Guide to the Constellations and Messier Objects by Tammy Plotner

The first person to ever write an article for Universe Today (apart from me) was Tammy Plotner. Tammy was an experienced amateur astronomer, and had already dedicated her life to sharing her love of the night sky with the public. She spoke at astronomy clubs, did plenty of sidewalk astronomy, and in 2004, she contributed her first article to Universe Today.

By 2006, Tammy had written dozens of articles for Universe Today, and embarked on a weekly astronomy series called What’s Up This Week. We later turned those into actual books (printed on paper, no less), and did another edition in 2007.

In 2015, Tammy passed away after a long struggle with MS, and we mentioned it here on Universe Today.

One of my favorite projects that Tammy ever embarked on for Universe Today was to publish a guide to every single Messier Object, and every single Constellation in the sky. There are more than 100 Messier Objects, and 88 recognized constellations, and Tammy wrote an in-depth guide to each and every one.

To honor Tammy, we’ve decided to bring these wonderful guides back to the surface – you probably never even realized they were in the vast Universe Today archives. The Guide to Space Curator, Matt Williams, will be completely revised Tammy’s guides, adding plenty of new pictures and links to additional resources.

We’ll release one a week from both collections until they’re all republished, starting with M1: the Crab Nebula, today.

I hope you enjoy them, I sure did.

4 Replies to “Guide to the Constellations and Messier Objects by Tammy Plotner”

  1. A really worthwhile project and a great tribute to a fine astronomer and lady.
    Brian Sheen

  2. This is certainly sad news for me, and thank you for bringing back this series Fraser. Tammy was driven and so much fun to interact with. She even took the time to write and encourage me with my fledgling astronomy hobby via email. I still have the meteorites she sent me and will always treasure them. Especially now. Tammy was one of those people you became instant friends with. Such a genuine, kind, and beautiful soul.

  3. I’ll be looking forward to reading those great articles!

    I never met Tammy but I thoroughly enjoyed her writing and really miss what she brought to us.

  4. Never had the pleasure of meeting up with Tammy, but we did chat about that and fantasized about riding motorcycles to the middle of the country somewhere’s to hook up for some astronomy… Kitt Peak? Did you know she used to ride a Harley?

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