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|M42 The Great Orion Nebula
The three stars on Orion's Belt are seen low in the western sky. It is
a sign of the coming of Spring. When I was a child, my father pointed out
these three stars for me. The large nebula south of the three stars is
a swirling gas visible to binoculars and unaided eye as a fuzzy blob of
light. You can appreciate the beautiful reddish hue and complex image of
the Great Nebula in this photograph taken by Geisei's 60cm reflector. New
stars are being born in this nebula.
|M45 The Pleiades (Subaru)
The Pleiades in Taurus is now low in the evening sky in the west. As the
unaided eye can see about 6 stars in the cluster, it used to be called
the "Six Stars" in ancient times in Japan. In photographs you
can see quite clearly the cluster enveloped in bluish swirling gases. It
is a good target for small telescopes and also superb in binoculars.
|Canopus in Carina
The first magnitude star Canopus is difficult to see from Japan. At places south of Tokyo, it is visible low on the horizon at about 7 pm around this time of the year. In China it is called the "old-man" star or "longevity" star and your longevity will be assured if you have a glimpse of it. From Geisei, which is located in the southern part of Japan, Canopus is often visible above the sea. It shines as a bluish first-magnitude star and competes its beauty with Sirius in Canis Major.
|M31 The Andromeda Galaxy
The Andromeda Galaxy was visible at Zenith in winter, but now in spring
it is low in the northwestern sky. Geisei's 60cm reflector took this photo
of the galaxy, which is 2.4 million light-years away from us. In this galaxy,
supernovae or exploded stars have been discovered and the existence of
solar systems similar to ours is almost certain.
|M33 A Galaxy in Triangulum
M33 is a galaxy in the constellation of Triangulum next to Andromeda. It
is only 2.35 million light-years away, which is in the neighborhood of
our Milky Way galaxy. The apparent diameter of this galaxy is large but
it is very faint. Because it contains many young stars, it appears rather
bluish. The photo on the left was taken by Geisei's 60cm reflector and
|The Double Star Cluster in Perseus (Open Star Cluster)
This is an open cluster immediately lower left of the Constellation Cassiopeia which is well-known for the letter W it forms. To the naked eye it is a fuzzy blob of light. It is a cluster of stars within our Milky Way Galaxy.
Copyright (C) 1999 Tsutomu Seki.