Daily Archives: August 3, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. August 3, 2014

The strongest flare over the last 24 hours was a C2.7 peaking on 2 August at 13:28UT and produced by NOAA 2132. Together with NOAA 2121 and 2134, it produced only low-level C-class flares. The two 25-degrees long filaments in the NE and SW quadrant remained stable. No Earth-directed CMEs were
observed.C-class flaring is expected, with a small chance on an M-class flare from NOAA 2130, 2132 and 2134. Solar wind speed decreased from an initial value near 450 km/s to about 390 km/s. Bz started out mostly negative near -8 nT, after which positive values dominated up to a maximum of 5 nT. There was no obvious signature in the solar wind parameters of a passing-by of the 30 July CME. Geomagnetic
conditions were initially unsettled in Dourbes, with Kp even briefly reaching 4. Afterwards, quiet to unsettled conditions prevailed.
Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be quiet, with some unsettled conditions possible later today and tomorrow under the influence of a coronal hole stream and the possible glancing blow from a CME related to the M-flares on 1 August. Locally, a brief active episode is not excluded.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 08/03/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

Observatory Sponli


Dark Shuttle Approaching 

Image Credit: Space Station Expedition 22 Crew, NASA

 What’s that approaching? Astronauts on board the International Space Station first saw it in early 2010 far in the distance. Soon it enlarged to become a dark silhouette. As it came even closer, the silhouette appeared to be a spaceship. Finally, the object revealed itself to be the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and it soon docked as expected with the Earth-orbiting space station. Pictured above, Endeavour was imaged near Earth’s horizon as it approached, where several layers of the Earth’s atmosphere were visible. Directly behind the shuttle is the mesosphere, which appears blue. The atmospheric layer that appears white is the stratosphere, while the orange layer is Earth’s Troposphere. This shuttle mission, began with a dramatic night launch. Tasks completed during this shuttle’s visit to the ISS included the delivery of the Tranquility Module which contained a cupola bay window complex that allows even better views of spaceships approaching and leaving the space station.

APOD NASA 03-Aug-14

NGC 7000 in Cygnus

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The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb (the tail of the swan and its brightest star). The remarkable shape of the nebula resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico. It is sometimes incorrectly called the “North American Nebula”.
The North America Nebula is large, covering an area of more than four times the size of the full moon; but its surface brightness is low, so normally it cannot be seen with the unaided eye. Binoculars and telescopes with large fields of view (approximately 3°) will show it as a foggy patch of light under sufficiently dark skies. However, using a UHC filter, which filters out some unwanted wave lengths of light, it can be seen without magnification under dark skies. Its prominent shape and especially its reddish color (from the hydrogen Hα emission line) show up only in photographs of the area.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics FLT98
Imaging cameras: Atik 383L+
Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics FLT98
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Loadstar
Focal reducers: Riccardi Reducer 0,75x
Software: Fitswork 4.44, Adobe Photoshop CS3 CS3
Filters: Baader S2, Baader Planetarium Ha 7nm 2″
Accessories: Starlight Xpress 5×2″ Filter Wheel
Dates: June 9, 2014
Frames: 22×1200″
Integration: 7.3 hours

Author: Alexander Sielski
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 3 Aug 2014