: By Glenn ChapleOne of the more noteworthy examples of an edge-on spiral galaxy bisected by a dark dust lane is M104, the Sombrero Galaxy. The nick-name arises from the galaxy’s resemblance to the traditional Mexican headwear, the bright nuclear bulge forming the hat and the spiral arms/dust lane the wide brim.
: By Glenn ChapleCompiling a list of the finest double stars for backyard telescopes is always a work in progress. The list is forever in flux, because many showpiece double stars are binary systems that periodically close to the point where they can’t be resolved by small-aperture telescopes. Such is the case with Porrima (gamma [γ] Virginis).
: By Glenn Chaple“How far can you see with that telescope?” It’s a question I occasionally hear from visitors who peer into my telescope at public star parties. The farthest my telescopes have taken my eye, I tell them, is 2 billion light years - to the quasar 3C 273.
: By Craig CortisReaders having 8” or larger telescopes might wish to observe a quasar, provided you can follow a detailed finder chart and manage to isolate a 12.8 magnitude object that looks exactly like a star, but actually is not. Rather it’s the brightest known quasar and, at a distance of 2.5 billion light years, will be by far and away the most distant thing in the universe most of you will ever see in your lives.
: By Craig CortisThose of you who enjoyed my first installment on this subject will find this second part to be even better. Three constellations are covered on the accompanying list of recommended objects and two—Virgo and Coma Berenices-feature the grandest, richest assortment of galaxies bright enough to be seen in small-to-medium aperture instruments.
The name of this Society shall be “Skyscrapers, Inc. (Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island).” The object of this Society shall be to educate the general public and membership on matters pertaining to astronomy. It shall be an educational, nonprofit organization. This Society is incorporated as a non-business corporation under the laws of the State of Rhode Island.