Category Archives: 2014

NGC 891


NGC 891 (also known as Caldwell 23) is an edge-on unbarred spiral galaxy about 30 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It was discovered by William Herschel on October 6, 1784. The galaxy is a member of the NGC 1023 group of galaxies in the Local Supercluster. It has an H II nucleus.The object is visible in small to moderate size telescopes as a faint elongated smear of light with a dust lane visible in larger apertures. In 1999, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged NGC 891 in infrared. In 2005, due to its attractiveness and scientific interest, NGC 891 was selected to be the first light image of the Large Binocular Telescope.[4] In 2012, it was again used as a first light image of the Discovery Channel Telescope with the Large Monolithic Imager. Supernova SN 1986J was discovered on August 21, 1986 at apparent magnitude 14.

RA Centre: 35.633 degrees
DEC center: 42.345 degrees
Direction: 90.030 degrees
Radius field: 0.168 degrees

Author: Roberto Colombari

Astrophoto of the day from SPONLI, 07.12.2014

Crescent Tricolour Start

3019bb21492efe5c56ea973338b60683.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-60_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright Patrick Gilliland 2014
The Crescent Nebula (also known as NGC 6888, Caldwell 27, Sharpless 105) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away. It was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1792. It is formed by the fast stellar wind from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136 (HD 192163) colliding with and energizing the slower moving wind ejected by the star when it became a red giant around 250,000 to 400,000 years ago. The result of the collision is a shell and two shock waves, one moving outward and one moving inward. The inward moving shock wave heats the stellar wind to X-ray-emitting temperatures.

Imaging telescope / lens: Borg ED 101
Mount: AstroPhysics AP1200 AP1200GTO
Guide telescope / lens: Borg ED 101
Camera guide: QSI 683WSG-8 OAG QSI 683
Focal reducers: Borg Super reducer f / 4
Software: Pixinsight 1.8, Photoshop CS 6 Photoshop CS6
Filters: Astrodon OIII 5nm, Astrodon SII 5nm, Astrodon Ha 5nm
Accessories: Starlight Xpress lodestar Lodestar
Resolution: 3172×2287
Dates: November 23, 2014
Astrodon Ha 5nm: 4×1800 “-20C bin 1×1
Astrodon OIII 5nm: 4×1800 “bin 1×1
Astrodon SII 5nm: 2×1800 “-20C bin 1×1
Accumulation: 5.0 hours
Avg. Age of the Moon: 0.49 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 0.27%
Location: Home Observatory, Home, Worcestershire, United Kingdom

Author: Paddy

Astrophotography of the day by SPONLI 04.12.2014

Sun and solar activity 02.12.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Dec 02 11:50:40 Solar activity is low. The strongest flare, out of 5 low-level C-class flares reported in the last 24 hours, was the impulsive C5.2 flare (peaking at 08:05 UT) on December 2. The flare originated from the Catania sunspot group 18 (NOAA AR 2217), and does not seem to be associated with CME (currently available data give no indication about possible on disc signatures of the CME). Catania sunspot groups 18 and 24 (NOAA ARs 2217 and 2222) maintain beta-gamma configuration of their photospheric magnetic field and could be the source of C-class flares. An isolated M-class flare is still possible from the Catania sunspot group 24 (NOAA AR 2222). No Earth directed CMEs were observed during last 24 hours.The Earth is currently inside a fast solar wind with the speed of about 550 km/s. This high speed stream which arrived on the midday of December 01, is associated with the extended low-latitude coronal hole (between N25 and N70) which reached the central meridian on the morning of November 26 (the transition of the coronal hole across the central meridian lasted more than two days). During last 24 hours the interplanetary magnetic field was slightly elevated, reaching the magnitude of about 12nT, but its current value decrease to about 5nT. The arrival of the coronal hole high speed stream resulted in the unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions (K=3 reported by Dourbes, K=4 reported by IZMIRAN and NOAA reported Kp=4) in the evening of December 1 and early morning of December 2. The geomagnetic conditions are at the moment quiet to unsettled and expected to remain so in the coming hours.

North America Nebula


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”.

Imaging telescope / lens: Skywatcher Equinox 80

Imaging camera: Canon 350D Baader

Mount: Losmandy G-11
Guide telescope / lens: Celestron C8
Focal reducers: TeleVue 0.8x Photo Reducer / Flattener TRF-2008
Programs: Adobe photoshop
Filters: eos clip UHC
Accessories: pl1m
RA Centre: 313.804 degrees
DEC center: 44.288 degrees
Pixel scale: 3,322 coal. sec / pixel
Direction: 169.677 degrees
The radius of the field: 1,915 degrees

Author: nono26

Astrophotography of the day by SPONLI, 03.12.2014

Crab Nebula


The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellationof Taurus.Corresponding to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, the nebula was observed later by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731. At an apparent magnitude of 8.4, comparable to that of the largest moon of Saturn, it is not visible to the naked eye but can be made out using binoculars under favourable conditions.

Telescope / lens shooting: Celestron 8 SLT
Camera to capture: Canon Rebel T5i
Mount: CELESTRON Advanced VX
Program: IrfanView, O’Telescope BackyardEOS, Adobe Photoshop CS2, Deep Sky Stacker 3.3.2
Resolution: 4638×3270
Dates: November 28, 2014
Frames: 90×60 ”
Accumulation: 1.5 hours
Avg. Age of the Moon: 5.84 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 33.88%
RA Centre: 83.617 degrees
DEC center: 21.983 degrees
Pixel scale: 0.427 arc. sec / pixel
Direction: 100,600 degrees
Radius field: 0.336 degrees
Location: Rolnick Observatory, Westport, Connecticut, United States

Author: Michael Southam

Astrophoto of the day from SPONLI, 02.12.2014

Andromeda Galaxy

047450c74ebcde6343c6d3f7898b9bff.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright jburns1964
The Andromeda Galaxy /ænˈdrɒmɨdə/ is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years (2.4×1019 km) from Earth[4] in the Andromeda constellation. Also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, it is often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula in older texts. The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy, but not the nearest galaxy overall. It gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princess Andromeda. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 44 other smaller galaxies.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: SkyWatcher Black Diamond 80ED
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS T1i unmodified
Mount: Skywatcher NEQ6 PRO
Focal reducers: Skywatcher 0.85x Focal Reducer / Corrector for the ED80
Software: Stark Labs Nebulosity 3, O’Telescope BackyardEOS, PHD Guiding, Adobe Photoshop CS 6
Accessories: Kendrick Digifire 10 Dew Heater, KW Telescope Qhy5 CCD Guider
Resolution: 4357×2230
Dates: November 18, 2012
Frames: 20×120 ”
Accumulation: 0.7 hours
Avg. Age of the Moon: 4.66 days
Avg. Phase of the Moon: 22.61%
RA Centre: 10.632 degrees
DEC center: 41.282 degrees
Pixel scale: 1,858 coal. sec / pixel
Direction: -69.936 degrees
The radius of the field: 1,263 degrees

Author: John Burns

Аstrophotography of the day of  SPONLI, 01.12.2014

Sun online and solar activity 26.11.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Nov 26 12:25:23 Four C-class flare were observed, with NOAA 2217 producing the strongest event of the period (C2.9 peaking at 06:17UT). Slowly developing region NOAA 2219 and a new, currently unnumbered, region near the east limb merit some attention, as they were the sources of the other C-class flares. Numerous, but quiet, filaments are present on the solar disk, with the longest measuring 40 degrees and located in the NE quadrant. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed. Further C-class flaring is expected, with a small chance on an isolated M-class flare. Solar wind speed declined from about 400 to 320 km/s. Bz was mostly negative and varied between -6 and +4 nT. The IMF is directed away from the Sun. The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled (K<4), and is expected to remain so. Effects from an expected Sector Boundary Crossing and the possible high speed stream from the extension of a coronal hole may result in an isolated active period on 27-28 November.

Sun online and solar activity 24.11.2014


INFO FROM SIDC – RWC BELGIUM 2014 Nov 24 12:16:19

Five low-level C-class flares were observed over the last 24 hours. The largest was a C4.1 peaking at 11:04UT in NOAA 2217, which was also the source of 3 other C2 flares. One of these peaked on 23 November at 16:14UT and was associated to a non-Earth directed CME, first visible in LASCO at 16:24UT. NOAA 2216 produced the remaining C2 flare. The other regions were quiet, with NOAA 2209 still maintaining a weak delta spot in its trailing portion. More C-class flares are expected, with a chance on an isolated M-class flare. The IMF is directed away from the Sun, with Bz varying between -7 and +4 nT. Solar wind speed varied between 470 and 360 km/s and is currently near 400 km/s. The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled (K<3), and is expected to remain so, with an isolated active period possible.

The Sun Online and solar activity. october 01.10.2014


INFO FROM SIDC - RWC BELGIUM 2014 Sep 30 12:20:03

There are currently 10 sunspot groups on the solar disk, with two active
regions approaching the east limb. However, only NOAA 2173 is producing
low-level C-class flaring, the strongest being a C3.3 flare peaking at
21:32UT. NOAA 2175 and NOAA 2177 have some mixed magnetic polarities, but
have remained quiet. No Earth-directed CMEs have been observed. The x-ray
background flux is already 5 consecutive days above the C1-level. Two
20-degrees long filaments visible in the western solar hemisphere have
remained quiet.

C-class flaring is expected, with a reasonable chance on an isolated
M-class flare.

Solar wind speed varied mostly between 340 and 380 km/s, with Bz
fluctuating between -7 and +5 nT. Quiet to unsettled geomagnetic conditions
were observed, with Kp having some active periods. Geomagnetic conditions
are expected to be quiet to unsettled, with locally an active period

M27: The Dumbbell Nebula

Image Credit & Copyright: Bill Snyder (Bill Snyder Photography)

 The first hint of what will become of our Sun was discovered inadvertently in 1764. At that time, Charles Messier was compiling a list of diffuse objects not to be confused with comets. The 27th object on Messier’s list, now known as M27 or the Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the type of nebula our Sun will produce when nuclear fusion stops in its core. M27 is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky, and can be seen toward the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula) with binoculars. It takes light about 1000 years to reach us from M27, shown above in colors emitted by hydrogen and oxygen. Understanding the physics and significance of M27 was well beyond 18th century science. Even today, many things remain mysterious about bipolar planetary nebula like M27, including the physical mechanism that expels a low-mass star’s gaseous outer-envelope, leaving an X-ray hot white dwarf.

APOD NASA 14-Sep-14