Daily Archives: April 17, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. April 17, 2014

Eleven sunspot groups were reported by NOAA today. NOAA ARs 2035, 2036, and 2037 (Catania numbers 24, 25, and 26 respectively) maintain the beta-gamma  configuration of the photospheric magnetic field. The strongest flare of the past 24 hours was the M1.0 flare peaking at 19:59 UT yesterday in the NOAA AR 2035 (Catania number 24). The flare was associated with an EIT wave and a weak coronal dimming, but the associated CME was narrow and is not expected to arrive at the Earth. We expect further flaring activity on the C-level, especially in the NOAA ARs 2035 and 2037 (Catania numbers 24 and
26 respectively) as well as in the NOAA AR 2042 (no Catania number yet) that yesterday appeared from behind the east solar limb, with a good chance for an M-class event. Since yesterday evening the Earth is situated inside a solar wind structure with an elevated interplanetary magnetic field magnitude (occasionally up to 10 nT). It may be a weak ICME or the compression region on the flank of an ICME that missed the Earth. The solar origin of this structure is not clear. The north-south magnetic field component Bz was not strong, so no significant geomagnetic disturbance resulted (K index stayed below 4). Currently the solar wind speed is around 380 km/s and the IMF magnitude is around 8 nT. We expect quiet to unsettled (K index up to 3) geomagnetic conditions, with active geomagnetic conditions (K = 4) possible, but unlikely.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 04/17/14
Time UT: 15:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

With SPONLI Space is getting closer


Waterton Lake Eclispe

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuichi Takasaka / TWAN / www.blue-moon.ca

Recorded on April 15th, this total lunar eclipse sequence looks south down icy Waterton Lake from the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, planet Earth. The most distant horizon includes peaks in Glacier National Park, USA. An exposure every 10 minutes captured the Moon’s position and eclipse phase, as it arced, left to right, above the rugged skyline and Waterton town lights. In fact, the sequence effectively measures the roughly 80 minute duration of the total phase of the eclipse. Around 270 BC, the Greek astronomer Aristarchus also measured the duration of lunar eclipses – though probably without the benefit ofdigital clocks and cameras. Still, using geometry, he devised a simple and impressively accurate way to calculate the Moon’s distance, in terms of the radius of planet Earth, from the eclipse duration. This modern eclipse sequence also tracks the successive positions of Mars, above and right of the Moon, bright star Spica next to the reddened lunar disk, and Saturn to the left and below.

NASA APOD 17-Apr-14

The Orion Nebula

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The Orion Nebula (M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun. 

The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Intes Micro MN84
Imaging cameras: QSI 583 wsg
Mounts: Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Software: Adobe Photoshop CC, PixInsight
Filters: Astrodon Luminance, Astrodon RGB filter set
Dates: Jan. 1, 2014
Frames: 108×600″
Integration: 18.0 hours

Author: Dean Salman

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
17 April 2014