July 22, 2015 7:55 pm
Seven weeks ago, we asked you to volunteer to come along with us and Celestron on a mission of discovery. Every week for six weeks, we gave you a new, unidentified celestial object to name, using either its Messier or NGC number.
We showed you photos of some of the most beautiful nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters, imaged by amateur astronomers using Celestron equipment – equipment that you yourself could use to take photographs that are just as memorable. And we asked you to visit @Celestron on Twitter, @CelestronUniverse on Instagram, or Celestron Telescopes on Facebook to post your answer.
Everyone who correctly identified that week’s object was entered into the Grand Prize drawing for a NexStar Evolution 6 Computerized Telescope, while one correct entry was chosen for each week’s prize, a SkyMaster 15×70 Astronomy Binocular.
First of all, here are the 6 weekly winners, below the image which they correctly identified.
Linda Kay-Bunnell correctly identified the photo above as M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. Another acceptable answer would have been NGC 5457.
@michael72e from Instagram correctly named our unidentified celestial object as M42, the Orion Nebula. Another acceptable answer would have been NGC 1976.
@CakeyP from Instagram identified the photo as M82, the Cigar Galaxy. The other correct answer would have been NGC 303.
Rachel Peterson, from Facebook, correctly identified the photo as M13, the Hercules Globular Star Cluster. The other correct answer would have been NGC 6205.
Chris Tafoya from Facebook correctly identified the image above as M33, the Triangulum Galaxy. The other answer we would have accepted is NGC 598.
Bob Acoff from Facebook correctly identified the image above as M16, the Eagle Nebula.. The other correct answer would have been And yes, for those of you who mentioned it, this image also includes The Pillars of Creation, which are within the Eagle Nebula.
And the Grand Prize Winner Is…
Jana Lynn Bekemeler. Jana will be receiving her very own NexStar Evolution 6 Computerized Telescope… and we wish her all the best as she explores the stars thanks to StarTalk Radio and Celestron.
Before we close the books on this mission, I want to take a moment to talk about amateur astronomy. Maybe our data set is biased, but every amateur astronomer we’ve met or talked to, every member of the astronomy clubs that are part of our Cosmic Community or that we’ve met at stargazing events, and likely everyone who has ever put their eye to the eyepiece on a telescope, shares one thing: a sense of wonder at the beauty of the universe that they’ve just seen with their own eyes.
Look at the photos on this page. They weren’t taken with the Hubble. They weren’t taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in the high desert in Chile. No, every image on this page was taken by somebody just like you and me who loves looking up, from regular folks to PGA golfers and Oscar-nominated producers and directors.
Celestron, along with a host of other companies whose equipment our amateur astronomers also used (and are listed in the captions above), make it easy and affordable for regular folks like us to bask in the majesty of the cosmos. It’s a lot easier than the early days of amateur astronomy, when people had to build their own Dobson mounts and try to figure out how to hook up a camera to their scope just to snap a grainy photo of Jupiter. We’ve come a long way.
Give it a shot for yourself. Go to a stargazing event in your home town. Take a look through somebody’s telescope with your own eyes.
But be warned: gazing into the depths of the Cosmos can be addictive.
That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
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