Daily Archives: May 23, 2014

Rosetta’s Target Comet 

Credit: ESA / Rosetta / MPS OSIRIS Team

The Rosetta spacecraft captured this remarkable series of 9 frames between March 27 and May 4, as it closed from 5 million to 2 million kilometers of its target comet. Cruising along a 6.5 year orbit toward closest approach to the Sun next year, periodic comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is seen moving past a distant background of stars in Ophiuchus and gobular star cluster M107. The comet’s developing coma is actually visible by the end of the sequence, extending for some 1300 km into space. Rosetta is scheduled for an early August rendezvous with the comet’s nucleus. Now clearly active, the nucleus is about 4 kilometers in diameter, releasing the dusty coma as its dirty ices begin to sublimate in the sunlight. The Rosetta lander’s contact with the surface of the nucleus is anticipated in November.

NASA APOD 23-May-14

The Carina Nebula

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The Carina Nebula (also known as the Great Nebula in Carina, the Eta Carinae NebulaNGC 3372, as well as the Grand Nebula) is a large bright nebula that has within its boundaries several related open clusters of stars. Some papers generally refer to this as the Carina Nebula, mostly because of differentiating the many papers published on this object, but the historical precedence as determined by southern observers like James Dunlop and John Herschel, who have both termed it the Eta Argus Nebula or Eta Carinae Nebula. John Herschel also describes “The star η Argus, with the Great nebula about it.” with many of his subsequent published papers supporting this.

Eta Carinae and HD 93129A, two of the most massive and luminous stars in our Milky Way galaxy, are among them. The nebula lies at an estimated distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth. It appears in the constellation of Carina, and is located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm. The nebula contains multiple O-type stars.

The nebula is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies. Although it is some four times as large and even brighter than the famous Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location in the southern sky. It was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751–52 from the Cape of Good Hope.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Orion ED80T-CF
Imaging cameras: Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694 mono
Mounts: Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50mm mini guidescope
Guiding cameras: Orion Star Shoot autoguider (SSAG)
Software: PixInsinght 1.8 RC7
Filters: Baader SII, Baader Ha
Accessories: Starlight Xpress USB filter wheel
Dates: May 17, 2014, May 19, 2014, May 20, 2014
Baader Ha: 53×300″ -10C bin 1×1
Baader Ha: 1×600″ -10C bin 1×1
Baader SII: 86×300″ -10C bin 1×1
Integration: 11.8 hours
Darks: ~50
Flats: ~10
Bias: ~20

Author: Vincent_Bellandi
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 23 May 2014