Sky Object of the Month – May 2016

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Sky Object of the Month – May 2016

(Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*)

M100–Galaxy in Coma Berenices(Magnitude – 9.5, Dimensions – 7 X 6)

M100 was discovered, along with M98 and M99, by Pierre Mechain on March 15, 1781 and catalogued by Messier the following month. Though relatively bright in magnitude, M100 is low in surface brightness. A face-on spiral like the notoriously difficult M33 in Triangulum and M74 in Pisces, M100 is nevertheless visible in small-aperture scopes as a ghostly averted vision object. A member of the Coma/Virgo Galaxy Cluster, M100 is about 55 million light years away. In April of 1979, long time Observer’s Challenge contributor Gus Johnson visually discovered a 12th magnitude SN in M100. Johnson was given credit for the discovery of 1979C.

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Mario Motta M.D.                 

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