Tag Archives: Sirius

Orion Arising 

Image Credit: NASA, ISS Expedition 40, Reid Wiseman

 Orion’s belt runs just along the horizon, seen through Earth’s atmosphere and rising in this starry snapshot from low Earth orbit on board the International Space Station. The belt stars, Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka run right to left and Orion’s sword, home to the great Orion Nebula, hangs above his belt, an orientation unfamiliar to denizens of the planet’s northern hemisphere. That puts bright star Rigel, at the foot of Orion, still higher above Orion’s belt. Of course the brightest celestial beacon in the frame is Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. The station’s Destiny Laboratory module is in the foreground at the top right.

APOD NASA 28-Jun-14

Winter Triangle

7c17c283-5675-4190-b67c-1f21a55c85bb a7205b169a74c563d4c752929ac14ac7.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-Copyright whwang
A bright asterism of the northern winter sky Winter Triangle  (part of Winter hexagon) . Its corners are the three 1st-magnitude stars Betelgeuse (α Ori), Procyon (α CMi), and Sirius (α CMa).

These three stars are three of the ten brightest objects, as viewed from Earth, outside the Solar System. Betelgeuse is also particularly easy to locate, being a shoulder of Orion, which assists stargazers in finding the triangle. Once the triangle is located, the larger hexagon may then be found.

Several of the stars in the hexagon may also be found independently of one another by following various lines traced through various stars in Orion.

The stars in the hexagon are parts of six constellations. Counter-clockwise around the hexagon, starting with Rigel, these are Orion, Taurus, Auriga,Gemini, Canis Minor, and Canis Major.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Nikon AFS 28-70mm/F2.8 D
Imaging cameras: Nikon D800 Mod
Mounts: Takahashi 90S
Software: DeepSkyStacker, Adobe Photoshop CC, Auriga Imaging RegiStar
Dates: Jan. 1, 2014
Locations: Mt. Shiao-Shuei (Taiwan)
Frames: 96×300″ ISO400
Integration: 8.0 hours

Autor: Wei-Hao Wang

01 March 2014

We select the best works of amateur astrophotographers with details of equipment, shooting processing etc.

Möbius Arch Moonrise

The waning gibbous moon (95% illumination, 2 days past full) is diffused by thin clouds as it rises over the Alabama Hills and the famed Möbius Arch.

Image Credit & Copyright: Laurie Hatch

Only two days past full, February’s moon shines through thin clouds, rising on the left in this fisheye night skyscape. The moonlight illuminates a weathered, rounded foreground in the Alabama Hills, conveniently located east of Mt. Whitney along the Sierra Nevada range in California, USA, planet Earth. Orion the Hunter stands at the right, a familiar northern winter constellation. Bright Jupiter, the solar system’s ruling gas giant, is near center at the top of the frame. Below Jupiter, Sirius, alpha star of the Big Dog, poses above a bowed and twisted landform known as Möbius Arch, its curve reminiscent of the mathematically famoussurface with only one side. Of course, instead of using rock, wind, and weather, a Möbius strip is easier to make with paper, scissors, and tape.

NASA APOD 28-feb-2014

The Terraced Night

Image Credit & Copyright: Cui Yongjiang
Long after sunset on January 25 an unusually intense red airglow floods this south-looking skyscape. The scene was recorded with a long exposure using a digital camera over Yunnan Province in southwest China. At best faintly visible to the eye, the lingering airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation. Originating at an altitude similar to aurora, it can found around the globe. The chemical energy is initially provided by the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation On this night, despite the luminous atmosphere, the band of the Milky Way clearly stretches above the horizon with bright star Sirius near the top of the frame. Both airglow and starry sky are beautifully reflected in region’s watery Yuanyang rice terraces below.
NASA APOD 06-Feb-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

The Seagull Nebula


Explanation: Image Credit & Copyright: Michael Miller

A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker – The Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations: notably NGC 2327, a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the bird’s head (aka the Parrot Nebula, above center). Dominated by the reddish glow of atomic hydrogen, the complex of gas and dust clouds with bright young stars spans over 100 light-years at an estimated 3,800 light-year distance.
NASA APOD 11-Jan-14