James Paulson's roll off roof observatory at the Sunridge Observatory site, taken in the summer of 1986, housing a 10 inch f/5 Cave Astrola Newtonian reflector telescope

Monday, September 6, 2010

The View From "Over There"

This photo is a picture of a nearby galaxy that we have named M33, located in the "constellation" that we call Triangulum. It is part of our nearby group, located roughly 3 million light years distant. It is an average sized galaxy in our universe, slightly smaller than our own milky way and a nearby neighbor M31.

What strikes me so much about M33 is the large amount of Ha visible in it's photographs. I can't help but imagine being in orbit around a star over there on a good "moonless evening" staring out into what they know as "space" with a "telescope" viewing and photographing some of the many DSO's visible. Devoid from their sky would be a few that we enjoy, such as NGC7000 (North America Nebula), M42(the Orion Nebula), M45 (Pleiades) and M13 (great globular cluster in Hercules). The view from over there would however contain many interesting objects, ones that we have named things like NGC 588, 592, 595, and NGC 603, as well as ICs 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139-40, 142, and 143. All of these objects would assume patterns and names of their own, some of which might be huge and luminescent depending on their proximity to our new location. All of the asterisms in the sky that we call constellations would be non-existent, replaced by a new set of asterisms and identifiable stars. The Earth and likely our own Sun would be invisible, just a mere "blur" in the image they are capturing of our own galaxy on that dark moonless night.

Kind of gives one a whole new meaning to what we enjoy doing doesn't it?

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