Daily Archives: May 29, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 29, 2014

NOAA 2071 produced the only flare of the period, a C1 flare peaking at 04:30UT this morning. The 4 sunspot regions currently visible are all small and magnetically simple. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed. An active region on the Sun’s farside that produced several substantial CMEs over the past few days, is expected to round the east limb within 2 days.  Flaring activity is expected to be low, with a small chance on a C-class
flare.  For most of the period, solar wind speed was stable around 330 km/s, with Bz varying between +6 and -5 nT. Around 08:30UT, a shock was observed in the ACE-data. Solar wind speed jumped from 330 to 380 km/s, and Bz from -5 to -8nT. The geomagnetic field was quiet, with the K index reaching 3. A small coronal hole that passed the central meridian on 25-26 May could influence the geomagnetic field starting late on 29 May.
Geomagnetic conditions are expected to remain quiet, though locally a brief active episode is possible.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 05/29/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.


Millions of Stars in Omega Centauri 

NGC 5139 / Chile 2014
Image Credit & Copyright: CEDIC Team, Processing – Christoph Kaltseis

 Globular star cluster Omega Centauri, also known as NGC 5139, is some 15,000 light-years away. The cluster is packed with about 10 million stars much older than the Sun within a volume about 150 light-years in diameter, the largest and brightest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Though most star clusters consist of stars with the same age and composition, the enigmatic Omega Cen exhibits the presence of different stellar populations with a spread of ages and chemical abundances. In fact, Omega Cen may be the remnant core of a small galaxy merging with the Milky Way. This astronomically sharp color image of the classic globular cluster was recorded in March under Chilean skies from Hacienda Los Andes.

NASA APOD 29-May-14

Helix Nebula

039298dda266eedbc27610b77a7d13b7.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-4_watermark_text-Copyright Rick Stevenson, 2013

The Helix Nebula is an example of a planetary nebula, or ‘planetary’ formed at the end of a star’s evolution. Gases from the star in the surrounding space appear, from our vantage point, as if we are looking down a helix structure. The remnant central stellar core, known as a planetary nebula nucleus or PNN, is destined to become a white dwarf star. The observed glow of the central star is so energetic that it causes the previously expelled gases to brightly fluoresce.

The Helix Nebula in the constellation of Aquarius lies about 700 light-years away, spanning about 0.8 parsec or 2.5 light-years. Recent images by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Helix Nebula are a composite of newly released images from the ACSinstrument and the wide-angle images from the Mosaic Camera on the WIYN 0.9-metre telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Currently, the age is estimated to be 10,600+2,300
−1,200 years, based solely upon a measured expansion rate of 31 km·s−1.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Ceravolo 300 Astrograph (f/9)
Imaging cameras: Apogee Alta U16M
Mounts: Astro-Physics AP900
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Ceravolo 300 Astrograph (f/9)
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Software: Pleaides Astrophoto PixInsight 1.8, Maxim DL
Filters: Astrodon 3nm OIII, Astrodon E-series 2 LRGB, Astrodon 3nm Ha
Accessories: FLI Atlas focuser
Dates: Sept. 7, 2013
Frames: 96×1800″
Integration: 48.0 hours

Author: Rick Stevenson
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 29 May 2014