Daily Archives: May 30, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. May 30, 2014

Solar flare activity was very low over the last 24 hours. The strongest event was a B4-flare peaking at 18:19UT on 29 May, produced by NOAA 2073. There are currently 5 sunspot groups visible. They are all small and magnetically simple, including the two new groups Catania 65 (near east limb) and Catania 59. The active region on the Sun’s farside continues to produce quite strong CMEs (e.g. 29 May at 09:24UT) and is expected to round the east-northeast limb tomorrow. Flaring activity is expected to be low, with a chance on a C-class flare.     
Solar wind speed first declined from 380 to 310 km/s around midnight, then gradually increased again to 360 km/s. Bz varied between -7 and +6 nT. The geomagnetic field was quiet with locally some K=3 episodes. A small coronal hole that passed the central meridian on 25-26 May can still influence the geomagnetic field later today. 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: 05/30/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

With SPONLI Space is getting closer


Planetary Nebula Abell 36 

Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Univ. Arizona

 The gorgeous, gaseous shroud of a dying sunlike star, planetary nebula Abell 36 lies a mere 800 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. At that distance it spans over 1.5 light-years in this sharp telescopic view. Shrugging off its outer layers, the nebula’s central star is contracting and becoming hotter, evolving towards a final white dwarf phase. In fact, in Abell 36, the central star is estimated to have a surface temperature of over 73,000 K, compared to the Sun’s present 6,000 K temperature. As a result, the intensely hot star is much brighter in ultraviolet light, compared to its visual appearance here. The invisible ultraviolet light ionizes hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the nebula and ultimately powers the beautiful visible light glow.
NASA APOD 30-May-14

IC 2118 – Witch Head Nebula

54389ceb74b3586a8994812fa9a10b5a.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-4_watermark_text-Copyright Rick Stevenson, 2012

IC 2118 (also known as Witch Head Nebula due to its shape), is an extremely faint reflection nebula believed to be an ancient supernova remnant or gas cloud illuminated by nearby supergiant star Rigel in Orion. It lies in the Eridanusconstellation, about 900 light-years from Earth. The nature of the dust particles, reflecting blue light better than red, is a factor in giving the Witch Head its blue color. Radio observations show substantial carbon monoxide emission throughout parts of IC 2118 an indicator of the presence of molecular clouds and star formation in the nebula. In fact candidates for pre-main sequence stars and some classic T-Tauri stars have been found deep within the nebula.

The molecular clouds of IC 2118 are probably juxtaposed to the outer boundaries of the vast Orion-Eridanus bubble, a giant supershell of molecular hydrogen blown by the high mass stars of the Orion OB1 association. As the supershell expands into the interstellar medium, favorable circumstances for star formation occur. IC 2118 is located in one such area.The wind blown appearance and cometary shape of the bright reflection nebula is highly suggestive of a strong association with the high mass luminous stars of Orion OB1. The fact that the heads of the cometary clouds of IC2118 point northeast towards the association is strong support of that relationship.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FSQ 106ED
Imaging cameras: SBIG STL-11000M
Mounts: Astro-Physics AP900
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FS-60CB
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Software: Pleaides Astrophoto PixInsight 1.8, Maxim DL
Filters: Astrodon E-series 2 LRGB
Accessories: FLI Atlas focuser
Dates: Oct. 12, 2012
Frames: 36×300″
Integration: 3.0 hours

Author: Rick Stevenson
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 30 May 2014