Daily Archives: August 6, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. August 6, 2014

The solar activity remains low with only small C-class flares reported in the past 24h. These flares mostly occurred in NOAA AR 2132, which is currently the most active region on the solar disk. More flaring at C-class level is expected from NOAA AR 2132 and 2134, with a small chance for a low
M-class flare. A type II radio burst was observed in Humain on August 5 at 15:50. It was related to a C1.1 flare at location N11E51, close to NOAA AR 2134 and to a narrow CME observed by LASCO at 16:24 UT towards the north-east. This CME is not earth-directed. A wide CME was observed in LASCO at 04:36 UT today after a long data gap. This CME was probably associated to an eruption in NOAA AR 2121, which has already turned over the west limb, but is visible in STEREO images around 20:00 UT on August 5. At that time SDO images also show erupting loops behind the west limb. This CME is thus back-sided and will not affect the earth.Geomagnetic conditions have been quiet to unsettled (K up to 3). We expect a return to quiet conditions. Late on August 7 and on August 8, unsettled to active conditions (K max 4) are possible due to the expected arrival of a coronal hole fast wind stream.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 08/06/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

Observatory Sponli


Saturn’s Swirling Cloudscape 

Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

 Acquiring its first sunlit views of far northern Saturn in late 2012, the Cassini spacecraft’s wide-angle camera recorded this stunning, false-color image of the ringed planet’s north pole. The composite of near-infrared image data results in red hues for low clouds and green for high ones, giving the Saturnian cloudscape a vivid appearance. Enormous by terrestrial standards, Saturn’s north polar hurricane-like storm is deep, red, and about 2,000 kilometers wide. Clouds at its outer edge travel at over 500 kilometers per hour. Other atmospheric vortices also swirl inside the large, yellowish green, six-sided jet stream known as the hexagon. Beyond the cloud tops at the upper right, arcs of the planet’s eye-catching rings appear bright blue.

APOD NASA 06-Aug-14

M51: Whirlpool Galaxy

93f6375384c1dea4b97f868c2ffb0045.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-20_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright Giulio Ercolani
The Whirlpool Galaxy (also known as Messier 51aM51a, or NGC 5194) is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. Recently it was estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way, but different methods yield distances between 15 and 35 million ly. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.
In 2005 a supernova (SN 2005cs) was observed in the Whirlpool Galaxy, peaking at apparent magnitude14.
On 31 May 2011 a type II supernova, was detected in the Whirlpool Galaxy, peaking at magnitude 12.1. This supernova, designated SN 2011dh, showed a spectrum much bluer than average, with P Cygni like characteristics in its hydrogen-Balmer lines. Interestingly, the progenitor was probably a yellow supergiant and not a red or blue supergiant, which is unusual.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Planewave 12.5 ” CDK Dell Kirkham Astrograph
Imaging cameras: SBIG STXL 6303
Mounts: Paramount PME
Software: Startools
Filters: Astrodon Blue, Astrodon Green, Astrodon Red, Astrodon Luminance
Dates: May 16, 2014, May 22, 2014, May 26, 2014, May 27, 2014
Astrodon Blue: 5×300″ bin 1×1
Astrodon Green: 5×300″ bin 1×1
Astrodon Luminance: 16×300″ bin 1×1
Astrodon Red: 5×300″ bin 1×1
Integration: 2.6 hours

Author: Giulio Ercolani
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 6 Aug 2014