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Messier Gallery

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M40 (Winnecke 4), a double star in Ursa Major.

M40 is the double star known as Winnecke 4. Messier is said to have been looking for a nebula reported by the 17th-century astronomer Hevelius. However, Messier apparently looked in the wrong place, saw Winnecke 4, thought it matched Helvelius' description, and catalogued it as M40.

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