Astronomy Benalla
Reports - 2010
Whirlpool Galaxy m51 & companion galaxy ps07 (Hubble) Black Hole Butterfly Nebula (Hubble image) Sombrero Galaxy (Hubble) Home of Astronomy Benalla Carina Nebula Pillar - ps49 (Hubble image) Most photos on this site can be zoomed by clicking the photo
Astronomy Benalla  Meeting Presentations - Wednesday 21st July 2010   Constellation of the Month - Presenter: Jeff Knight. Jeff began his presentation on a poetic note with some words from Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle who lamented his lack of star field knowledge. Jeff then proceeded to enlighten those in attendance with a galactic overview (with just a hint of the anthropic principle) noting the difference between the milky way and our Galaxy, and building his presentation around the constellation Scorpius – the Scorpion. Scorpius, to be found very near to the heart of the Galaxy and best seen between late June and July, is one of the few constellations who’s shape resembles its namesake. Scorpius consists of 44 stars with some 21 being of magnitude four or brighter. Jeff noted 14 stars with Bayer letters that also had proper names, some having more than one  and with Arabic, Sumerian or Greek origin. As is very common , many of these stars are binary or multiple star systems, bound together by their mutual gravitation. Jeff listed some 23 objects including the following: Globular clusters: NGC6144. M4 - some 7,200 light years (ly) distant and also a close "neighbour" of the red-giant star Antares, and M80 (both catalogued by the French astronomer Charles Messier in the latter half of the 18th Century.  Known as Messier objects, they are from a list of 103 M-prefixed astronomical objects originally published in 1771). Open clusters: M6 – The Butterfly Cluster, visible to the naked eye. M7 – The Ptolemy Cluster. NGC6231 – the Northern Jewel Box. NGC6124 – discovered by Galileo around 1751-52 and some 18,600 ly distant. Nebula: NGC6357 , considered to be a ‘star factory’ and birth place of numerous massive stars. Planetary nebula: NGC6337 – the Cheerio nebula. NGC6032 – The Bug. Of the constellations of the zodiac, the Sun spends the least amount of time (six days) in Scorpius. Congratulations Jeff - an extremely well researched and presented exposition combined with excellent graphics. We look forward to more presentations from Jeff – and others – in the future.
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