Saturday, March 24, 2018

PLANET MARS Taken by gianluca belgrado on March 20, 2018 @ Casarano

La congiunzione tra Marte e la nebulosa Trifida , fotografata allalba del 20 marzo . Levento è stato scambiato da un cosmologo per un esplosione stellare 🤣 . Mosaico di 2 scatti : per la foto dove è presene il pianeta ho sommato 5 pose da 1 minuto a 200 iso , la foto con la nebulosa è una vecchia ripresa del 2016 , fatta con una Canon 1100d , ed allineata con Photomerge

THE MOON WITH EARTHSHINE Taken by Peter Rosén on March 21, 2018 @ Central Stockholm, Sweden

The Moons dark side was beautifully lit upp by a strong Earthshine 2 days ago.
Photographed with Canon Eos5DMk4 and a Celestron C9.25 Edge HD.
I have composited a total of 16 images to handle the big contrast of the scenery.

Friday, March 23, 2018

SHARPLESS 249 AND THE JELLYFISH NEBULA Image Credit & Copyright: Albert Barr

Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic image. Centered in the scene it's anchored right and left by two bright stars, Mu and Eta Geminorum, at the foot of the celestial twin. The Jellyfish Nebula is the brighter arcing ridge of emission with dangling tentacles. In fact, the cosmic jellyfish is part of bubble-shaped supernova remnant IC 443, the expanding debris cloud from a massive star that exploded. Light from the explosion first reached planet Earth over 30,000 years ago. Like its cousin in astrophysical waters the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, the Jellyfish Nebula is known to harbor a neutron star, the remnant of the collapsed stellar core. An emission nebula cataloged as Sharpless 249 fills the field at the upper left. The Jellyfish Nebula is about 5,000 light-years away. At that distance, this image would be about 300 light-years across.

AURORA Taken by Steve Cullen on March 22, 2018 @ Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Cosmic Virga 🌧️

What do you do after spending 6+ hours outside all night doing aurora photography in -25°F temperatures? You take a selfie, of course. For those of you not familiar with virga it is the meteorological term for an observable streak of precipitation falling from a cloud that evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground. The aurora in this image looks very similar to what you might see in the southwestern U.S. skies on a summer afternoon. Except this definitely is not the southwest. Oh, and, virga doesnt come in green and violet colors either!

Some other things I figured out while creating this photograph. 1. I didnt realize that at this latitude the Andromeda Galaxy never sets. It is the glowing slanted oval just to the left of center in my photograph. 2. This is the Milky Way season for folks this far north. By late April the sky will be bright enough all night long to wash out the Milky Way. 3. You cant get those big arching Milky Way shots here in Yellowknife. Youve seen those images where the galactic core is blazing away above the horizon with the stars in the disc of the galaxy arching across the sky. What you see in my photograph is really about as arching as it is going to get. 4. At -25°F the luminance noise in photographs is pretty darn low.

As for the photograph, this isnt a normal one-shot and done selfie. It is a special technique pioneered by my Facebook friend Michael Goh that I like to use on occassion. It involves taking a single image of yours truly holding a light. Then, I take a panoramic of the entire foreground scene with the light placed on a light stand or tripod. Then, I take another panoramic of the entire scene, exposing especially for the sky. The individual images for the foreground and sky and merged to create panoramas and then those are composited together, along with the single image of me, to make the final photograph. It is a lot more involved than pulling out your iPhone and snapping an image. But, it really is the best way to shoot this type of photograph under low-light conditions and I think the results are pretty awesome.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


NGC 253: DUSTY ISLAND UNIVERSE Image Credit & Copyright: Stefano Cancelli, Paul Mortfield

Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. Discovered in 1783 by mathematician and astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away. About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our own Local Group of Galaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to be rising from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions in this sharp color image. The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation, earning NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy's center. Take a trip through extragalactic space in this short video flyby of NGC 253.