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Friday, April 15, 2022

Senai Muthaliyar purappadu - Moon - Messier 88

இன்று  சுபகிருது  வருஷத்தில் சித்திரை திங்கள்  2ம் நாள்.  - இன்று அதிகாலை 03.23 மணி வரை திரியோதசி திதி பின்னர் சதுர்த்தசி;   வளர்பிறை ; சுக்ல பக்ஷ சதுர்தசி  - வானத்தில் நிலவு மிக அழகாக மிளிர்கிறது. 


April's full moon will illuminate the sky this entire weekend, and while it's called the pink moon, it's not actually that colour.  According to NASA, the  pink moon will appear full from early Friday to Monday morning.  The pink moon is associated  with the springtime blossoming of the Phlox subulata plant, a pink wildflower native to eastern North America, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac. The plant is commonly known as creeping phlox, moss phlox or mountain phlox. 

At Triplicane, the near full Moon was so attractive.  It was a sight to behold even during the Senai Muthaliyar purappadu,  harbinger of Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman Chithirai brahmothsavam – that starts tomorrow.  A weird search took me to Messier 88 – not messy, but Messier !

 


The Messier objects are a set of 110 astronomical objects catalogued by the French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d'Étoiles (Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters). Because Messier was only interested in finding comets, he created a list of those non-comet objects that frustrated his hunt for them.   This catalogue of objects is one of the most famous lists of astronomical objects, and many Messier objects are still referenced by their Messier numbers. Messier 88 (also known as M88 or NGC 4501) is a spiral galaxy about 50 to 60 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1781. 


In his hunt for comets, 18th-century French astronomer Charles Messier would often find other celestial bodies in his telescope lens. He needed a way to catalog these objects so that they would not be mistaken for the comets he was seeking. The compendium that resulted soon became an invaluable resource for professional and amateur astronomers alike. The spectacular galaxy in our image is one of more than 100 objects in the catalogue. (credit NASA for this photo). Messier 88 was first discovered in 1781, and eventually it was one of the first objects recognised as a spiral galaxy. Although it was not one of those comets Charles Messier was looking for, it is still mighty impressive: The galaxy is said to contain around 40,000 crore stars, and the supermassive black hole at its centre is thought to be 8 to 10 crore times the mass of our Sun. 

Located approximately 47 million light-years away, M88 is a spiral galaxy with well-defined and symmetrical arms. Although it is a member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, it appears in the neighboring constellation of Coma Berenices. M88 contains an active galactic nucleus, meaning the central region of the galaxy is more luminous than the rest of the galaxy. At the galaxy’s core resides a supermassive black hole estimated to be 100 million times more massive than our Sun. M88 contains around 400 billion stars and is traveling away from our galaxy. 

Charles Messier discovered M88 on the same night that he discovered eight other Messier objects. As one of the brighter Messier galaxies, it can be observed with a pair of large binoculars from a dark location under good viewing conditions.  This Hubble observation of the core of M88 combines visible and infrared observations obtained by the Wide Field Camera 3, and captures swirling bands of dark dust as well as clusters of stars.   

 


Moving away, here are couple of photos of Senai Muthaliyar at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, and moon too could be observed – ‘up above the World so high’ ! 


adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar
15.4.2022 

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