Daily Archives: January 31, 2014

Light Pillars from a Little Planet

Image Credit & Copyright: Janne Voutilainen

Explanation: Eerie pillars of light ring the edges of this snowy little planet. Of course the little planet is planet Earth, shown in a nadir-to-zenith, around-the-horizon, little planet projection. The spherical panoramic image mosaic maps a view from Siilinjärvi in eastern Finland. Flat ice crystals, like those more often found in high, thin clouds, are gently fluttering in very cold air near the surface. The pillars of light appear as their briefly horizontal facets reflect upward directed light from ground sources downward, toward the observer. In fact, the fluttering crystals produce an effect analogous to the shimmering columns of moonlight or sunlight reflected by surface waves across water.

NASA APOD 31-Jan-2014

The Antares and Rho Ophiuchi Region

The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex is a dark nebula of gas and dust that is located 1° south of the star ρ Ophiuchi of the constellation Ophiuchus. At an estimated distance of 131 ± 3 parsecs, this cloud is one of the closest star-forming regions to the Solar System.

The bright blue reflection nebula at the top, IC 4604, is associated with the triple star, Rho Ophiuchi.  Antares (Alpha Scorpii) is surrounded by a yellow area of nebulosity, IC 4606. Antares is 60,000 times brighter than our sun, and is so large that its disc can be easily measured – if it were in our solar system it would almost reach to Jupiter.

Nikon d7000
Nikkor 180mm F/2.8 @ f/4.0
85x30s at iso 2000
45x120s at iso 1250
10x240s at iso 1250
Dates: March 14, 2013

Autor: Jan Curtis

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

31 January 2014

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

The Sun Online and solar activity. January 30, 2014

Solar activity has been at active levels over the last 24 hours. 11 C- and 2 M-class flares were recorded, which nearly all originated in the mixed polarity region near NOAA 1967’s main spot. The strongest was an M2-flare peaking at 06:39UT. Of note was also a long duration C7-flare starting at
14:11UT and ending at 16:36UT. So far, this LDE was the most energetic in terms of NOAA 1967’s integrated flare flux history. NOAA 1968 was the only other active region being able to produce a C-flare (C3 peaking at 04:46UT). The x-ray background has been all day above the C1-level.

Active conditions are expected to continue, with a slight chance on an X-class flare.  The CMEs associated with NOAA 1967’s flaring activity were directed to the East and away from Earth. A faint halo CME was observed early on 29 January. Though it may be related to the frontside filament eruption event
early on 29 January (trailing NOAA 1960 and 1959), it may also be related to a backside event that took place about an hour earlier (late 28 January, around 22:50UT) in the same line of sight. Most recent, but incomplete STEREO-A data now seem to favor the latter scenario. Earth is exiting the high speed wind stream. Solar wind has returned to average conditions, with a speed near 350 km/s and Bz fluctuating between -5 and +5 nT. Geomagnetic conditions were quiet.

Solar wind may continue to be modulated by the effects of small coronal holes that have passed the central meridian on 27 and 29 January. Quiet geomagnetic conditions are expected. Late on 1 February, any effects of the 29 January frontside CME may drive local geomagnetic conditions to isolated
active levels. Otherwise, quiet conditions should persist.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 500 frames
Date: 01/30/14
Time UT: 19:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

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