Daily Archives: March 21, 2014

Star Trails over El Capitan

Image Credit & Copyright: Michael Bolte (UCSC)
Towering 3,000 feet from base to summit, the famous granite face of El Capitan in Earth’s Yosemite National Park just hides the planet’s north celestial pole in this skyscape. Of course, the north celestial poleis at the center of all the star trails. Their short arcs reflecting the planet’s daily rotation on its axis are traced in a digital stack of 36 sequential exposures. Linear trails of passing airplane navigation lights and a flare from car lights along the road below are also captured in the sequential stack. But the punctuated trail of light seen against the sheer El Capitan itself follows a climbing team on the night of November 8, 2013. The team is ascending toward the summit along The Nose, a historic rock climbing route.

NASA APOD 21-mar-2014

Tarantula Nebula in H-alpha

57c18a06b384fa67a0732569b785704c.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright Ignacio Diaz Bobillo

The Tarantula Nebula (also known as 30 Doradus, or NGC 2070) is an H II region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). It was originally thought to be a star, but in 1751 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille recognized its nebular nature.

The Tarantula Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8. Considering its distance of about 49 kpc (160,000 light years), this is an extremely luminous non-stellar object. Its luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast shadows. In fact, it is the most active starburst region known in the Local Group of galaxies. It is also one of the largest such region in the Local Group with an estimated diameter of 200 pc. The nebula resides on the leading edge of the LMC, where ram pressure stripping, and the compression of the interstellar medium likely resulting from this, is at a maximum. At its core lies the compact star cluster R136 (approximate diameter 35 light years) that produces most of the energy that makes the nebula visible. The estimated mass of the cluster is 450,000 solar masses, suggesting it will likely become a globular clusterin the future.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Astro-Physics AP130 Gran Turismo
Imaging cameras: Canon 450D mono modded
Mounts: Losmandy G11
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Pentax SMC Takumar 6×7 200mm f/4
Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY5L-II Mono
Software: PixInsight, PHD guiding
Filters: Baader Planetariun Ha 7nm 2″
Accessories: Astro-Physics Field Flattener
Dates: March 5, 2014
Locations: Home backyard
Frames: 18×600″
Integration: 3.0 hours

Author: Ignacio Diaz Bobillo

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

21 March 2014