Daily Archives: May 10, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 10, 2014

A number of C level flares were reported in the period of which two in the higher C levels. The biggest one was a C8.7 flare originating from Catania group 43 (NOAA AR 2056) and peaking at 7:02 UT. The other was a C7.8 flare originating from Catania group 47 (NOAA AR 2058) peaking at 15:01 UT. Other C flares originated from Catania groups 37 and 42 (NOAA AR 2052 and 2055 respectively). Further C flares are to be expected with a chance for M flares. An asymmetric halo CME was visible in SOHO/LASCO C2 data from 4:48 UT onwards, with primary direction towards the west of the Sun Earth line. No related activity on the visible solar disc could be identified while STEREO Ahead EUVI 195 images show related activity near NOAA AR 2051 at the far side of the Sun. The event is thus confirmed to be backsided and not geoeffective.Solar wind speed was variable in the 350 to 400 km/s range. The total magnetic field increased from a minimum of about 4 nT shortly after the start of the reporting period to around 7nT presently. Bz was mostly positive apart from a period of negative Bz after the start of UT day May 10, reaching maximal amplitudes of around -6nT. Geomagnetic activity has been mostly quiet with both local K and NOAA Kp at most 2 apart from in isolated period of unsettled global condition Kp=3. Quiet to unsettled conditions are expected to persist for the next days.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 05/10/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

With SPONLI Space is getting closer


Inside the Flame Nebula 

A star cluster in the center of the Flame Nebula about 1,400 light years from Earth.

Image Credit: Optical: DSS; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech;
X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/ K.Getman, E.Feigelson, M.Kuhn & the MYStIX team

The Flame Nebula stands out in this optical image of the dusty, crowded star forming regions toward Orion’s belt, a mere 1,400 light-years away. X-ray data from the Chandra Observatory and infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope can take you inside the glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds though. Swiping your cursor (or clicking the image) will reveal many stars of the recently formed, embedded cluster NGC 2024, ranging in age from 200,000 years to 1.5 million years young. The X-ray/infrared composite image overlay spans about 15 light-years across the Flame’s center. The X-ray/infrared data also indicate that the youngest stars are concentrated near the middle of the cluster. That’s the opposite of the simplest models of star formation for the stellar nursery. They predict star formation to begin first in the denser center and progressively move outward toward the edges leaving the older stars, not the younger ones, in the center of the Flame Nebula.

A star cluster in the center of the Flame Nebula about 1,400 light years from Earth.A star cluster in the center of the Flame Nebula about 1,400 light years from Earth.

NASA APOD 10-May-14

M42: The Orion Nebula

3a4b1d9efd0331461d63c8e356e7e211.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright Jose Fco. del Aguila

Interstellar clouds like the Orion Nebula are found throughout galaxies such as the Milky Way. They begin as gravitationally bound blobs of cold, neutral hydrogen, intermixed with traces of other elements. The cloud can contain hundreds of thousands of solar masses and extend for hundreds of light years. The tiny force of gravity that could compel the cloud to collapse is counterbalanced by the very faint pressure of the gas in the cloud.

Whether due to collisions with a spiral arm, or through the shock wave emitted from supernovae, the atoms are precipitated into heavier molecules and the result is a molecular cloud. This presages the formation of stars within the cloud, usually thought to be within a period of 10-30 million years, as regions pass the Jeans mass and the destabilized volumes collapse into disks. The disk concentrates at the core to form a star, which may be surrounded by a protoplanetary disk. This is the current stage of evolution of the nebula, with additional stars still forming from the collapsing molecular cloud. The youngest and brightest stars we now see in the Orion Nebula are thought to be less than 300,000 years old, and the brightest may be only 10,000 years in age.

Some of these collapsing stars can be particularly massive, and can emit large quantities of ionizing ultraviolet radiation. An example of this is seen with the Trapezium cluster. Over time the ultraviolet light from the massive stars at the center of the nebula will push away the surrounding gas and dust in a process called photo evaporation. This process is responsible for creating the interior cavity of the nebula, allowing the stars at the core to be viewed from Earth.The largest of these stars have short life spans and will evolve to become supernovae.

Within about 100,000 years, most of the gas and dust will be ejected. The remains will form a young open cluster, a cluster of bright, young stars surrounded by wispy filaments from the former cloud. The Pleiades is a famous example of such a cluster.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Sky-Watcher 200/1000 Black Diamond
Mounts: CGEM
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Lunatico Astronomia EZG-60
Guiding cameras: Lunatico Astronomia QHY5-II
Software: Photoshop CS6, PixInsight LE, DeepSkyStacker 3.3.3
Accessories: Baader MPCC Corrector de Coma
Dates: Nov. 10, 2013
8×120″ ISO1600 bin 1×1
29×60″ ISO1600 bin 1×1
Integration: 0.8 hours
Bias: ~150

Author: Jose Fco. Del Aguila
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 10 May 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 9, 2014

An asymmetric halo CME was visible in LASCO C2 coronagraph data from 2:48 UT onwards (it was not detected by CACTus as it incorrectly identified it as 3 separate CME’s). The mass was expelled predominantly to the west from the Sun Earth line. No on disc activity could be associated. In SDO/AIA 304
the ejecta can be seen to originate from the western limb at latitudes corresponding to NOAA AR 2047 which has already turned around the west limb. Together with STEREO data this confirms that the CME is backsided and will not be geoeffective.