07-2010)

  3. #2
    ciprian's Avatar
    ciprian is offline Bright Giants
    Points: 18,513, Level: 94
    Level completed: 4%, Points required for next Level: 387
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered365 Days+ Registered Achievement!First 1000 Experience PointsGot three Friends200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    457
    Points
    18,513
    Level
    94
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 127x 91 Posts

    Default

    I've found some additional information about Messier here.
    It's pretty interesting the fact that Messier's favorite telescope was 7.5 inch. He didn't have awesome optics on his side but I'm sure he had very dark skies at that time
    13.1'' Coulter Odyssey 1, Celestron 6SE, Meade DS-2080
    Canon 60Da, Meade DSI Pro II,
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    SSAG

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    : SkyMap for WP&Win8, SkyKey for iPhone, www.skymaponline.net

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ciprian For This Useful Post:

    jrkirkham (03-06-2010),Kevin Z (03-19-2010),MarkM (03-07-2010)

  5. #3
    jrkirkham's Avatar
    jrkirkham is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 34,653, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!Visitor Messenger Achievement!Got three Friends
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    2,793
    Points
    34,653
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,042
    Thanked 1,527x 887 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Ciprian, that is an excellent article on Messier. I always think that part of the fun of observation is learning about what I am looking at. That article had a lot of background stuff on Messier.
    Rob
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    Current Projects: nothing organized, just preparing for retirement in a few years
    Main Scopes: Orion XT10, Dob / ES ED80T / Orion 90mm Mak-Cass / 50 mm Galileoscope refractor / Celestron 8" SCT / Orion Sirius Mount / Various cameras and lenses

  6. #4
    MarkM's Avatar
    MarkM is offline Photon Finder
    Points: 15,475, Level: 85
    Level completed: 79%, Points required for next Level: 75
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!100+ Threads Achievement!Got three Friends
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    1,129
    Points
    15,475
    Level
    85
    Thanks
    432
    Thanked 512x 285 Posts

    Default

    Very nice anecdote, Rob.

    At the eyepiece, I often think of Messier, Lord Rosse, Wm. Herschel and the Struves and what it must have been like to observe so many things for the first time with those scopes under much darker skies than the world has now.
    Location: 30° 19' N; 97° 54' W; elev 248 meters; yellow/green zone; NELM 5.7
    Instruments: Obsession 15" Dob; Orion XT8i; 2" refractor (Galileoscope); Televue EP arsenal; Bushnell 7X50 binos
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  7. #5
    MarkM's Avatar
    MarkM is offline Photon Finder
    Points: 15,475, Level: 85
    Level completed: 79%, Points required for next Level: 75
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!100+ Threads Achievement!Got three Friends
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    1,129
    Points
    15,475
    Level
    85
    Thanks
    432
    Thanked 512x 285 Posts

    Default

    This line from the biographical sketch that Ciprian posted must never be read by my wife lest she think that I have become irrevocably indoctrinated into a bizarre cult of star-observed fiends:

    "He [Messier] was so totally dedicated to astronomy that when his wife lay dying it was with the greatest reluctance that he left his telescope to be at her side"
    Location: 30° 19' N; 97° 54' W; elev 248 meters; yellow/green zone; NELM 5.7
    Instruments: Obsession 15" Dob; Orion XT8i; 2" refractor (Galileoscope); Televue EP arsenal; Bushnell 7X50 binos
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  8. #6
    WWPierre's Avatar
    WWPierre is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 64,445, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered3 Years + Achievement400+ Posts AchievementGhost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!1000 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Squamish B.C.
    Posts
    6,948
    Points
    64,445
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,095
    Thanked 2,953x 1,808 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkM View Post
    "He [Messier] was so totally dedicated to astronomy that when his wife lay dying it was with the greatest reluctance that he left his telescope to be at her side"
    Y'know, I can relate to that. I wonder how long they were together.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    We have been broadcasting our presence to the Universe for 100 years now. If there is a detachment of Galactic Pest Control within 100 light years, they are already on the way.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. John Charles Webb
    By lucy in forum UK Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-02-2006, 01:25 PM
  2. FRom Dr. Charles Deehr - Aurora Outlook
    By Sam Wormley in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-02-2005, 03:06 AM
  3. Charles Lindbergh: Aviation, the Cosmos, and the Future of Man
    By Kevin Alfred Strom in forum Space Exploration History Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-16-2004, 12:03 PM
  4. Alien Review - Q&A - Charles - Dark & Other Matters
    By Darla in forum General Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-14-2004, 08:52 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 10:08 AM.