Please login in order to download photos in full size
Please note to download premium images you also need to join as a free member..
You can also save the photos without the registration - but only in small and average sizes, and some of them will have the site's watermark. Please simply click your right mouse button and save the image.
Please login in order to like photos
If you are not registered, please register for free:
Sorry, non-members can download up to 100 full-size photos per month.
It looks like you have used up your limit.
Join as a member today for FREE! - and download the images without limitations:
You can also save the images without the membership - but only in small and average sizes, and some of them may have the site's watermark. Please simply click your right mouse button and save the image.
This photo was viewed 0 times and was downloaded in full size 0 times.
This photo was liked 0 times
Messier object 40
Messier 40 is a double star with a separation of 53 arc seconds. It was catalogued by Charles Messier in 1764. It is also identified as Winnecke 4 (WNC 4) with position and separation measurements dating back to 1869. There is nothing unusual about the two component stars that make up this object. The two stars are easily visible and resolved in any small telescope. A slow relative motion of the two stars gave the appearance that they were in a slow orbit around each other. In fact their alledged orbital motion was so slow that it was believed that the orbital period was in the range of thousands of years, if indeed this was a true gravitationally bound binary star system.
A fresh investigation of the nature of M40 was undertaken by Richard Nugent in 2002; his results support the hypothesis of an optical double star, i.e. different distances of the two stars: The observed relative proper motion, as measured in separation and position angle, is consistent with a straight, independent motion of the two stars, one crossing between us and the other. From the spectral types provided by Brain Skiff of the Lowell Observatory in 2001, Nugent estimates the absolute magnitudes as Mv=+0.88 and +4.0, masses as 1.1 and 1.2 solar masses for the primary (A) and secondary component (B), and thus derives spectroscopic distances of 1900 +/- 750 and 550 +/- 230 light-years, respectively, the great uncertainties coming from observational inacuracies. This indicates that perhaps the secondary component, B, may be much closer to us than the brighter primary, A.
The numbers imply that if the two components of M40 were a true gravitationally connected binary star system, the period of the orbit would exceed 232,000 years which is unheard of in the binary star community. This orbital period would indicate an actual separation of the pair of some 5,000-7,500 AU's (0.10 light year) which is unrealstic for a binary star system.
Acknowledgment: Atlas Image [or Atlas Image mosaic] obtained as part of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.
|This image is from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) project. The images from this project have been released into the public domain.
2MASS kindly requests acknowledgement in one of the following forms, the longer of which is preferred.
All photos in average size can be saved by everyone without registration (by right-clicking) - and all photos can be downloaded in full-size and without the big watermark by members (by left-clicking) (registration and free membership required).
While the copyright and licensing information supplied for each photo is believed to be accurate, Free-Photos.biz does not provide any warranty regarding the copyright status or correctness of licensing terms. If you decide to reuse the images from Free-Photos.biz, you should verify the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.
The use of depictions of living or deceased persons may be restricted in some jurisdictions by laws regarding personality rights. Such images are exhibited at Free-Photos.biz as works of art that serve higher artistic interests.