Saturday, June 23, 2018

CURIOSITY'S DUSTY SELF Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS, Curiosity Mars Rover

Winds on Mars can't actually blow spacecraft over. But in the low gravity, martian winds can loft fine dust particles in planet-wide storms, like the dust storm now raging on the Red Planet. From the martian surface on sol 2082 (June 15), this self-portrait from the Curiosity rover shows the effects of the dust storm, reducing sunlight and visibility at the rover's location in Gale crater. Made with the Mars Hand Lens Imager, its mechanical arm is edited out of the mosaicked images. Curiosity's recent drill site Duluth can be seen on the rock just in front of the rover on the left. The east-northeast Gale crater rim fading into the background is about 30 kilometers away. Curiosity is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator and is expected to be unaffected by the increase in dust at Gale crater. On the other side of Mars, the solar-powered Opportunity rover has ceased its operations due to the even more severe lack of sunlight at its location on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

COMET 66P/DU TOIT Taken by José J. Chambó on June 21, 2018 @ Siding Spring, Australia

Comet 66P/du Toit photographed on June 21th 2018 when was in conjunction with Sculptor Galaxy, also known as Silver Dollar Galaxy or NGC 253, a spiral with intense star formation to 12 million light-years from Earth. Meanwhile, the periodic comet 66P visiting us every 15 years is these days near our planet showing a intense green coma and observable from Southern Hemisphere through medium-size telescopes.

Telescope Planewave 20 CDK f/4.4 & Camera FLI PL09000.
Mosaic of 2 tiles, 9 min. each. Non-composite stacking.

Friday, June 22, 2018

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS – NLC Taken by Roman Banas on June 22, 2018 @ Piwnice, near Torun (Poland)

June 22 this year around 11:00 pm it was happening in the sky. A beautiful beginning of summer.
I am in a small village of Piwnice near Toruń (Poland), where is the Astronomical Observatory of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Piwnice. In the picture Radiotelescopes RT3 and RT4.
GPS 18.558056, 53.090278

MOON AND JUPITER Taken by Marek Nikodem on June 22, 2018 @ near Szubin, Poland

Waxing gibbous Moon approaches Jupiter for conjunction in the constellation Libra.

GALAXY IN A CRYSTAL BALL Image Credit & Copyright: Juan Carlos Munoz

A small crystal ball seems to hold a whole galaxy in this creative snapshot. Of course, the galaxy is our own Milky Way. Its luminous central bulge marked by rifts of interstellar dust spans thousands of light-years. On this long southern hemisphere night it filled dark Chilean skies over Paranal Observatory. The single exposure image did not require a Very Large Telescope, though. Experiments with a digital camera on a tripod and crystal ball perched on a handrail outside the Paranal Residencia produced the evocative, cosmic marble portrait of our home galaxy.

REGION OPHIUCHUS - SAGITTARIUS Taken by Marian Urbanik on June 19, 2018 @ Čadca, Slovakia.

Point of the Winter Solstice ...
I used the Canon 6D camera and the lens Sigma 2.8/150, cl.5, 12x240s.


Pope Francis has named Maryland Province Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno to be the new director of the Vatican Observatory.

Br. Consolmagno is a planetary scientist who has studied meteorites and asteroids as an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory since 1993. He had been serving as president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, coordinator of public relations and curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo, one of the largest in the world.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Br. Consolmagno was a post-doctorate lecturer at Harvard College Observatory and at MIT before serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya, where he taught physics and astronomy. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1989.

The author of numerous books on science and faith, he received the prestigious Carl Sagan Medal in 2014 for his ability to communicate accurately and clearly the discoveries of planetary science to the general public.

"The church urgently needs religious who dedicate their lives to being on the very frontiers between faith and human knowledge, faith and modern science," the pope said. [Source: Maryland Province]