Forever Over The Horizon

Sometimes, the Earth gets in my way.

There are constellations, nebulae, clusters and galaxies that are forever below my horizon. For most of my lifetime, in order to see these objects, I would have had to travel to someplace below the equator.

With the ever growing number of remote controlled telescopes on the Internet, all I have to do now is log onto the Internet, input a few coordinates, and sit back and watch my screen.

This image shows galaxies in the constellaton Grus. This constellaton was originally considered part of Piscis Austrinus (the "Southern Fish"). Petrus Plancius redefined several southern constellations in the late 16th Century.

Grus, a strange sounding name in English, is Latin for the crane. For a brief time in the 17th Century, it went by the name of another bird, Phoenicopterus - or flamingo. Knowing this, Grus has a pleasant sound to it.

In this image, I've labeled three of the four prominent galaxies in this cluster - NGC 7582, NGC 7590 and NGC 7599. Just outside the field of view, to the SW, is NGC 7552.

There are about a dozen other galaxies I can see in this image, which have not identified. Better images will show about 300 galaxies.

These galaxies are not simply in the same line of sight, but they are rather close together, forming a cluster of galaxies known as Abell 5187. Often called the Grus Quartet, these galaxies were discovered in 1827 by the Scottish astronomer, James Dunlap.
Some of interesting objects of Grus are objects I'll never be able to see -- Extrasolar planets. The first was discovered in 2001.
1. HD 213240b - Orbits star HD 213240 - Discovered in 2001. Superjovian, 4.5 times the mass of Jupiter. Orbits its star in 951 days.
2. HD 216435b - Orbit star Tau Gruis - Discovered in 2002. Gas Giant, 1.5 times the mass of Jupiter. Orbits the star in 1,443 days.
3. HD 208487b - Orbits star HD 208487. Discovered in 2004. Gass giant, slighly smaller tha Jupiter. Orbits its star in 123 days.
4. HD 215497b - Orbits star HD 215497. Discovered in 2009. Super Earth, witha mass .07 times that of earth. Orbits its star in 3.93 days!
5. HD 215497c - Also orbits sta HD 215497 and also discovred in 200. It is a gas giant with a mass of about 1/3 the size of Jupiter. Orbits its star in 567 days.