The Great Cosmic Easter Egg Hunt
The purpose of this exercise is to become familiar with the sky in general, and several classes of objects in particular.

  1. Here is a list of objects that can be found on these photographs:
    Object Name Right Ascension Declination Apparent Magnitude Approximate Angular Size
    Distance from Earth
    Orion Nebula (M42, NGC 1976) 05h, 35m -05 3.0 60 490
    Hercules Cluster (M15, NGC 6205) 16h, 42m +36 5.9 17 1.02X104
    Andromeda (M31, NGC 224) 00h, 42m +41 4.4 100 8.9X105
    Eagle Nebula 18h, 19m -14 6.4 25 2100
    The Pleiades 3h, 47m +24 1.6 110 120
    M101, NGC 5457 14h, 03m +54 8.2 30 8.2X106
    M55, NGC 6809 19h, 40m -31 7.0 19 5400

  2. For each object,
    1. Write the name of the object in the appropriate row
    2. Draw a sketch
    3. Identify the type of object from the following list
      • Bright Nebula: looks like a cloud (because it is a cloud in space). Stars are born in nebulae.
      • Globular Cluster: spherical group of about 1 million (106) stars. Distinct from stars because rather than having fuzzy edges, it has edges made of lots of dots.
      • Open Cluster: loose cluster of a few hundred-few thousand nearby stars.
      • Spiral Galaxy: In 3-D, a spiral galaxy looks much like a frisbee, but depending on which way you look at it, it might be a circle, an ellipse, or a relatively thin line.
  1. Describe each of the object types as far, farther, or farthest away.
  2. Do you think that the types of objects you described as only 'far' exist at the 'farthest' distances as well? If so, why can't we see them?
Definitions and Fun Facts: