Daily Archives: February 22, 2014

M44: The Beehive Cluster

Image Credit & Copyright: Bob Franke

A mere 600 light-years away, M44 is one of the closest star clusters to our solar system. Also known as the Praesepe or the Beehive cluster its stars are young though, about 600 million years old compared to our Sun’s 4.5 billion years. Based on similar ages and motion through space, M44 and the even closer Hyades star cluster in Taurus are thought to have been born together in the same large molecular cloud. An open cluster spanning some 15 light-years, M44 holds 1,000 stars or so and covers about 3 full moons (1.5 degrees) on the sky in the constellation Cancer. Visible to the unaided eye, M44 has been recognized since antiquity. Described as a faint cloud or celestial mist long before being included as the 44th entry in Charles Messier’s 18th century catalog, the cluster was not resolved into its individual stars until telescopes were available. A popular target for modern, binocular-equiped sky gazers, the cluster’s few yellowish tinted, cool, red giants are scattered through the field of its brighter hot blue main sequence stars in this colorful stellar group snapshot.

APOD NASA 22-feb-2014

NGC 7635: the Bubble Nebula

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The Bubble Nebula is a H II region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It lies close to the direction of the open cluster Messier 52. The “bubble” is created by the stellar windfrom a massive hot, 8.7 magnitude young central star, the 15 ± 5 M SAO 20575 (BD+60 2522). The nebula is near a giantmolecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow. It was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. The star SAO 20575 or BD+602522 is thought to have a mass of 10-40Solar masses.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Bresser Messier AR-152S 152/760
Imaging cameras: SBIG ST- 8300M
Mounts: Skywatcher AZ EQ6 GT
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Bresser Messier AR-152S 152/760
Guiding cameras: ALccd5-IIm
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Filters: Baader Planetariun Ha 35nm, Baader Planetariun OIII 8.5nm
Accessories: TS 9mm OAG, Teleskop-Service TS FLAT 2,5

Autor: Petko Marinov

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

22 February 2014

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

The Sun Online and solar activity. February 21, 2014

Only minor C-class flares in past 24h, mainly from NOAA ARs 1976 and 1982 (this AR has potential for M-class flares).Geomagnetic conditions are currently at unsettled levels, the interplanetary magnetic field is around 7 nT and the solar wind speed close to 500 km/s. The arrival of the three CMEs from February 19 and 20 are expected on February 22 and 23, with possible increase of geomagnetic conditions up to major storm levels.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 02/21/14
Time UT: 14:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

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