Flintstone Stargazing

September 27, 2007

M40 – Maybe the oddest Messier Object?

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Messier Objects, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 11:22 pm


M40 on 9/27/07

The “Double Star” in the upper left quarter of this image is M40 – an object cataloged by Charles Messier in 1764. While I’ve only seen 25 or so Messier Objects through my telescope, this is the only one that only involves 2 stars. It also seems almost impossible to confuse with a comet (which is a general characteristic of, though not a requirement for, Messier Objects). The wikipedia entry indicates that Messier was looking for a nebula that had been described by someone else, didn’t find it and catalogued this instead. Bizarre.

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