Friday, March 30, 2012

apod 4.1

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

On March 27, five sounding rockets leapt into early morning skies from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Part of the Anomalous Transport Rocket EXperiment (ATREX), begining at 4:58 am EDT the rockets launched consecutively at 80 second intervals. Releasing a chemical tracer they created luminous white clouds within Earth's ionosphere at altitudes above 60 to 65 miles, swept along by the poorly understood high-altitude jet stream. (Not the same jet stream that airliners fly through at altitudes of 5 to 6 miles.) Seen along the mid-atlantic region of the United States, the clouds drifted through starry skies, captured in this clear photograph from East Point, New Jersey. Looking south toward the launch site, the tantalizing celestial background includes the stars of Sagittarius, Scorpius, and the more permanent faint, white, luminous clouds of the Milky Way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


SN 106
Visible after May 1st, 1006 with an appearent magnatude of -7.5 it could have easily been seen all around the globe.

SN 1054
Visible 1054 CE with an appearent magnatude of -6. This stringy super nova was 6,300 Lightyears away.

SN 1181
Visible during 1181 CE, SN 1181 had an apparent magnitude of -1 and is at least 26,000 light years away. Possibly the remnant of a pulsar.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

apod 3.8

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Here the island universe, NGC 2683 is cataloged in an artful manor. At 16 million light years away, it is one of the closest galaxies to our own. This photo artfully captures the spiral shape of this galaxy. The light it produces is thought to be from a blend of the light from countless old yellow-ish stars, which are packed extremely densely in the galactic core. This is probably one of my favorite images that I've seen so far on astronomy picture of the day, if nothing else for the amazing aperture. The outer segments of the rings clearly contain a lot of cosmic dust. The image was able to be so clear due to the use of a powerful refracting telescope with internal supports.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Observation 4.1

hunting late at night
for knowledge
of the unknown sky
from my mind
the sky
and constellations
be seen
Leo; the lion
Ursa Major and minor; the great bears
Canis Major; the dog
Canis Minor; the little dog
Sirius and Procyon
The Sextans all across the sky
Virgo, The Virgin
Gemini; The Twins
Castor and Pollux
all on the zodiac
Orion, The hunter, Betelgeuse, and Rigel
Columba and Lepus the Dove and the Hair
watching the sky, all night long

Friday, March 9, 2012

apod 3.7

 Colorful NGC 1579 resembles the better known Trifid Nebula, but lies much farther north in planet Earth's sky, in the heroic constellation Perseus. About 2,100 light-years away and 3 light-years across, NGC 1579 is, like the Trifid, a study in contrasting blue and red colors, with dark dust lanes prominent in the nebula's central regions. In both, dust reflects starlight to produce beautiful blue reflection nebulae. But unlike the Trifid, in NGC 1579 the reddish glow is not emission from clouds of glowing hydrogen gas excited by ultraviolet light from a nearby hot star. Instead, the dust in NGC 1579 drastically diminishes, reddens, and scatters the light from an embedded, extremely young, massive star, itself a strong emitter of the characteristic red hydrogen alpha light.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

observation q3

obersvationing on friday 3/4/12
 ~ 7 i saw jupiter mercury and venus all lined up super cool and mercury was really red and dim
later that night i saw a bunch of constellations like all of them. canus major and minor, orion, gemeni, sirius, columba, lepus, taurus, and auriga

Friday, March 2, 2012

apod 3.6

Five hand drawn sketches of Jupiter were used to create this beautifully detailed flat map of the ruling gas giant's turbulent cloud tops. Made with colored pencils at the eyepiece of a 16 inch diameter telescope, the original drawings are about 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. The drawn planisphere map dimensions are 16x8 inches (40x20 cm). Observing on different dates in November and December of 2011, astronomical artist Fred Burgeot has relied on Jupiter's rotation to cover the planet's complete circumference. Digital animator Pascal Chauvet has also translated Burgeot's drawings into an intriguing video (vimeo), synthesizing a telescopic view of the rotating planet with a tilt and phase appropriate for the observing dates. The video includes the Galilean moons moving along their orbits, beginning with Ganymede and Io casting shadows as they glide in front of Jupiter, followed by Europa and Callisto passing behind the planet's banded disk.