Student: (asking about upcoming science/math test) Do you think the test is hard?

Me: I don't think so but then again I also have an advanced degree in astrophysics...

Here is the complete Leo Triplet thanks to the wide field Baker-Nunn telescope at @RAOastronomy . Clockwise from top NGC 3628, M65, and M66. Second photo is a full frame of the region of which the Triplet pic is a crop.

M66 (L) and M65 (R) are a pair of galaxies in the constellation Leo. These are two of the three galaxies that make up the Leo Triplet, the third NGC3628, out of frame to the upper left.

Having had to pick up a TI-84 Plus for work today I now realize why I didn't buy a TI-83/84 back in 1998 when I bought my Casio CFX-9859GB Plus. The TI series doesn't do hex math...

Many nebulae, such as M42 shown below, are regions of active star formation. In these nebulae the dust and gas is condensing to form new stars and planets.

It is often forgotten that the things we see in images from space are 3 dimensional objects and we are seeing a 2D projection of them. For example M57 appears as a ring, however kinematic studies of the object suggest it is barrel shaped and we are looking down the end.

M31 is the closest large galaxy to our Galaxy that resembles our Galaxy. At a little over 2 million light years away from a dark location M31 can be seen with the unaided eye. This image is how it looks to an imager through an 80mm refracting telescope.

Perijove 11: Passing Jupiter

Video Credit & License: NASA, Juno, SwRI, MSSS, Gerald Eichstadt; Music: Moonlight Sonata (Ludwig van Beethoven) #APoD

Well that week felt like 3. Still, went well though.

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, is a grand design spiral galaxy located about 23 Mly away from us. It is interacting with a smaller galaxy that is just above it in this image. M51 is a popular target for amateur astronomers as it is easily visible in a small telescope or binoculars.

There are more catalogues other than the Messier and New General Catalogue. As and example this screen cap from the SIMBAD database shows that M27 (also known as NGC 6853) has 28 identifiers. Thankfully there's databases such as SIMBAD to sort it all out.

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Octodon is a nice general purpose instance. more