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Constellation In Focus: Coma Berenices
Constellation In Focus: Coma Berenices

Berenice was an Egyptian queen, the wife of King Ptolemy III Euergestes. When her husband went off to war, she promised her hair to Aphrodite to ensure his safe return. The King did return and Berenice had to give up her hair.

Diadem is a binary star about 47 lightyears from us. It's two suns cannot be split in telescopes but, just a little to the north, M53 hangs in space at a much greater distance: 60,000 lightyears. M53 is a halo cluster, filled with dozens of Mag 13 stars.

M64, The Blackeye Galaxy gets its famous name from the dark dust lane that cuts through the galaxy's core. With averted vision, you'll just be able to make out the lane. Overall, the galaxy is bright enough to be visible in binoculars.

NGC 4725 is a large bright spiral galaxy which has been warped by its interactions with close-by NGC 4747. This patch of sky also contains the North Galactic Pole.

NGC 4559, a faint spiral galaxy, is inclined 20 from edge-on. The larger your scope the better the view. NGC 4565 is inclined only 4 from edge-on and is breath-taking. Both galaxies belong to the Virgo Cluster.

NGC 4494 is an elliptical galaxy whose core rotates very rapidly, and in the opposite direction to the stars in the outer disk!

May 2006

Date Taken: 04/13/2011
Author: Sean O'Dwyer

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