Author Archives: Anna

Bubble Nebula


NGC 7635, also called the Bubble Nebula, Sharpless 162, or Caldwell 11, is a H II region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It lies close to the direction of the open cluster Messier 52. The “bubble” is created by the stellar wind from a massive hot, 8.7magnitude young central star, the 15 ± 5 M☉ SAO 20575 (BD+60 2522). The nebula is near a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow. It was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. The star SAO 20575 or BD+602522 is thought to have a mass of 10-40 Solar masses.

Telescope / lens shooting: GSO 8 “f / 5 Newton
Camera to capture: Canon EOS 1100Da
Mount: EQ6
Guides telescope / lens: GSO 8 “f / 5 Newton
Camera guide: QHYCCD QHY5
Filters: Astronomik EOS CLS Clip-In
Resolution: 1600×1062
Dates: August 18, 2012
Frames: 40×300 ”
Accumulation: 3.3 hours
Avg. Age of the Moon: 0.34 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 0.13%
RA Centre: 350.709 degrees
DEC center: 61.363 degrees
Pixel scale: 2,936 coal. sec / pixel
Direction: -161.299 degrees
Radius field: 0.783 degrees

Author: saiph

Astrofoto of the day from SPONLI, 14.12.2014

Sombrero Galaxy


The Sombrero Galaxy (also known as Messier Object 104, M104 or NGC 4594) is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellationVirgo located 28 million light-years (8.6 Mpc) from Earth. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero. Astronomers initially thought that the halo was small and light, indicative of a spiral galaxy, but Spitzer found that the halo around the Sombrero Galaxy is larger and more massive than previously thought, indicative of a giant elliptical galaxy.The galaxy has an apparent magnitudeof +9.0, making it easily visible with amateur telescopes, and it’s considered by some authors to be the brightest galaxy within a radius of 10 megaparsecs of the Milky Way.The large bulge, the central supermassive black hole, and the dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.

Telescope / lens shooting: Hubble Space Telescope
Camera to capture: Advanced Camera for Surveys
Guides telescope / lens: Hubble Space Telescope
Resolution: 5465×2952
Dates: May 16, 2003, June 5, 2003, June 8, 2003 June 9, 2003, June 14, 2003
F435W: 24×675 ”
F555W: 24×500 ”
F625W: 20×350 ”
Accumulation: 9.8 hours
Avg. Age of the Moon: 9.89 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 67.07%
Bortlya scale to assess the darkness of the sky: 1.00

Author: Roberto Colombari

Astrofoto of the day from SPONLI, 13.12.2014

The Elephant’s Trunk nebula


The Elephant’s Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396 located in the constellation Cepheus about 2,400 light years away from Earth. The piece of the nebula shown here is the dark, dense globule IC 1396A; it is commonly called the Elephant’s Trunk nebula because of its appearance at visible light wavelengths, where there is a dark patch with a bright, sinuous rim. The bright rim is the surface of the dense cloud that is being illuminated and ionized by a very bright, massive star (HD 206267) that is just to the west of IC 1396A. (In the Figure above, the massive star is just to the left of the edge of the image.) The entire IC 1396 region is ionized by the massive star, except for dense globules that can protect themselves from the star’s harsh ultraviolet rays.

Resolution: 4301×3299
Dates: September 6, 2014
Frames: 1×145000 ”
Accumulation: 40.3 hours
Avg. Moon age: 11.20 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 86.31%
RA Centre: 324.828 degrees
DEC center: 57.467 degrees
Direction: 177.628 degrees
The radius of the field: 2,142 degrees

Author Giuseppe Donatiello

Astrofoto of the day from SPONLI, 12.12.2014

Sun online and solar activity 10.12.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Dec 10 12:23:27 Solar activity was low with several C-class flares originating from NOAA active region 2230, which currently has developed to a beta-gamma region. The strongest flare was a C6.2 flare, peaking at 15:28 UT on December 9. No Earth directed CMEs were observed. Flaring activity at the C-level is expected. The solar wind speed varied between 450 and 550 km/s, but is gradually declining, as observed by ACE and SOHO/Celias. The magnitude of the interplanetary magnetic field reached a maximum of 8 nT. Geomagnetic conditions were quiet to active, related to effects of the CH high speed stream. Quiet to unsettled conditions are expected, with some chance for a few time slots of active to minor storm conditions.

Orion Nebula

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The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.

Telescope / lens shooting: Celestron Edge HD 1100
Camera to capture: Atik 11000
Mount: Celestron CGE-Pro
Guides telescope / lens: William Optics Finder 50mm
Camera guide: Astrolumina ALccd 5.2
Focal reducers: Starizona HyperStar for Celestron EdgeHD 1100
Programs: PixInsight, Straton, Fitswork, ProDigital Software StarSpikes Pro 2.0, Maxim DL
Filters: Ha 7nm, Baader LRGB 2 “unmounted
Resolution: 3799×2354
Dates: February 24, 2014
Frames: 1434×10 ”
Accumulation: 4.0 hours
Avg. Moon age: 23.51 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 35.69%
RA Centre: 83.844 degrees
DEC Center: -5.400 degrees
Pixel scale: 3,330 coal. sec / pixel
Direction: 90.657 degrees
The radius of the field: 2,067 degrees
Location: Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt, Bayern, Germany

Author: equinoxx

Astrofoto of the day from SPONLI, 11.12.2014

Sun online and Solar activity 09.12.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Dec 09 12:23:44 Solar activity has slightly increased with several C-class flares, originating from NOAA active region 2230. The strongest flares were C8.1 and C8.6 flares, probably not accompanied by a CME. NOAA 2230 has a beta configuration of it’s photospheric magnetic field and it’s trailing part has grown in size. No Earth directed CMEs were observed. Flares at the C-level are expected, with an increased chance for M-flares (30% probability).The solar wind speed reached high values (up to 700 km/s) during the first half of the period and then decreased to current values near 530 km/s. The magnitude of the interplanetary magnetic field is stable around 5 nT. A few time slots of active conditions were reached (to 4 for local K at Dourbes and estimated NOAA Kp). Quiet to unsettled magnetic conditions are expected.

Jellyfish Nebula

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IC 443 (also known as the Jellyfish Nebula and Sharpless 248 (Sh2-248)) is a Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Gemini. On the plan of the sky, it is located near the star Eta Geminorum. Its distance is roughly 5,000 light years from Earth.

IC 443 may be the remains of a supernova that occurred 3,000 – 30,000 years ago. The same supernova event likely created the neutron star CXOU J061705.3+222127, the collapsed remnant of the stellar core. IC 443 is one of the best-studied cases of supernova remnants interacting with surrounding molecular clouds.

Telescope / lens shooting: Takahashi FSQ 106ED
Camera to capture: SBIG ST-2000XM
Mount: Astro-Physics 900 GTO
Filters: Astrodon 3nm OIII, Astrodon Ha 5nm
Resolution: 690×535
Dates: March 21, 2014, March 23, 2014
Astrodon 3nm OIII: 9×1200 “bin 1×1
Astrodon Ha 5nm: 20×1200 “bin 1×1
Accumulation: 9.7 hours
Avg. Moon age: 19.99 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 71.65%
RA Centre: 94.222 degrees
DEC center: 22.541 degrees
Direction: -160.333 degrees
Radius field: 0.776 degrees

Author: sydney

Astrofoto of the day from SPONLI, 10.12.2014

Sun and solar activity 08.12.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Dec 08 12:09:51 The background of the Xray flux (measured by GOES) is currently at the higher B-level. Only 3 minor C-class flares were observed, originating from NOAA AR 2222 (Catania group 24) and 2231 (no Catania number yet). NOAA 2231 emerged yesterday and developed to a beta region. Flaring at the lower C-level is expected. As NOAA 2222 is approaching the west limb, despite the reduced flaring potential, an eruption might still be accompanied by an increased solar proton flux. No Earth directed CMEs were observed. The Earth is still inside a fast flow, but with decreasing solar wind speed values (from 800 to 600 km/s, measured by ACE). The interplanetary magnetic field has a magnitude between 3 and 7 nT with a fluctuating Bz component. Yesterday afternoon (UT time), active to minor storm conditions were reached (to 5 for local K at Dourbes and estimated NOAA Kp) due to the arrival of a coronal hole high speed stream. K returned to quiet conditions again. Quiet to unsettled magnetic conditions are expected.

The Rosette Nebula

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The Rosette Nebula (also known as Caldwell 49) is a large, circular H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy. The open cluster NGC 2244 (Caldwell 50) is closely associated with the nebulosity, the starsof the cluster having been formed from the nebula’s matter.

Telescope / lens shooting: Takahashi FSQ106ED
Camera to capture: QSI 683 wsg-8
Guides telescope / lens: Takahashi FSQ106ED
Camera guide: Starlight Xpress Loadstar
Focal reducers: Takahashi Extender-Q 1.6x
Program: Diffraction Limited MaximDL 5 Pro, CCDWare CCDStack 2+, Photoshop CS5
Filters: Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series G, Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series R, AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Blue, AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Luminance
Resolution: 3217×2425
Dates: October 24, 2014
AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Blue: 4×300 “-20C bin 1×1
Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series G: 4×300 “-20C bin 1×1
AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Luminance: 15×300 “-20C bin 1×1
Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series R: 4×300 “-20C bin 1×1
Accumulation: 2.2 hours
Dark frame: ~ 50
Flat-field frames: ~ 12
Frames offset: ~ 300
Avg. Age of the Moon: 0.08 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 0.01%
The average FWHM: 2.25
Temperature: 5.00
RA Centre: 97.967 degrees
DEC Center: 4,947 degrees
Pixel scale: 1,310 coal. sec / pixel
Direction: 90.151 degrees
Radius field: 0.733 degrees
Locations: New Mexico skies, Rodeo, New Mexico, United States

Author: Benoit Gagnon

Astrofoto of the day from SPONLI, 09.12.2014

Sun online and solar activity 08.12.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Dec 07 12:33:18 The solar activity is rather low, and the strongest flare during last 24 hours was a C3.7 flare (peaked at 13:52 UT on December 6) which originated from the Catania sunspot group 24 (NOAA AR 2222). We expect C-class flares in the coming hours. An issolated M-class flare is possible from the Catania sunspot group 24 (NOAA AR 2222) which is currently situated close to the west solar limb (S20W70). The strong flaring activity originating from this active region might be accompanied with the proton event. Therefore, we maintain the warning conditions for a proton event. No Earth directed CMEs were observed during last 24 hours. The Earth is currently inside of a fast solar wind with the speed of about 690 km/s, and the interplanetary magnetic field magnitude is about 7nT. The fast solar wind originating from the large polar coronal hole with the extent to the low latitudes (up to about S40) arrived at the Earth yesterday, as expected. The concurrent slow increase of the solar wind speed, density and the interplanetary magnetic field which started early on December 6, indicate strong compression region in front of the fast flow. Decrease of density and strong increase of the solar wind speed and temperature (observed at about 16:00 UT on December 6), indicate arrival of the fast flow itself. The maximum solar wind speed of about 800 km/s was observed this morning. The highest value of the interplanetary magnetic field magnitude of about 25nT, was recorded at about 15:00 UT on December 6. Due to arrival of the fast flow we observed few intervals of negative value of the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (down to -14 nT at about 18:30 UT on December 6), which induced active to minor storm geomagnetic conditions from about 18:00 UT on December 6 until early this morning (the local station at Dourbes and Izmiran reported values of K=4, and NOAA reported one interval of Kp=5). We expect unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions in the coming hours.