Sunday, October 21, 2018

METEOR, COMET, AND SEAGULL (NEBULA) Image Credit & Copyright: Takao Sambommatsu

A meteor, a comet, and a photogenic nebula have all been captured in this single image. The closest and most fleeting is the streaking meteor on the upper right -- it was visible for less than a second. The meteor, which disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere, was likely a small bit of debris from the nucleus of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, coincidentally the comet captured in the same image. Comet 21P, pictured across the inner Solar System from Earth, is distinctive for its long dust tail spread horizontally across the image center. This comet has been visible with binoculars for the past few months but is now fading as it heads back out to the orbit of Jupiter. Farthest out at 3,500 light years distant is the IC 2177, the Seagull Nebula, visible on the left. The comparatively vast Seagull Nebula, with a wingspan on order 250 light-years, will likely remain visible for hundreds of thousands of years. Long exposures, taken about two weeks ago from Iwaki-City in Japan, were combined to capture the image's faintest elements. You, too, could see a meteor like this -- and perhaps sooner than you might think: tonight is the peak of the Orionids meteor shower.

ZODIACAL LIGHT AND SATELLITE FLARE Taken by Kevin Palmer on October 20, 2018 @ Devils Tower National Monument, WY

Early this morning I was at Devils Tower watching for Orionid Meteors. This bright streak was in 2 frames and lacks the typical colors of a meteor which means it was probably a satellite flare.

The zodiacal light also made an appearance, brighter than Ive ever seen it before. The diffuse glow stretched all the way from the eastern horizon to the zenith before astronomical twilight started. The crystal clear fall air and very dark skies made it very prominent.

COMET 64P/SWIFT-GEHRELS APPROACHING M31 Taken by Yasushi Aoshima on October 17, 2018 @ Ishikawa, JAPAN

Data: EF300mmF2.8L USM, CanonEOS6D, 12800 ISO, 12x60sec stacked (16:13-40 UT), North: lower-right, FOV: 4.7 x 7°

COMET 46P WIRTANEN Taken by rolando ligustri on October 18, 2018 @ from Australia SSO,

this is an interesting comet, in this passage it will be very close to the Earth and it is expected a magnitude, a December, inferior to the 4 ^ magnitude. DK 500/2250 ccd PL6303e 3x180sec

DONATIELLO I DWARF SPHEROIDAL GALAXY Taken by Giuseppe Donatiello on October 12, 2018 @ Oria, Italy

Donatiello I is a new dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the outskirts of the Local Group at 3.3 Mpc (10.7 milion light-years) in the Andomeda constellation, at about 1° from Mirach star.
FOV is a cutout of the discovery image. Inset image taken by the spanish 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias at La Palma in February 2017.

Martínez-Delgado et al.: Mirach’s Goblin: Discovery of a dwarf spheroidal galaxy behind the Andromeda galaxy (accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics) ---- Full paper link:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

HALO OF THE CAT'S EYE Image Credit & Copyright: Data: Michael Joner (West Mountain Observatory, BYU), Romano Corradi (IAC), Hubble Legacy Archive - Processing: Robert Gendler

Explanation: Not a Falcon 9 rocket launch after sunset, the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this composited picture, processed to reveal an enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, over three light-years across. Made with data from ground- and space-based telescopes it shows the extended emission which surrounds the brighter, familiar planetary nebula. Planetary nebulae have long been appreciated as a final phase in the life of a sun-like star. But only more recently have some planetaries been found to have halos like this one, likely formed of material shrugged off during earlier active episodes in the star's evolution. While the planetary nebula phase is thought to last for around 10,000 years, astronomers estimate the outer filamentary portions of this halo to be 50,000 to 90,000 years old.

ZODIACAL LIGHT Taken by Károly Jónás on October 13, 2018 @ Mátraszentimre, Hungary

Canon Eos 600D & Tokina 11-16mm lens.