Tag Archives: Barnard’s Loop

Orion widefield

Orion’s seven brightest stars form a distinctive hourglass-shaped asterism, or pattern, in the night sky. Four stars—Rigel, Betelgeuse, Bellatrix and Saiph—form a large roughly rectangular shape, in the centre of which lie the three stars of Orion’s Belt (centre of the image) — AlnitakAlnilam and Mintaka. Descending from the ‘belt’ is a smaller line of three stars (the middle of which is in fact not a star but the Orion Nebula), known as the hunter’s ‘sword’.

Hanging from Orion’s belt is his sword,  consisting of the multiple stars θ1 and θ2 Orionis, called the Trapezium and the Orion Nebula (M42).   Besides these nebulae, surveying Orion with a small telescope will reveal a wealth of interesting deep-sky objects, including M43, M78, as well as multiple stars including Iota Orionis and Sigma Orionis. A larger telescope may reveal objects such as Barnard’s Loop and theFlame Nebula (NGC 2024), as well as fainter and tighter multiple stars and nebulae. All of these nebulae are part of the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which is located approximately 1,500 light-years away and is hundreds of light-years across. It is one of the most intense regions of stellar formation visible in our galaxy.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Canon 50mm f/1,4 Lense
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i
Mounts: Skywatcher Neq6 pro synscan
Guiding cameras: QHY5
Software: DeepSkyStacker, PHD guiding, photoshop
Dates: Oct. 5, 2013
Frames: 15×420″
Integration: 1.8 hours

Author: Ivan Jevremovic
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 11 July 2014

The Gegenschein Over Chile


Image Credit & Copyright:
 Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution)

Is the night sky darkest in the direction opposite the Sun? No. In fact, a rarely discernable faint glow known as the gegenschein (German for “counter glow”) can be seen 180 degrees around from the Sun in an extremely dark sky. The gegenschein is sunlight back-scattered off small interplanetary dust particles. These dust particles are millimeter sized splinters from asteroids and orbit in the ecliptic plane of the planets. Pictured above from last year is one of the more spectacular pictures of the gegenschein yet taken. Here a deep exposure of an extremely dark sky over Las Campanas Observatory in Chile shows the gegenschein so clearly that even a surrounding glow is visible. Notable background objects include the Andromeda galaxy, the Pleiades star cluster, the California Nebula, the belt of Orion just below the Orion Nebula and inside Barnard’s Loop, and bright stars Sirius and Betelgeuse. The gegenschein is distinguished from zodiacal light near the Sun by the high angle of reflection. During the day, a phenomenon similar to the gegenschein called the glory can be seen in reflecting air or clouds opposite the Sun from an airplane.
APOD NASA 14-Jan-2014