Daily Archives: July 2, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. July 2, 2014

No C-class (or higher) flares were observed over the last 24 hours, while the x-ray background flux remained close to the C1-level. There are currently 9 sunspot groups visible on the solar disk, with NOAA 2104 and 2107 being the largest and both having a magnetic delta. NOAA 2106 quieted down after its M1-flare from yesterday noon, part of the filament still being present. The CME associated to this flare was mainly directed to the north. It will deliver at most a glancing blow late on 5 July, with little influence on the geomagnetic field expected. Active regions are just behind the east limb, and 2 long filaments are present on the solar disk (one in the southwest quadrant, another about 20 degrees west of NOAA 2107).  
C-class flares are expected, with a chance on an isolated M-class flare.   Solar wind speed decreased from 350 to 300 km/s, while Bz varied between -2 and +2 nT. Geomagnetic conditions were quiet and expected to remain so.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 07/01/14
Time UT: 19:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

Observatory Sponli


NGC 4651: The Umbrella Galaxy 


Image Credit & Copyright: R Jay Gabany (Blackbird Observatories)
Collaboration: C.Foster (Australian Astronomical Obs.), H.Lux (U. Nottingham, Oxford),
A.Romanowsky (San Jose State, UCO), D.Martínez-Delgado (Heidelberg), et al.

 Spiral galaxy NGC 4651 is a mere 62 million light-years distant, toward the well-groomed northern constellation Coma Berenices. About the size of our Milky Way, this island universe is seen to have a faint umbrella-shaped structure that seems to extend (left) some 100 thousand light-years beyond the bright galactic disk. The giant cosmic umbrella is now known to be composed of tidal star streams – extensive trails of starsgravitationally stripped from a smaller satellite galaxy. The small galaxy was eventually torn apart in repeated encounters as it swept back and forth on eccentric orbits through NGC 4651. In fact, the picture insert zooms in on the smaller galaxy’s remnant core, identified in an extensive exploration of the system, using data from the large Subaru and Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea. Work begun by a remarkable collaboration of amateur and professional astronomers to image faint structures around bright galaxies suggests that even in nearby galaxies, tidal star streams are common markers of such galactic mergers. The result is explained by models of galaxy formation that also apply to our own Milky Way.

NASA APOD 02-Jul-14

M 94 in the constellation Canes Venatici

Messier 94
 (also known as NGC 4736) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781, and catalogued by Charles Messier two days later. Although some references describe M94 as a barred spiral galaxy, the “bar” structure appears to be more oval-shaped. The galaxy is also notable in that it has two ring structures. M94 is classified as having a low ionization nuclear emission region (LINER) nucleus. LINERs in general are characterized by optical spectra that reveal that ionized gas is present but the gas is only weakly ionized (i.e. the atoms are missing relatively few electrons).

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Ian King Ikharos 8″ RC
Imaging cameras: Atik 460 EX
Mounts: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Ian King Ikharos 8″ RC
Guiding cameras: Atik 314L+
Software: PixInsight, Software Bisque CCDSoft 5, Software Bisque TheSkyX, iLanga AstroPlanner, Matt Thomas’s CCDCommander
Filters: Baader H-alpha 7nm 36mm, Baader Luminance 36mm, Baader Red, Green, Blue 36mm
Accessories: Atik EFW2, Innovations Foresight On-axis guider
Dates: April 16, 2014
Frames: 294×600″
Integration: 49.0 hours

Author: Colin McGill
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 02 July 2014