Daily Archives: January 10, 2014

NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula


Image Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman

A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 28.5 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this deep view of the nebula. Combining narrow band image data from emission lines of hydrogen atoms in red and oxygen atoms in blue-green hues, it shows remarkable details of the Helix’s brighter inner region, about 3 light-years across, but also follows fainter outer halo features that give the nebula a span of well over six light-years. The white dot at the Helix’s center is this Planetary Nebula’s hot, central star. A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry.
APOD NASA 10-Jan-2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. January 9, 2014

Three C flares occurred since our last bulletin. Two flares originated from NOAA AR 1944 (Catania sunspot group 98) and one from NOAA AR 1946 (Catania sunspot group 97). NOAA AR 1944 showed signs of decay in size, but is still strongly connected to neighbouring regions NOAA AR 1946 and 1943. More flaring activity is possible from these regions within the next 48 hours. Chances for C flares are 70%, for M flares 50% and X flares 20%. Two coronal holes are currently located at the central meridian, one between -15 and +20 degrees latitude and one between 25 and 60 degrees latitude. A high speed stream might be reaching the Earth from late January 10 and early January 11 (UTC time) on. No additional Earth directed CMEs were detected. The proton flux is still very high for >10MeV protons, but decreasing. It reached a maximum value of around 1000 sfu and now has a value near 300 sfu. The proton event is expected to continue for the next few hours. The proton flux for >50 and >100MeV protons is currently below the event threshold. Proton fluxes might rise again in case of major flares. Solar wind measurements show no signs of the expected arrival yet of the CME of
January 9. Solar wind speed has risen to a maximum near 500 km/s and currently has a value of 400 km/s. The magnitude of the interplanetary magnetic field is fluctuating between 0
and 9 nT. The Bz-component achieves values in the ranges from -8 to +6  nT.

Minor to severe storm (K=5 to 8) conditions are expected, due to arrival of the CME of
January 7. Aurorae might be seen at higher latitudes on January 9 until the noon of January 10 under clear sky conditions. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to stay near K=4 to 5 due to the arrival of a coronal hole high speed stream on January 11.

Equipment: Coronado 90 + SBIG 8300s + LX75
Processing: Photoshop
Date: 01/09/14
Time UT: 18:00
Exposure 0.8 sec.

With SPONLI Space is getting closer!


M33: The Triangulum Galaxy

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 3 million light years (ly) from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC 598, and is sometimes informally referred to as the Pinwheel Galaxy, a nickname it shares with Messier 101. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and about 44 other smaller galaxies. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed with the naked eye.
Under exceptionally good viewing conditions with no light pollution, the Triangulum Galaxy can be seen with the naked eye. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed without the aid of a telescope. Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by small amounts of light pollution. It ranges from easily visible by direct vision in dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural or suburban skies. For this reason, Triangulum is one of the critical sky marks of the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Celestron C11 XLT, TEC 140
Imaging cameras: QSI 583 wsg
Mounts: Losmandy G11 , Sky-Watcher NEQ6
Guiding cameras: The Imaging Source DMK21AU618.AS
Filters: Baader LRGB 1.25” Filters, Custom Scientific H-Alpha 4.5nm
Dates: Oct. 7, 2013
Locations: Home observatory
Astrodon E-series LRGB: 74×300″ -15C bin 1×1
Baader Ha 1.25″ Filter 7nm: 60×200″ bin 1×1
Baader LRGB 1.25” Filters: 90×60″ bin 1×1
Integration: 11.0 hours
Darks: ~10
Flats: ~10
Bias: ~100

Autor: Andre van der Hoeven, Michael van Doorn

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

10 January 2014

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