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By Mohan Babu

Universe is divine and infinite

Questions:

1) The word galaxy is derived from a greek word galaxias. What does galaxias mean in Greek? 

2) Galaxies are referred by code names such as NGC 4414. What does NGC stand for?

3) Messier is a French astronomer who made a list of many diffuse objects in night sky that were not comets. What is the brightest galaxy given in his list?

4) Which is the brightest galaxy visible from Southern hemisphere (other than our own milky way)?

​5)  We all would know a lot about the famous Andromeda galaxy. What is the Messier number for Andromeda galaxy?

6) What is the closest neighboring galaxy to our milky way?

7) What is the name of the galaxy that resembles a hat with a brim?

8) Whirlpool galaxy is unique because it is sometimes referred by two codes NGC 5194 and NGC 5195. Why does it have two codes?

9) Who was the first person to find out that the Andromeda nebula was actually a galaxy and not part of milky way?

​10) What is the common name of the galaxy catalogued as M101 or Messier 101? (There are not too many galaxies in this list. An educated guess could help get the right answer)


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Answers

1) Galaxias means "milky" in Greek. So the word is derived from our home galaxy milky way.

2) NGC stand for New General Catalogue. This is meant especially for listing the deep sky objects.

3) Andromeda galaxy is the brightest Messier object in his original list. There are galaxies brighter than Andromeda but these were visible from Southern hemisphere only. So Messier would not have seen those.

​4) The brightest galaxy visible from Southern hemisphere is the Large Magellanic Cloud. This takes an angular width of nearly 20 times that of Moon. But do not expect this to be as bright as Moon or anywhere closer.

5) Andromeda galaxy is referred as M31 or Messier 31. 

6) Canis Major Dwarf is the closest galaxy from our milky way. It is located at a distance of 25,000 light years. That is still huge considering that light travels about 3,00,000 kms in a second. 

7) It is called Sombrero galaxy.

8) Whirlpool galaxy is a pair of interacting galaxies and the two codes refer to the two interacting galaxies.

9) Edwin Hubble determined the distance to Andromeda galaxy and came to the conclusion that it cannot be part of the milky way in 1924. This was the first time that the mankind had started understanding the concept of galaxies. 

10) The pinwheel galaxy is also known as M 101 or the Messier 101.

There are billions of galaxies in the universe. This number could well be infinite if it turns out that the universe is infinite. So it is tough to know about every detail regarding the galaxies and the universe. But we can always know the more important things. Human mind can store only a limited amount of information. So let us limit the scope of this quiz to what a human mind can handle. I hope you get all the answers correct.

Quiz on galaxies