Wednesday, March 29, 2017


NEBULA WITH LASER BEAMS Image Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Guisard (Los Cielos de America, TWAN)

Four laser beams cut across this startling image of the Orion Nebula, as seen from ESO's Paranal Observatory in the Atacama desert on planet Earth. Not part of an interstellar conflict, the lasers are being used for an observation of Orion by UT4, one of the observatory's very large telescopes, in a technical test of an image-sharpening adaptive optics system. This view of the nebula with laser beams was captured by a small telescope from outside the UT4 enclosure. The beams are visible from that perspective because in the first few kilometers above the observatory the Earth's dense lower atmosphere scatters the laser light. The four small segments appearing beyond the beams are emission from an atmospheric layer of sodium atoms excited by the laser light at higher altitudes of 80-90 kilometers. Seen from the perspective of the UT4, those segments form bright spots or artificial guide stars. Their fluctuations are used in real-time to correct for atmospheric blurring along the line-of-sight by controlling a deformable mirror in the telescope's optical path.

SUNSPOT IN H-ALPHA Taken by jean-pierre brahic on March 29, 2017 @ Uzès ( France)

AR2644 ( 2017.03.29) Réfractor Special H-Alpha 230mm F/D 11.2 , Ech : 0.14/Pix PST MOD 1A° , Basler ACA1920-155 (155fps) GENIKA 2.13.2,Seeing ( 6/10 )

41P, 45P 2017 E4 Taken by michael jäger on March 28, 2017 @ Weißenkirchen Austria

2017 E4 march 28 3.09 UT 20x60
41P march 27 UT 22.57 20x20sec
45P march 27 UT 21.54 20x300

12/4 SXV-H9

SUPERNOVA NGC 5643 Taken by Ray Pickard on March 29, 2017 @ Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, Bathurst NSW, Australia

After getting the alert about the supernova in galaxy NGC 5643, I was able to image it at about 10:20 U.T 29/3/2017. I marked the supernova with red tick marks. It is a composite of 12, 35s using C14 at F2 (hyperstar), DSLR iso2500

COMETS Taken by Sormano Astronomical Observatory on March 28, 2017 @ Sormano CO Italy

5 comets in the evening sky photographed with students of high school

COMET 41P/TUTTLE-GIACOBINI-KRESAK Taken by Norbert Mrozek on March 27, 2017 @ Stottmert, Germany

SUPERNOVA SN2017CJB IN THE GALAXY NGC4779 Taken by Pierre PONSARD on March 27, 2017 @ La Fosse (Manhay-Belgium)

Discovered the 23 March 2017, this supernova is very bright (supernova type II) in this galaxy of Virgo.
I have taken an image of it the 27 March 2017 with a 12 inches telescope. Its one hour exposure (20 x 3 minutes) at 800ISO with a Canon 60Da.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

HALE-BOPP AND AURORA Taken by Geir Bye on March 26, 2000 @ Kattfjordeidet, Tromsø

20th anniversary these days for Hale-Bopp, Picture from Kattfjordeidet (Tromsø), March 26th 1997, using Kodak 100 vs (positive), Nikkor 60mm 2.8, exposure time 15 sec.. Miss those days...
(Auto-fill-in does not accept date from last millennium :))



The sun has been virtually spotless, as in no sunspots, over the past 11 days, a spotless stretch that we have not seen since the last solar minimum many years ago. This video shows the past four days (Mar. 14-17, 2017) with a combination of an extreme ultraviolet image blended with just the filtered sun. If we just showed the filtered sun with no spots for reference points, any viewer would have a hard time telling that the sun was even rotating.

The sun is trending again towards the solar minimum period of its 11 year cycle, which is predicted to be around 2020 (See monthly prediction chart here:


Monday, March 27, 2017



AURORA Taken by Thomas McCarty on March 26, 2017 @ Fairbanks Alaska

ZODIACAL LIGHT Taken by Bob Fisher on March 22, 2017 @ Minerva, NY

On a cold, windy, exceptionally clear evening in the central Adirondacks of NY, I took this shot of the zodiacal light over St. Marys church in Minerva NY. Canon 6D, 1000 ASA, 24mm lens for 30 seconds. Time: 8:25 PM EDT

COMET 41P Taken by Nirmal Paul on March 27, 2017 @ Mayhill New Mexico

AURORAS Taken by B.Art Braafhart on March 27, 2017 @ Salla, Finnish Lapland

MOON ECLIPSE Taken by TIM on May 20, 2012 @ ORACLE

BLACK HOLE ACCRETING WITH JET Illustration Credit: NASA, Swift, Aurore Simonnet (Sonoma State U.)

What happens when a black hole devours a star? Many details remain unknown, but recent observations are providing new clues. In 2014, a powerful explosion was recorded by the ground-based robotic telescopes of the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) project, and followed up by instruments including NASA's Earth-orbiting Swift satellite. Computer modeling of these emissions fit a star being ripped apart by a distant supermassive black hole. The results of such a collision are portrayed in the featured artistic illustration. The black hole itself is a depicted as a tiny black dot in the center. As matter falls toward the hole, it collides with other matter and heats up. Surrounding the black hole is an accretion disk of hot matter that used to be the star, with a jet emanating from the black hole's spin axis.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

M51 / WHIRLPOOL GALAXY Taken by Patrick Bosschaerts on March 26, 2017 @ Antwerp / Belgium

COMET P2/ENCKE AND THE MOON Taken by Stephen Mudge on March 26, 2017 @ Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Heres Comet Encke and the Moon about 8 degrees apart in the dawn sky this morning. The comet was fairly faint (approximately mag 7.8) but was still easily captured using my dSLR and telephoto lens.

COMET 41P - BRIGHT COMET IN DIPPER Taken by Chris Schur on March 24, 2017 @ Payson, AZ

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacombini-Kresak 3/24/17 -with 10 inch f/3.9

This was taken last night with choppy seeing, and compliments my wide angle shot posted earlier today. The comets coma is really quite extended, and hard stretches its green glow fills the one degree field.

VENUS PHASES IN 2017 Taken by Max Mallon on March 25, 2017 @ Amsterdam

Ive decided to collect Venus Phases this year.
I started when I noticed Venus in the sky. When Ill do this again in probably a year or so, Ill make sure to start when Venus is full, and maybe even continue all the way to when it is full again, a full year of Venus that would be.
Ive done my best, and the weather hasnt been always nice to me, several times I had to deal with the hazy clouds. The very last picture is Venus at 1%, the least full it gets this cycle. My picture doesnt show it however, I think its due to my telescopes limits + haze-clouds + daylight + seeing.

The dates:
2017-01-05: 54.4% illuminated - 22.7
2017-01-17: 48.3% illuminated - 25.9
2017-02-14: 29.4% illuminated - 37.6
2017-02-24: 20.7% illuminated - 43.9
2017-03-02: 15.2% illuminated - 48.2
2017-03-09: 08.9% illuminated - 53.2
2017-03-13: 05.8% illuminated - 55.8
2017-03-16: 03.8% illuminated - 57.3
2017-03-25: 01.0% illuminated - 59.4

6 Inch Mak 1800mm Skywatcher + EQ5
Explore Scientific 2x Focal Extender (Barlow basically) (Purchased on the day of the 5th picture, the others are digitally scaled instead)
ZWO ASI 120 Colour
2 minutes of footage for each of the photos.
FireCapture + Astrostackert + Registax + GIMP + Lightroom
Everything done in Amsterdam, mostly in 1 location. Only the last photo I needed to go onto a roof for.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

COMET JOHNSON Taken by Jan Curtis on March 24, 2017 @ Cheyenne, WY

With this night forecasted as the only clear one for the next week, I was lucky to have captured Comet Johnson under very good sky conditions. This image processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop CS 6.0 shows a small but brightening comet with a developing longer tail than last week.

Used Nikon d7100, Nikon 180mm f/2.8 @ f/5, iso 2000, exp. 41x118s. The comet only moved about 2 pixels or about 8 arcsec in about 82 minutes so I was able to have the comet and stars without showing drift (although I fixed the comet in this shot). The story was a lot different for Comet P41 (movement was easily detected in just 90 sec):





GANYMEDE'S SHADOW Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach, Chilescope

Approaching opposition early next month, Jupiter is offering some of its best telescopic views from planet Earth. On March 17, this impressively sharp image of the solar system's ruling gas giant was taken from a remote observatory in Chile. Bounded by planet girdling winds, familiar dark belts and light zones span the giant planet spotted with rotating oval storms. The solar system's largest moon Ganymede is above and left in the frame, its shadow seen in transit across the northern Jovian cloud tops. Ganymede itself is seen in remarkable detail along with bright surface features on fellow Galilean moon Io, right of Jupiter's looming disk.

COMET 41P/TUTTLE-GIACOBINI-KRESAK EATS M108 Taken by Yasushi Aoshima on March 22, 2017 @ Fukushima, JAPAN