Daily Archives: February 26, 2014

Aurora over New Zealand


Image Credit & Copyright: David Weir (Earth and Sky Ltd.)

Sometimes the more you look at an image, the more you see. Such may be the case for this beautiful nighttime panorama taken last week in New Zealand. Visible right off, on the far left, are common clouds, slightly altered by the digital fusion of combining 11 separate 20-second exposures. More striking, perhaps, is the broad pink aurora that dominates the right part of the image, a less common auroral color that is likely tinted by excited oxygen atoms high in Earth’s atmosphere. Keep looking and you might notice a bright light just beyond the mountain on the left. That is the rising Moon — and an even closer look will reveal faint crepuscular raysemanating from it. Musing over the image center may cause you to notice the central band of the Milky Way Galaxy which here appears to divide, almost vertically, the left clouds from the right aurora. Inspecting the upper right of the image reveals a fuzzy patch, high in the sky, that is the Small Magellanic Cloud. Numerous stars discretely populate the distant background. Back on Earth, the image foreground features two domes of the Mt. John University Observatory and a camera tripod looking to capture much of this scene over a serene Lake Tekapo.

APOD NASA 26-feb-2014

NGC 6618: the Swan Nebula

The Omega Nebula, also known as the Swan NebulaCheckmark NebulaLobster Nebula, and the Horseshoe Nebula (catalogued asMessier 17 or M17 and as NGC 6618) is an H II region in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745.Charles Messier catalogued it in 1764. It is located in the rich starfields of the Sagittarius area of the Milky Way. The Omega Nebula is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light-years in diameter. The cloud of interstellar matterof which this nebula is a part is roughly 40 light-years in diameter and has a mass of 30,000 solar masses. The total mass of the Omega Nebula is an estimated 800 solar masses.

It is considered one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions of our galaxy.Its local geometry is similar to the Orion Nebula except that it is viewed edge-on rather than face-on.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Celestron C8 SCT
Imaging cameras: Nikon D5000
Mounts: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Goto
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion ShortTube 80
Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY5L-II Mono
Focal reducers: Celestron f/6.3 Focal Reducer/Corrector
Software: DeepSkyStacker, photoshop
Dates: July 7, 2013
Frames: 20×60″
Integration: 0.3 hours

Autor: Leandro Fornaziero

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

26 February 2014

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