Daily Archives: March 2, 2014

Martian Sunset

Image Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Texas A&M, Cornell, JPL, NASA

What would it be like to see a sunset on Mars? To help find out, the robotic rover Spirit was deployed in 2005 to park and watch the Sun dip serenely below the distant lip of Gusev crater. Colors in theabove image have been slightly exaggerated but would likely be apparent to a human explorer’s eye. Fine martian dust particles suspended in the thin atmosphere lend the sky a reddish color, but the dust also scatters blue light in the forward direction, creating a bluish sky glow near the setting Sun. Because Mars is farther away, the Sun is less bright and only about two thirds the diameter it appears from Earth. Images like this help atmospheric scientists understand not only the atmosphere of Mars, but atmospheres across the Solar System, including our home Earth.

NASA APOD 02-Mar-2014

The Omega Nebula

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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.

An open cluster of 35 stars lies embedded in the nebulosity and causes the gases of the nebula to shine due to radiation from these hot, young stars; however the actual number of stars in the nebula is much higher – up to 800, 100 of spectral type earlier than B9, and 9 of spectral type O, plus >1000 stars in formation on its outer regions. It’s also one of the youngest clusters known, with an age of just 1 million years.

The luminous blue variable HD 168607, located in the south-east part of the Omega nebula, is generally assumed to be associated with it; its close neighbor, the blue hypergiant HD 168625, may be too. The Swan portion of M17, the Omega Nebula in the Sagittarius nebulosity is said to resemble a barber’s pole.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi TOA 150
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 5D Mark II MOD
Mounts: Takahashi EM-400 Temma2
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Vixen FL70S
Guiding cameras: Fishcamp Starfish
Focal reducers: Takahashi TOA 67 Flattener
Software: DeepSkyStacker, Adobe Photoshop CS3
Filters: UV/IR-cut
Dates: July 31, 2011
Locations: Mt. Ho-Huan (Taiwan)
Frames: UV/IR-cut: 18×300″ ISO1600
Integration: 1.5 hours

Autor: Wei-Hao Wang

02 March 2014

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