Image Credit & Copyright: John Chumack
Sometimes it is hard to believe what you see in the sky. While leading his annual aurora tour last month near Fairbanks in central Alaska, astrophotographer John Chumack and his company saw a most unusual aurora. This bright aurora appeared to change into the shape of a jumping dog, complete with a curly tail. He was able to capture the fleeting natural apparition in the above image with a 15-second exposure through a wide-angle lens. By coincidence, he also captured a background sky filled with familiar highlights. Planets visible include bright Jupiter through the dog’s front legs and reddish Mars below the dog’s hind legs. Stars visible include the Big Dipper stars above the dog’s midsection and reddish Betelgeuse shining on the far right. This dog would not be following him home, however, and within a few minutes morphed into other shapes before thegeomagnetic storm particles that created it shifted to strike the Earth elsewhere.
NASA APOD 29-Apr-14
NGC 7822 is a young star forming complex in the constellation of Cepheus. The complex encompasses the emission region designated Sharpless 171, and the young cluster of stars named Berkeley 59. The complex is believed to be some 800-1000 pc distant, with the younger components aged no more than a few million years. The complex also includes one of the hottest stars discovered within 1 kpc of the Sun, namely BD+66 1673, which is an eclipsing binary system consisting of an O5V that exhibits a surface temperature of nearly 45000 K and a luminosity ~100000 times that of the Sun. The star is one of the primary sources illuminating the nebula and shaping the complex’s famed pillars of creation-type formations, the elephant trunks.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Williams Optics Megrez 72
Imaging cameras: Starlight Xpress SXVR-H9
Mounts: Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress CoStar
Focal reducers: William Optics FF/FR VI
Software: PixInsight 1.8, StarTools, PHD guiding, Nebulosity 3, EQMac
Filters: Baader OIII 8.5nm 2″, Baader Ha 7nm 2″
Baader Ha 7nm 2″: 19×1200″ -15C
Baader OIII 8.5nm 2″: 37×1200″ -15C
Integration: 18.7 hours
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
29 April 2014