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Sky Safari: William and Margaret Huggins

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In the 19th century, amateur astronomers William and Margaret Huggins used the newly-discovered science of spectroscopy to analyze the composition of distant star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

In the 19th century, amateur astronomers William and Margaret Huggins used the newly-discovered science of spectroscopy to analyze the composition of distant star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

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    Sky Safari:  William and Margaret Huggins Sky Safari: William and Margaret Huggins Presentation Transcript

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    • Labeled All-sky View
    • Great Hercules Cluster (M13) – T1 hm Globular cluster in constellation Hercules Distance: 25,000 LY Size: about 120 LY Age: about 12-14 billion years Contains about 600,000 solar masses (probably around 100,000 very large stars) Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714, and later added to Messier’s list
    • Sunflower Galaxy (M63) – T1 hm Spiral galaxy in constellation Canes Venatici Distance: 30 million LY Size: 100,000 LY Contains about 140 billion solar masses Included by Lord Rosse in his 1850 list of 14 “nebulae” with spiral structure Discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1779 - the first object added by Mechain to Messier’s list
    • C at’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) – T2 hm Planetary nebula in constellation Draco Distance: 3000 LY Central star is a Wolf-Rayet star – a very hot star (temperature around 100,000 K) in last stages of life, ejecting mass at high speeds (several thousand km/sec) Complex structure includes two expanding bubbles that are perpendicular to each other, surrounded by 9 spherical shells Discovered by William Herschel in 1786
    • Mechain’s Galaxy (M106) – T2 hm Barred spiral galaxy in constellation Canes Venatici Distance: 25 million LY Size: 130,000 LY “ Active” galaxy with a central black hole of 40 million solar masses Between the two visible arms are two additional arms of hot ionized gas, with no stars, visible in x-rays Discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781
    • Spindle Galaxy (M102) – T2 hm Lenticular galaxy in constellation Draco Distance: 50 million LY Size: 90,000 LY Lenticular galaxies have a disk and central bulge like a spiral, but no spiral arms; they contain mostly old stars, with little gas or dust This galaxy was apparently discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781; independently discovered by William Herschel in 1788
    • Ghost of Jupiter (NGC 3242) – T2 hm Planetary nebula in constellation Hydra Distance: around 2000 LY Size: around 0.4 LY Central star has a temperature around 60,000 K and a mass less than half of the sun Discovered by William Herschel in 1785
    • Sky Safari – A Slooh Production by Kochava Yerushalmit