• Fusion Image 13

    Source: Johann Bode, Uranographia (Berlin, 1801); History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries
    Object: M100 in Coma Berenices; Hubble Space Telescope, NASA
    Composite: The Sky Tonight, skytonight.org (CC-by)

    Object description

    M100 was first observed in 1781 by Messier’s assistant, Pierre Méchain.  It is part of the Virgo Cluster, located on the boundary of Virgo and Coma Berenices.  The Virgo Cluster contains more than 1,000 galaxies, 15 of which were cataloged by Messier.

    Fusion Image 13

    Constellations IAU Abbr


    Constellation description

    Coma Berenices represents the hair of Bernice, Queen of Egypt (267-221 BCE), who reigned with Ptolemy III Euergetes. Berenice, known for her horses as well as her beautiful hair, once rode to her father’s defense and rallied the army against overwhelming odds. Her hair, elevated to the heavens from the Temple of Aphrodite, is mentioned in the ancient writings of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy

    Source Description

    Bode’s magnificent atlas fused artistic beauty and scientific precision. 20 large copperplate engravings plot more than 17,000 stars, far more than any previous atlas. Bode depicted more than 100 constellations, compared with 88 officially recognized today. Bode also included 2,500 cloudy patches, or “nebulae,” cataloged by William Herschel.  Bode, director of the Observatory of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, produced the last of the four major celestial atlases in which artful depictions of constellation figures appear alongside the most up-to-date scientific data.