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Messier 40 (Double Star), 





    
        

            AlBroxton

Messier 40 (Double Star)

Technical card

Resolution: 800x600

Dates:April 4, 2012

Frames: 17x60"

Integration: 0.3 hours

Avg. Moon age: 12.13 days

Avg. Moon phase: 92.36%

Astrometry.net job: 695827

Description

Messier 40 or WNC 4) is a double star in the constellation Ursa Major. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764 while he was searching for a nebula that had been reported in the area by Johann Hevelius. Not seeing any nebulae, Messier catalogued this double star instead. It was subsequently rediscovered by Friedrich August Theodor Winnecke in 1863. Burnham calls M40 "one of the few real mistakes in the Messier catalog," faulting Messier for including it when all he saw was a double star, not a nebula of any sort. In 1991 the separation between the components was measured at 51".7, an increase since Messier's time. Data gathered by astronomers Brian Skiff (2001) and Richard L. Nugent (2002) strongly suggest that this is merely an optical double star rather than a physically connected system

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Author

AlBroxton
AlBroxton
License: None (All rights reserved)
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Messier 40 (Double Star), 





    
        

            AlBroxton