Daily Archives: July 19, 2014

Alicante Beach Moonrise 


Image Credit & Copyright: José Carlos González

In this beach and skyscape from Alicante, Spain, July’s Full Moon shines in the dark blue twilight, its reflection coloring the Mediterranean waters. Near the horizon, the moonlight is reddened by its long path through the atmosphere, but this Full Moon was also near perigee, the closest point to Earth along the Moon’s elliptical orbit. That made it a Supermoon, a mighty 14% larger and 30% brighter than a Full Moon at apogee, the Moon’s farthest orbital swing. Of course, most warm summer nights are a good time to enjoy a family meal oceanside, but what fish do you catch on the night of a Supermoon? They must be Moon breams…

APOD NASA 19-Jul-14

The Sun Online and solar activity. July 19, 2014

No C-class flares in past 24 hours. No significant activity is expected for the next 48 hours.Solar wind speed is at 320 km/s with interplanetary magnetic field magnitude of 4 nT. Geomagnetic conditions are quiet and expected to continue so. The ALL-QUIET-ALERT remains valid.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 07/19/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

Observatory Sponli


3D Homunculus Nebula 

Science Credit: 
W. Steffen (UNAM), M. Teodoro, T.I. Madura,
J.H. Groh, T.R. Gull, A. Mehner, M.F. Corcoran, A. Damineli, K. Hamaguchi
Image Credit: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center/SVS – Inset: NASA, ESA, Hubble SM4 ERO Team

 If you’re looking for something to print with that new 3D printer, try out a copy of the Homunculus Nebula. The dusty, bipolar cosmic cloud is around 1 light-year across but is slightly scaled down for printingto about 1/4 light-nanosecond or 80 millimeters. The full scale Homunculus surrounds Eta Carinae, famously unstable massive stars in a binary system embedded in the extensive Carina Nebula about 7,500 light-years distant. Between 1838 and 1845, Eta Carinae underwent the Great Eruption becoming the second brightest star in planet Earth’s night sky and ejecting the Homunculus Nebula. The new 3D model of the still expanding Homunculus was created by exploring the nebula with the European Southern Observatory’s. That instrument is capable of mapping the velocity of molecular hydrogen gas through the nebula’s dust at a fine resolution. It reveals trenches, divots and protrusions, even in the dust obscured regions that face away from Earth. Eta Carinae itself still undergoes violent outbursts, a candidate to explode in a spectacular supernova in the next few million years.

APOD NASA 17-Jul-14

The Moon Eclipses Saturn 

Image Credit & Copyright: Carlos Di Nallo

 What happened to half of Saturn? Nothing other than Earth’s Moon getting in the way. As pictured above on the far right, Saturn is partly eclipsed by a dark edge of a Moon itself only partly illuminated by the Sun. This year the orbits of the Moon and Saturn have led to an unusually high number of alignments of the ringed giant behind Earth’s largest satellite. Technically termed an occultation, the above image captured one suchphotogenic juxtaposition from Buenos Aires, Argentina that occurred early last week. Visible to the unaided eye but best viewed with binoculars, there are still four more eclipses of Saturn by our Moon left in 2014. The next one will be on August 4 and visible from Australia, while the one after will occur on August 31 and be visible from western Africa at night but simultaneously from much of eastern North America during the day.

NASA APOD 16-Jul-14

Prawn Nebula

c4aaa726f5dcef633aa04ddcc9b2b597.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-2_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright ReaPerManPrawn Nebula, IC 4628, is an emission nebula located around 6000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: GSO Newton 12″ f/4
Imaging cameras: ATIK 11000m
Mounts: Skywatcher EQ8
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50 mm mini guider
Guiding cameras: Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager & Autoguider
Focal reducers: ASA Wynne 3″ Corrector 0.95x
Software: photoshop, Startools 1.3.5, CCDStack, Maxim DL
Filters: Orion 2” LRGB filter set, Baader Ha 2″
Dates: April 29, 2014
Orion 2” LRGB filter set: 6×300″ -15C bin 2×2
Baader Ha 2″: 5×600″ -15C bin 1×1
Integration: 1.3 hours

Author: Paul Storey
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 19 July 2014