As valuable and legendary as Charles Messier's not-a-comet list is, some of us wonder what he was thinking (or which way his telescope was pointing) when he neglected to include some very beautiful objects. This would include magnitude 8.9 spiral galaxy NGC 2903. Discovered by William Herschel in 1784, it is also a very easy target to locate. It lies fewer than two degrees from Alterf, the K-class mag 4.3 star right in front of Leo's nose.
365 Starry Nights by Chet Raymo (14 April entry)
The Milky Way is but one of billions.
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