The Constellation Virgo
Even though it's ten times as massive as our sun, Spica will burn itself out in less than 5% of the time our sun will live, because it's burning its fuel up so fast. That means that this star was probably born around the time that dinosaurs appeared on earth, a cosmic blink of the eye ago, and will burn out in about that much time again. Meanwhile our sun, ten times smaller, and born five billion years ago, just keeps on burning. So it goes with stars - the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
We will put the telescope right at the core of this galactic cluster, on M84 and M86, two elliptical galaxies. With a larger scope and a dark sky we will be able to see that there are actually four (or more) other, smaller & fainter, galaxies in the same field of view.
This region of interesting galaxies sweeps all the way up to the Big Dipper, and all the way down to Corvus the Crow. Just below the handle of the Dipper (officially in the faint neighboring constellation of Canes Venateces) is one of the coolest-looking galaxies for us to get our telescope on, The Whirlpool Galaxy.
It's actually a pair of galaxies, a big spiral and a small one, connected by one of the spiral arms of the bigger one.
Wow. It will never look this good in our telescope, but just so you know what you're looking at.
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suggestions, new ideas or just to chat.
Updated 11 November 2011