The Sun produced only one single C-class flare, originating from Catania sunspot region 13 (NOAA AR 2031). More C-class flares are expected during the next 48 hours, from Catania sunspot regions 8, 13 and 18 (NOAA ARs 2026, 2031 and 2032 respectively). There is also a slight chance for an M-class flare. A full halo CME was visible in coronagraphic imagery. It was first visible in LASCO C2 images at 23:48 UT, April 8 as a partial halo (angular width of around 200 degrees), and evolved further to a full halo CME. First measurements in STEREO B/COR2 were at 00:25 UT, April 9. It concerns a backsided CME and therefore we do not expect the CME to be geoeffective. Two recurrent coronal holes (centred near S45E05 and N25E05) have reached the central meridian and are expected to arrive near Earth during the second half of April 12. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed.Solar wind speed measured by ACE fluctuated between 380 and 500 km/s. The magnitude of the interplanetary magnetic field reached a maximum of 6 nT, with a mainly positive Bz component. Current magnetic conditions are quiet and are expected to remain so for the next 48 hours. The arrival of the CH high speed stream might result in active conditions from April 12 on. SIDC
Video Illustration Credit: Lucie Maquet, Observatoire de Paris, LESIA
Asteroids can have rings. In a surprising discovery announced two weeks ago, the distant asteroid 10199 Chariklo was found to have at least two orbiting rings. Chariklo’s diameter of about 250 kilometers makes it the largest of the measured centaur asteroids, but now the smallest known object to have rings. The centaur-class minor planet orbits the Sun between Saturn and Uranus. The above video gives an artist’s illustration of how the rings were discovered. As Chariklo passed in 2013 in front of a faint star, unexpected but symmetric dips in the brightness of the star revealed the rings. Planetary astronomers are now running computer simulations designed to investigate how Chariklo’s unexpected ring system might have formed, how it survives, and given the asteroid’s low mass and close passes of other small asteroids and the planet Uranus, how long it may last.
The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101, M101 or NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy distanced 21 million light-years (six megaparsecs) away in the constellation Ursa Major.
M101 is a relatively large galaxy compared to the Milky Way. With a diameter of 170,000 light-years it is seventy percent larger than the Milky Way. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses.
Another remarkable property of this galaxy is its huge and extremely bright H II regions, of which a total of about 3,000 can be seen on photographs. H II regions usually accompany the enormous clouds of high density molecular hydrogen gas contracting under their own gravitational force where stars form. H II regions are ionized by large numbers of extremely bright and hot young stars.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: GSO Newton 8″ f/5
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 350D / No filter
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6 Syntreck
Guiding telescopes or lenses: GSO Viewfinder 8X50
Guiding cameras: Orion SSAG
Focal reducers: TS Koma Korrektor
Software: PHD guiding, photoshop
Filters: Astronomik 12nm Hydrogen Alpha Filter ha12nm ccd clip, Astronomik CLS CCD Filter
Dates: Feb. 9, 2013, Feb. 18, 2013, March 11, 2013
Astronomik CLS CCD Filter: 10×240″ ISO800
Astronomik CLS CCD Filter: 34×300″ ISO800
Astronomik 12nm Hydrogen Alpha Filter ha12nm ccd clip: 18×300″ ISO800
Integration: 5.0 hours
Author: Fredéric Segato
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
9 April 2014