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IT’S NOT JUST IN YOUR MIND!

Guess which 2 celestial objects are within our Milky Way galaxy

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Bob Franke]

GuessComet C/2014 S2 (PanSTARRS) poses for a Messier moment in this telescopic snapshot from April 18.

In fact it shares the 1.5 degree wide field-of-view with two well-known entries in the 18th century comet-hunting astronomer’s famous catalog. Outward bound and sweeping through northern skies just below the Big Dipper, the fading visitor to the inner Solar System was about 18 light-minutes from our fair planet.

Dusty, edge-on spiral galaxy Messier 108 (upper right) is more like 45 million light-years away.

A planetary nebula with an aging but intensely hot central star, the owlish Messier 97 is only about 12 thousand light-years distant though, still well within our own Milky Way galaxy.

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