The French astronomer Charles Messier (1730-1817) was fascinated by comets, and spent his life gazing through small refracting telescopes to identify new examples of these dynamic visitors. But Messier’s skyward scrutiny also revealed a host of other bizarre objects—blurry, apparently unmoving swirls of light—which he noted in a catalog of over 100 so-called “Messier objects.”
We now know that these Messier objects are enormous star-studded structures like galaxies, nebulae, and clusters, and sophisticated modern telescope have been able to reveal their mesmerizing contours with detail that Messier’s four-inch instrument was unequipped to capture. Premier among these observatories is the Hubble Space Telescope: Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble has been steadily snapping spectacular images of each known Messier object to create its own visual gallery of the Messier Catalog.
With the release of 12 new images this month, the Hubble has officially observed 93of the 110 Messier objects. Scroll down to check out the newcomers to this illustrious gallery that is over 200 years in the making.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.