One small cog of a vast wheel of the Virgo supercluster
The distance involved in traveling to the next galaxy is staggering to consider
The Messier Catalogue
Astronomy News – Astronomers looking upward into the night sky realised centuries ago that deep-sky objects are distributed unevenly about the night sky. French comet hunter Charles Messier (1730-1817) looking upward into the night sky through his time-machine-to-the-stars compiled a popular catalog of deep-sky objects. His catalogue contains high concentrations of deep-sky objects within the Milky Way above you, where open star clusters and star-forming areas that form them congregate.
Messier’s catalogue also contains entries on 16 objects he located near the border between the constellations Virgo and Coma Berenices. Star gazer William Herschel (1738-1822) and his son, John Herschel (1792-1871), recorded more than 200 celestial objects in this same region of the night sky. It would be in the 1920s and 1930s that astronomers would determine that these nebulous objects are in fact galaxies as big, or larger than, the Milky Way galaxy that constitute a cluster of galaxies far beyond the Milky Way.
Our Local Group of galaxies
Two decades later, French-born astronomer Gerard de Vaucouleurs (1918-1995) noted that the halo of galaxies surrounding what astronomers referred too as the Virgo cluster actually extends all the way to our Local Group of galaxies, which the Milky Way calls home. Today astronomers refer to this Local Group of galaxies as our Local Supercluster of galaxies.
Presently, astronomers believe our Local Supercluster extends 50 million light-years, from the center of the Virgo cluster. We’ll journey from the center of our Local Group to slightly beyond the Virgo cluster. Along the way we’ll stop at all of the galaxy groups and clusters containing at least three reasonably large galaxies and see what astronomers have determined about these distant celestial bodies in the night sky above you.
The first celestial object in the night sky we’ll journey to see is called the Ursa Major North Group, next we’ll travel to Ursa Major South Group, and then make our way to each of the galaxy groups and clusters in the Milky Way’s Local Group of neighbors.
The first leg of the human journey to the beginning of space and time
An essential focusing tool for your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”
Focusing your telescope
Astronomy Products – One of the toughest things to achieve when trying to take timeless pictures during your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” will be getting a sharp focus on your time-machine-to-the-stars. Professional astronomers and amateur astronomers in-the-know will use a focusing mask over the front of their time-machine-to-the-stars, rather than relying on trial and error to take pictures of unforgettable views during their trip to the stars.
One of the best and easiest to use and setup face masks on the market is the Bahtinov face-mask sold by Focus-Mask. Simply aim your time-machine-to-the-stars toward the star of your hearts desire, take a short 3 to 5-second exposure of your target, and then take a look at the three diffraction spikes on the Bahtinov face-mask. Adjust the focus on your time-machine-to-the-stars, take another 3 to 5-second exposure of your target, and once again examine the diffraction spikes. Continue this process until the middle diffraction spike lies directly between the other two spikes and you should be ready to take a shot of your hearts desire your kids will never forget.
Make sure you take your Bahtinov Focus mask with you
Before you head out on the next leg of your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” grab a Bahtinov face-mask or another face-mask, and your view and astrophotography will improve significantly, and you’ll have more time for timeless views, rather than spending time trying to focus your time-machine-to-the-stars.
Astronomy Products – Astroimaging is a great way to record the unforgettable moments of your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time’, photographing the night sky has never been easier for the amateur, and you can capture the memorable moments of your trip to show the grandchildren. The array of imaging equipment available today for the amateur astronomer looking for a suitable Astro imaging camera to use as a time-machine-to-the-stars for never been more varied. We’ll take you through the basics of cameras and their uses in Astro imaging, starting with the modern camera, to help you decide just how you want to go about Astro imaging and what kind of equipment you want to use to do the job.
The modern camera used for Astro imaging uses electronic imaging sensors to help produce the images you’ll take on your trip. Currently, there are two different types of electronic imaging sensors, CCD (charge-coupled device) and CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor), both essentially do the job the same way. Inside every modern camera tiny photocells, called pixels, and the circuitry to control the exposure time and read out the image are housed. The number of pixels needed for each view will vary from relatively small numbers for smaller images of planets or distinct celestial bodies to millions of pixels (megapixel) for deep sky views of star fields.
Not all astronomy imaging sensors are created equal
Not all imaging sensors are designed and engineered equally, some imaging sensors produce color images while others only create monochrome views of the universe. Modern color imaging sensors use a “Bayer” matrix, in which alternate pixels filter red, green and blue to produce the image while a computer interpolates the data to smooth the image. Monochrome imaging sensors generally produce sharper images than color imaging sensors, but producing color images is more difficult, as you need to take red, green and blue exposures through separate filters and then use a computer to combine them to produce the color image.
Selecting the correct camera according to the Astro imaging uses you have planned for your camera during your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” is possibly the most important decision you can make in your desire to make sure the treasured memories of your trip to infinity and back are recorded for all time. You definitely want to make sure you’re honest with yourself about what kind of Astro imaging you want a camera for. Do you want to be able to take pictures of celestial objects in the daytime sky? Can you use your Astro imaging camera without having to connect it to a computer? The answers to these questions, and others will help you determine the perfect Astro imaging camera for “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”.
For unforgettable images and moments during your journey
Board Binoculars to Begin “Your Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”
Viewing the universe using two eyes allows you to see more
Astronomy Products – Binoculars are a useful and fun way to view the solar system and delve even deeper into the cold darkness of space and time. The modern astronomer makes use of an amazing array of scientific viewing devices and techniques in the human journey to the beginning of space and time”. Large telescopes on both the Earth and orbiting the planet search the cosmos on a daily basis, using advanced optical systems, and new techniques to look at the universe in ways never before experienced by humans. Thousands of amateur star-gazers also use similar optical systems and techniques based on the same equipment to view the universe on a nightly basis. Good viewing binoculars, however, are a great and fun way for casual stargazers to journey to nearby celestial objects to have a quick look, and they’re also a good way to tour the universe.
Why bother with binoculars considering the array of sophisticated viewing equipment available for the dedicated amateur astronomer? Binoculars have a few points in their favor that make them good for the casual stargazer. Binoculars have a low power and wide field of view that makes them an ideal time-machine-to-the-stars for casual viewers of the night sky, or even sophisticated viewing of the universe. Science has certainly proven that viewing the night sky with two eyes is better than viewing the universe with one. The human eye’s power of resolution and ability to detect faint objects in the night sky dramatically improves using two eyes, rather than the one required for viewing with the traditional telescope. In addition, color perception and contrast of the view humans’ observe using two eyes, rather than one, improves noticeably.
Astronomy binoculars will enhance the view during your journey
Need more proof? On a clear, moonless night, head out to your favorite deep sky viewing spot to conduct a little test of your own. Once you arrive, keep both eyes open, while covering one eye with your hand, and take a look at the night sky. Make a mental note of the faintest stars you see in the night sky. Now, take your hand away from the eye you have kept covered and view the same area of the night sky as before, and you’ll see a lot more stars in the area you previously viewed. It isn’t unusual for some stargazers to experience as much as a 10-percent improvement in perception using two eyes, rather than one, and this can be just the difference that provides some viewers on a casual journey to the beginning of space and time” with a life-changing experience.
Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time in a Celestron EdgeHD Series Telescope
You can find the Celestron EdgeHD Series Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope at your local astronomy shop
Astronomy Products – Space travellers looking to “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” need to travel to infinity and back using the best time-machine-to-the-stars they can find. Celestron’s new Celestron EdgeHD Series Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are the perfect time-machine-to-the-stars for the young traveller looking to “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time, or the veteran space traveller wanting to try out a new spaceship to the stars. Celestron EdgeHD Series Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are available in sizes ranging from 8 to 14 inches and have a built-in field flattener/coma corrector in the baffle tube that according to the designers and engineers at Celestron eliminates a lot of the unwanted star bloat that can plague photos taken with conventional SCTs. Add in the enhanced focuser that engineers designed for the Celestron EdgeHD Series telescopes to reduce the image shift problems users of SCTs have noted and your time-machine-to-the-stars is ready to blast-off.
Astronomy Products – Using a sturdy mount to keep your time-machine-to-the-stars stationary is the difference between spectacular moments during your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”, and less than fabulous views due to poor performance on the part of your telescope. One of the top heavy-duty mounts for your time-machine-to-the-stars is the Celestron’s CGE Pro German computerized equatorial mount. Light enough at 154 lbs to be transported to the perfect dark sky viewing spot, the Celestron CGE Pro German computerized equatorial mount can hold up to 90 pounds of telescope firmly in place, for timeless and unforgettable moments on your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”. Just plug the Celestron CGE Pro into a 12-volt power source and the onboard polar alignment routine quickly and reliably helps you align the mount, even if the celestial pole is hidden from view. Making locating and following the celestial object of your choice across the night sky as easy as initializing the Celestron CGE Pro’s systems and blasting off into the night sky where no man has been before.
Celestron has designed and built some of the best mounts in the business over the years
Astronomy Products – Fast-focal-ratio Newtonian telescopes are known for a wide field of view ideal for spectacular wide field deep space observing or high contrast views and images of the solar system. The 8″ Astronomy Technologies AT8IN is perfect for taking pictures of spectacular celestial objects from your backyard or favorite dark sky spot. A good choice for your first time-machine-to-the-stars, or as a gift for a young mind looking to expand horizons, the Astronomy Technologies AT8IN includes features that will impress the professional astronomer. Mirrors with a 91 percent enhanced reflectivity, a tube optimized with internal baffles for improved image contrast, a built-in cooling fan, a 2″ dual-speed Crayford focuser, and an 8×50 finderscope in a quick release bracket are all included, for the relatively small price of $449. Just add a suitable mount and you have a time-machine-to-the-stars ideal for a “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”.