Daily Archives: August 20, 2014

The Sun Online and solar activity. August 20, 2014

There are 6 active regions on the visible side of the solar disk. Only NOAA AR 12146 (in NE quadrant) has shown a significant growth in the past 24 hours. We expect it will push up solar activity to C-class flaring levels, though further growth in size, complexity and thus flaring levels cannot be excluded. Note also that flaring activity is observed from behind the NE solar limb.Quiet geomagnetic conditions are expected in the coming 3 days: there are no high speed wind streams expected from coronal holes, nor are there any new CMEs on the way to the Earth. The arrival yesterday (Aug 19) of the Aug 15 CME resulted in a Kp=6 episode. The Bz component of the IMF has now turned fully Northward, thereby ending the geomagnetic storm.

Equipment: Coronado 90 +  Imaging Source DMK  + LX75
Processing: Photoshop, Avistack 300 frames
Date: 08/20/14
Time UT: 16:00
Exposure 1/500 sec.

Observatory Sponli


In the Center of the Lagoon Nebula 


Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, NASA, ESA – Processing & Licence: Judy Schmidt

The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Hershel 36, lights the area. Walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars. As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions can be created generating shearing winds which may cause the funnels. This picture, spanning about 5 light years, combines images taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8, lies about 5,000 light years distant toward the constellation of Sagittarius.

APOD NASA 20-Aug-2014

IC 342 in Camelopardalis


IC 342 (IC=Index Catalogue)(also known as Caldwell 5) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. The galaxy is near the galactic equator where dust obscuration makes it a difficult object for both amateur and professional astronomers to observe, though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. The dust of the Milky Way makes it difficult to determine the precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.

IC 342 is one of the brightest two galaxies in the IC 342/Maffei Group of galaxies, one of the galaxy groups that is closest to the Local Group. The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1895. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but later it was demonstrated that the galaxy is outside the Local Group.

In 1935, Harlow Shapley declared that this galaxy was the third largest spiral galaxy by angular size then known, smaller only than the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33), being wider that the full moon. (Modern estimates are more conservative, giving the apparent size as one-half to two-thirds the diameter of the full moon).

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Telescope Services 10″ F/4 Carbon Imaging Newton
Imaging cameras: SBIG ST-10XME
Mounts: Sky-Watcher HEQ6 Pro
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Teleskop-Service 8×50 Finderscope
Guiding cameras: Lodestar Autoguider
Focal reducers: Baader Planetarium MPCC
Software: Steve Brady Larry Weber FocusMax, Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight Core 1.8, CCDWare CCDAutoPilot 5, Diffraction Limited MaximDL 5, Software Bisque, Cynogen, TheSkyX Professional Edition, Adobe Photoshop CS5, CCDWare CCD Inspector
L: 21 x 300 sec. (105 min).
R: 10 x 300 sec. (50 min).
G: 10 x 300 sec. (50 min).
B: 8 x 300 sec. (40 min).
Total exp.: 245 min.

Author: Emiel Kempen
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 20 Aug 2014