Daily Archives: January 2, 2014

Reflections on Planet Earth

Image Credit: Michael Fossum, STS-121 Mission, NASA
Catching sight of your reflection in a store window or shiny hubcap can be entertaining and occasionally even inspire a thoughtful moment. So consider this reflective view from 300 kilometers above planet Earth. The picture is actually a self-portrait taken by astronaut Michael Fossum on July 8, 2006 during a space walk or extravehicular activity while the Discovery orbiter was docked with the International Space Station. Turning his camera to snap a picture of his own helmet visor, he also recorded the reflection of his fellow mission specialist, Piers Sellers, near picture center and one of the space station’s gold-tinted solar power arrays arcing across the top. Of course, the horizon of our fair planet lies in background.

NASA APOD 02-Jan-13

The Sun Online and solar activity. January 2, 2014

Solar activity was at active levels during the past 24 hours. The strongest event, an M9.9 flare, occurred in NOAA AR 1936 (no Catania numbering yet) and peaked on January 1 at 18:52 UT. The event was  associated with a slow CME  (estimated projected speed 400 km/s) with first observation in LASCO/C2 at 20:00 UT. This CME might reach Earth on January 5 around 22h UT. New region NOAA AR 1944, located at S05E76, also produced an M1.7 and three C flares. A prominence eruption occurred on January 1 from around 13:00 UT located in the southeast quadrant and seems associated with a CME. This CME mainly is mainly southward directed and is not expected to reach the Earth.  More M flares are likely to occur, especially from NOAA ARs 1936 and 1944. There is a moderate chance for an X flare. We maintain the warning condition for proton events. Solar wind data measured by ACE indicate the arrival of a coronal hole fast speed stream. Solar wind speed is about 600 km/s. The magnitude of the
interplanetary magnetic field reached a maximum of 17 nT, with a Bz-component varying between -13 and +8 nT.  Current geomagnetic conditions are unsettled to active (Kp 3 to 4). Unsettled to minor storm conditions (Kp 3 to 5) are expected  due to the possible arrival of the CMEs of December 29 and  December 31.

Equipment: Coronado 90 + SBIG 8300s + LX75
Processing: Photoshop
Date: 01/02/14
Time UT: 19:00
Exposure 0.8 sec.

With SPONLI Space is getting closer!


NGC 2174: Monkey Head Nebula in Orion

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NGC 2174
 (also known as Monkey Head Nebula) is an H II emission nebula located in the constellation Orion and is associated with the open star cluster NGC 2175. It is thought to be located about 6,400 light-years away from Earth. The nebula may have formed through hierarchical collapse.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: SkyWatcher Equinox 80 ED APO
Imaging cameras: Atik 383L+ mono
Mounts: Celestron CGEM
Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics Guidescope 50mm
Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY5L-II Mono
Focal reducers: TeleVue TRF-2008 0.8x
Software: PHD, Cyanogen Maxim DL Pro 5, Photoshop CS6
Filters: Baader Planetarium Ha 7nm 2″, Baader Planetarium SII 8nm 2″, Baader Planetarium OIII 8.5nm 2″
Accessories: Starlight Xpress SX USB Filter Wheel 5×2″
Dates: Dec. 26, 2013
Baader Planetarium Ha 7nm 2″: 10×600″ -15C bin 1×1
Baader Planetarium OIII 8.5nm 2″: 5×900″ -15C bin 1×1
Baader Planetarium SII 8nm 2″: 5×900″ -15C bin 1×1
Integration: 4.2 hours

Autor: Dan Kordella

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
2 January 2014

We select the best works of amateur astrophotographers with details of equipment, shooting processing etc.

Witch Head nebula

IC 2118 (also known as Witch Head Nebula due to its shape), is an extremely faint reflection nebula believed to be an ancient supernova remnant or gas cloud illuminated by nearby supergiant star Rigel in Orion. It lies in the Eridanus constellation, about 900 light-years from Earth. The nature of the dust particles, reflecting blue light better than red, is a factor in giving the Witch Head its blue color. Radio observations show substantial carbon monoxide emission throughout parts of IC 2118 an indicator of the presence of molecular clouds and star formation in the nebula. In fact candidates for pre-main sequence stars and some classic T-Tauri stars have been found deep within the nebula.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Teleskop Service TSAPO65Q
Imaging cameras: NIKON D7000
Mounts: SkyWatcher HEQ5 PRO
Guiding cameras: Lunatico Astronomia QHY5
Dates: Dec. 28, 2013
Frames: 6×600″
Integration: 1.0 hours

Autor: Gustavo Naharro

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
3 January 2014

We select the best works of amateur astrophotographers with details of equipment, shooting processing etc.