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.

Friday, October 19, 2018


M27 - DUMBBELL NEBULA Taken by Patrick Bosschaerts on August 1, 2018 @ Antwerp / Belgium

Orion VX12 f4, TV 2x Big Barlow, AZ-EQ6 PRO, 1600MC cool with IDAS LPS D1 filter, UNGUIDED (!) 90 x 10 seconds. 15minutes total. Captured with Astrolive. Processed in Pixinsight. Taken on 1 august 2018. First photo taken with my new setup. PS: I live in a very light polluted aria!

SUMMER TO WINTER MILKY WAY Image Credit & Copyright: Dong Han

Taken near local midnight, this autumn night's panorama follows the arch of the Milky Way across the northern horizon from the High Fens, Eifel Nature Park at the border of Belgium and Germany. Shift your gaze across the wetlands from west to east (left to right) and you can watch stars once more prominent in northern summer give way to those that will soon dominate northern winter nights. Setting, wanderer Mars is brightest at the far left, still shinning against almost overwhelming city lights along the southwestern horizon. Bright stars Altair, Deneb, and Vega form the northern sky's summer triangle, straddling the Milky Way left of center. Part of the winter hexagon Capella and Aldebaran, along with the beautiful Pleiades star cluster shine across the northeastern sky. The line-of-sight along the hikers boardwalk leads almost directly toward the Big Dipper, an all season asterism from these northern latitudes. Follow the Big Dipper's pointer stars to Polaris and the north celestial pole nearly centered above it. Andromeda, the other large galaxy in the skyscape, is near the top of the frame.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

SUSPENDED LIGHT PILLARS Taken by Vincent Brady on October 16, 2018 @ Paradise, Michigan, USA

Suspended Light Pillars Over Whitefish Bay.
I was looking for auroras but was pleasantly surprised to see light pillars early Tuesday morning, October 16th. This is a shot north of Paradise, MI looking east over Whitefish Bay. The red lights are around the Canadian island Ile Parisienne and wind turbines. Light pillars are caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere reflecting and refracting light from artificial light sources.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

M15: DENSE GLOBULAR STAR CLUSTER Image Credit & Copyright: Bernhard Hubl (CEDIC)

Messier 15 is an immense swarm of over 100,000 stars. A 13 billion year old relic of the early formative years of our galaxy it's one of about 170 globular star clusters that still roam the halo of the Milky Way. Centered in this sharp telescopic view, M15 lies about 35,000 light years away toward the constellation Pegasus, well beyond the spiky foreground stars. Its diameter is about 200 light-years. But more than half its stars are packed into the central 10 light-years or so, one of the densest concentrations of stars known. Hubble-based measurements of the increasing velocities of M15's central stars are evidence that a massive black hole resides at the center of dense globular cluster M15.