Daily Archives: August 5, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. August 5, 2014

Flaring activity remains low. The strongest flare today was a C1.7 flare occurring in NOAA AR 2132 with peak time 11:30 UT. We expect further flaring at the C-class level, especially from NOAA AR 2130 and 2132, with a small chance for an isolated M-class flare. No earth-directed CMEs were observed since our last bulletin.Still under the influence of a coronal hole high speed stream, the solar wind speed has increased up to 450 km/s, while the total magnetic field strength is currently at 6.4 nT. Geomagnetic
conditions remain unsettled (k up to 3). We expect a return to quiet conditions in the coming hours. On August 7 unsettled conditions may occur due to the possible arrival of another coronal hole wind stream.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 08/05/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

Observatory Sponli


Four Billion BCE: Battered Earth 

Illustration Credit: Simone Marchi (SwRI), SSERVI, NASA

 No place on Earth was safe. Four billion years ago, during the Hadean eon, our Solar System was a dangerous shooting gallery of large and dangerous rocks and ice chunks. Recent examination of lunar and Earth bombardment data indicate that the entire surface of the Earth underwent piecemeal upheavals, hiding our globe’s ancient geologic history, and creating a battered world with no remaining familiar land masses. The rain of devastation made it difficult for any life to survive, although bacteria that could endure high temperatures had the best chance. Oceans thought to have formed during this epoch would boil away after particularly heavy impacts, only to reform again. The above artist’s illustration depicts how Earth might have looked during this epoch, with circular impact features dotting the daylight side, and hot lava flows visible in the night. One billion years later, in a calmer Solar System, Earth’s first supercontinent formed.

NASA APOD 05-Aug-14

NGC 7293: Helix nebula

40e71286aec026d351be2bb55fd7f1bc.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-20_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright Giulio Ercolani
The Helix Nebula, also known as The HelixNGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation Aquarius. Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, probably before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae. The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs or 700 light-years.
The Helix Nebula is thought to be shaped like a prolate spheroid with strong density concentrations toward the filled disk along the equatorial plane, whose major axis is inclined about 21° to 37° from our vantage point. The size of the inner disk is 8×19 arcmin in diameter (0.52 pc); the outer torus is 12×22 arcmin in diameter (0.77 pc); and the outer-most ring is about 25 arcmin in diameter (1.76 pc). We see the outer-most ring as flattened on one side due to its colliding with the ambient interstellar medium.
Expansion of the whole planetary nebula structure is estimated to have occurred in the last 6,560 years, and 12,100 years for the inner disk. Spectroscopically, the outer ring’s expansion rate is 40 km·s−1, and about 32 km·s−1 for the inner disk.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: PlaneWave Instruments Planewave 20″ CDK
Imaging cameras: FLI PL6303E
Mounts: Planewave Instruments Ascension 200HR
Software: Startools
Filters: Astrodon Blue, Astrodon Green, Astrodon Red, Astrodon Luminance
Dates: July 3, 2014, July 26, 2014
Astrodon Blue: 2×300″ bin 2×2
Astrodon Green: 2×300″ bin 2×2
Astrodon Luminance: 17×300″ bin 1×1
Astrodon Red: 2×300″ bin 2×2
Integration: 1.9 hours

Author: Giulio Ercolani
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 5 Aug 2014