Virtual Star Party – May 4, 2014: It’s Galaxy Season!

Hosts: Fraser Cain and Scott Lewis
Astronomers: Gary Gonella, Andrew Dumbleton, Stuart Foreman, David Dickinson, Shahrin Ahmad and special guest Henna Khan from Bombay, India

Tonight’s Views:
the Moon’s surface
M44 Beehive Cluster
Neutron Star B224 from HST
All-Sky View
Mars with ice caps and Hellas Basin visible
Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS
Stuart demonstrating how to work with software to process images
M51a Whirlpool Galaxy
M53 Globular Cluster
Rosette Nebula – NGC 2237, 2238, 2239 and 2246
Saturn
Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) and Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) with a satellite trail
NGC 5139 Omega Centauri
M42 Orion Nebula
M63 Sunflower Galaxy
NGC 7635 Bubble Nebula
Large and Small Magellanic Clouds

We hold the Virtual Star Party every Sunday night as a live Google+ Hangout on Air. We begin the show when it gets dark on the West Coast. If you want to get a notification, make sure you circle the Virtual Star Party on Google+. You can watch on our YouTube channel or here on Universe Today.

Stunning 3D Tours of Two Well-Known Nebulae

Two videos recently released by the Hubble team take us on a tour of two famous and intriguing cosmic objects: the stellar wind-blown “celestial snow angel” Sharpless 2-106 and the uncannily equine Horsehead Nebula, imaged in infrared wavelengths by the HST.

Using Hubble imagery complemented with data from the Subaru Infrared Telescope and ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy — VISTA, for short — the videos show us an approximation of the three-dimensional structures of these objects relative to the stars surrounding them, providing a perspective otherwise impossible from our viewpoint on Earth.

The stellar nursery Sharpless 2-106 is above; hop on the Horsehead Nebula tour below:
Continue reading “Stunning 3D Tours of Two Well-Known Nebulae”

Astrophoto: Gorgeous Panorama of the Orion & Horsehead Nebulae and Orion’s Belt

Astrophotographer Terry Hancock has been working on this for several weeks and the results are fabulous. This panoramic view of the Orion region includes two of the most recognizable objects in this constellation — the Orion Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula. It also takes a look at the three bright stars of Orion’s belt Alnitak (to the left of the image), Alnilam and Mintaka. Additionally, it shows part of the Orion molecular cloud.

Wow!

More info on this image from Terry:

This is data I captured in January, February and early March 2014 over 8 nights using a QHY11S Monochrome CCD/Takahashi E-80 F2.8 from DownUnder Observatory in Fremont Michigan, USA.

190 individual exposures make up this 5 panel mosaic for a Total Exposure time of 11 hours
Equipment:
Camera: QHY11S monochrome CCD cooled to -20C
Optics: Takahashi Epsilon F2.8 ED-180 Astrograph
Mount: Paramount GT-1100S German Equatorial Mount (with MKS 4000)
Image Aquisition Maxim DL
Stacking and Calibrating: CCDStack
Registration of images in Registar
Post Processing Photoshop CS5

See more of Terry’s astrophotography at his Flickr page or G+.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

Virtual Star Party – February 23, 2014 – Nebulae, Sunspots, and Planet “X”?!?

Hosts: Fraser Cain & Scott Lewis
Astronomers: David Dickinson, Gary Gonella, James McGee, Mike Simmons, Roy Salisbury, Shahrin Ahmad, Tom Nathe

Tonight’s views:
Jupiter with a nice view of the red spot, Venus approaching zenith, Bubble Nebula, the Pleiades, Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, Flame Nebula, Running Man Nebula, the Moon, the Sun, the ISS (photo), the Rosette Nebula, Orion again, M33, Sunspots, Rosette again, California Nebula (multiple views), M81 & M82, Planet “X” (?!?), Andromeda, Flame Nebula again

We hold the Virtual Star Party every Sunday night as a live Google+ Hangout on Air. We begin the show when it gets dark on the West Coast. If you want to get a notification, make sure you circle the Virtual Star Party on Google+. You can watch on our YouTube channel or here on Universe Today.

Virtual Star Party – February 16, 2014: Fighting Crime while Transiting Jupiter!

Hosts: Fraser Cain & Scott Lewis

Astronomers: David Dickinson, Gary Gonella, James McGee, Tom Nathe, Mike Phillips, Mike Simmons, Roy Salisbury, Shahrin Ahmad

Views tonight: Horsehead Nebula, Flame Nebula, Europa Transit of Jupiter with Great Red Spot, a cluster of sunspots, Rosette Nebula, a near-Earth asteroid, a capture of Barnard’s Loop, Orion Nebula, M81, various telescopes of the astronomers, our moon, another transit of Jupiter by one of the moons, M67, NGC 2169-the “37” Cluster, our moon – full view, California Nebula.

We hold the Virtual Star Party every Sunday night as a live Google+ Hangout on Air. We begin the show when it gets dark on the West Coast. If you want to get a notification, make sure you circle the Virtual Star Party on Google+. You can watch on our YouTube channel or here on Universe Today.