Sunday, February 28, 2016

SOLAR ACTIVITY IN H-ALPHA Taken by Mike Taormina on February 28, 2016 @ Malta, New York, USA

ZODIACAL LIGHT Taken by Ruslan Merzlyakov on February 27, 2016 @ Stenbjerg, Denmark

COMET C/2013 US10 CATALINA Taken by Norbert Mrozek on February 27, 2016 @ Zurstrasse Germany

AURORA POLARIS Taken by Frank Olsen on February 28, 2016 @ Sortland, Norway


Due to the geometry of Solar Dynamic Observatory's orbit, there are periods when the spacecraft's view of the Sun is blocked by the Earth and sometimes the Moon. Starting this earlier this week (video taken on Feb. 22, 2016) and for the next few weeks, the Earth will continue to get in the way once a day around 7:00 UT. This eclipse season occurs twice a year, near the equinoxes. The video covers about 15 minutes as the Sun is becoming unblocked again. The Sun was blocked for close to an hour. Such is life in space 22000 miles above Earth. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.


Factum Arte's project for a replica of Tutankhamun's Tomb in Luxor by the architects from The Tarek Waly Center was one of the most amazing projects we have worked on! How do you go about building an exact replica of Tutankhamun's tomb? Well you can find out here!


Ministry of Antiquities
Press Office
Middle Kingdom Tomb Discovered at Giza
Antiquities Minister, Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty declared the discovery of a Middle Kingdom tomb at el-Lisht Archaeological Area - Giza. The discovery was made during the excavation works of the Egyptian – American Mission at this area headed by Mohammad Yusuf, Director of Dahshur Area and Sara Parcak from Alabama University.
Eldamaty pointed out that the mission works in Egypt within the framework of a plan developed by the Ministry of Antiquities to document and preserve the results of the illegal digging that spread after the 25th of January 2011 Revolution.
From his side, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Dr. Mahmoud Afify said that the newly discovered tomb lies at the south of King Senusret I Pyramid. The tomb is rock cut and has a mud brick ramp. It belongs to an important Official during the reign of King Senusret I from the 12th Dynasty who held the title of "Royal Stamps Bearer".
On the other hand, Sara Parcak assured that the mission is going to train a number of archaeologists in the Ministry of Antiquities on the latest documentation and preserving methods as well as the ways to safeguard the archaeological areas using satellite images aiming at raising their professional capacities.
© Ministry of Antiquities, Press Office
Wrote Asmaa Mostafa
Translated by: Eman Hossni


TWENTY LIGHTNING STRIKES Taken by Peter Lowenstein on February 27, 2016 @ Murambi, Mutare


Friday, February 26, 2016

SUN DOGS Taken by Oliver Schwenn on February 26, 2016 @ Rauhalla, Finland

SUN HALO Taken by Richard Sears on February 26, 2016 @ Ballico, California, USA

AURORA Taken by Angelika Demski on February 25, 2016 @ Malangen, Norway

SUN PILLAR Taken by Miguel Claro on October 16, 2015 @ Paranal, Atacama desert, Chile.

After the sunset, in the beginning of twilight, a partial cloudy sky can promote an impressive combination of beautiful colors. Sometimes, we can see a phenomenon called Sun Pillar. A sun pillar is a vertical shaft of light extending upward from the sun. This great moment was captured in Cerro Paranal, where stands the VLT Telescope.
The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a telescope operated by the ESO – European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The VLT is the world’s most advanced optical instrument, consisting of four Unit Telescopes with main mirrors of 8.2m diameter, which are generally used separately but can be used together to achieve very high angular resolution. The four separate optical telescopes are known as Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun, which are all words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language, with optical elements that can combine them into an astronomical interferometer (VLTI), which is used to resolve small objects. The interferometer is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of 1.8 m aperture. The 8.2m diameter Unit Telescopes can also be used individually. With one such telescope, images of celestial objects as faint as magnitude 30 can be obtained in a one-hour exposure. This corresponds to seeing objects that are four billion (four thousand million) times fainter than what can be seen with the unaided eye. The telescopes can work together, to form a giant ‘interferometer’, the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer, allowing astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than with the individual telescopes. The light beams are combined in the VLTI using a complex system of mirrors in underground tunnels where the light paths must be kept equal to distances less than 1/1000 mm over a hundred metres. With this kind of precision the VLTI can reconstruct images with an angular resolution of milliarcseconds, equivalent to distinguishing the two headlights of a car at the distance of the Moon.

Image taken taken in 16/10/2015 from Cerro Paranal, Atacama desert, Chile.


THE TARANTULA NEBULA Image Credit & Copyright: Processing - Robert Gendler, Roberto Colombari Data - Hubble Tarantula Treasury, European Southern Observatory

The Tarantula Nebula is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant star forming region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 180 thousand light-years away. The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies, the cosmic arachnid sprawls across this spectacular composite view constructed with space- and ground-based image data. Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation, stellar winds and supernova shocks from the central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments. Around the Tarantula are other star forming regions with young star clusters, filaments, and blown-out bubble-shaped clouds In fact, the frame includes the site of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A, at the lower right. The rich field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons, in the southern constellation Dorado. But were the Tarantula Nebula closer, say 1,500 light-years distant like the local star forming Orion Nebula, it would take up half the sky.