M104 Sombrero Galaxy

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jovian Rotation

Single frame from an Astronomy Picture Of the Day video. The images were taken during the Jovian flyby of the New Horizons Mission to Pluto, in 2007. The spacecraft will fly by Pluto and Charon in 2015.

Beautiful TRACE images of regions 41 and 42, January 26

Active region 11041 imaged by TRACE (Transition region and Coronal Explorer) at 171 angstrom wavelength

Active region 11042 near the north west limb

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Class M flares from region 41

The HINODE X-ray telescope image above shows a flare overexposing the sensor. Region 11041 near the southeast limb has produced more than 30 flares so far.

Three of them have been M class. Here is a GOES 14 animation of a M3.4 flare yesterday.
Above is a single frame at the time of maximum X-ray flux.

Monday, January 18, 2010

40 setting in the west January 17

These HINODE X-ray telescope image details show active region 11040 setting in the north west solar limb, and a new active region rising in the south east limb.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bar in Space

Number 95 in Messier's catalog, a galaxy about 33 million light years distant. I took this image with an 180 mm aperture robotic telescope in New Mexico. My thanks to the Tzec Maun Observatory.

This image was taken by Michael McGuiggan and Adam Block, from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, with a 20 inch telescope. Here is another image taken with a larger instrument.

Why many galaxies show bars, and a ring surrounding the bar, has not been fully explained yet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Solar Type III Radio Burst January 10

The Solar magnetic field near active regions can accelerate electrons to very high velocities (one third the speed of light or more). A jet of electrons can interact with the solar wind plasma and produce radio waves over a broad frequency range, as seen in the spectrum above, recorded by the STEREO observatory trailing the Earth.

The image shows an event in the 16 MHz to 100 KHz radio band. This burst was observed by participants in NASA's Radio Jove educational project for schools, with small antennas and inexpensive receivers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Lion is chasing Mars !!

All sky image from New Mexico Skies, showing Mars prominently in front of a Lion !

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Region 40 January 10

Region 11040 and surroundings are looking beautiful today in the Kanzelhoehe Observatory and SOHO images, posted in Solar Monitor.
Alan Strauss has a lovely sketch here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sweet home for 22 fast pulsars

click for enlargement

NGC 104,
47 in the Toucan constellation, near the Small Magellanic Cloud. The image was taken with a robotic telescope in Australia, during the morning in Tucson.
The color describes the brightness, varying by about 2.5 magnitudes (a factor of 10), from red to blue. Here is a Hubble Telescope image.

I thank the Tzec Maun Foundation, they support an Astronomy science project at Pueblo High School in Tucson, where I am a volunteer.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I need more sunspots !!

The sunspot number progression continues to test my patience. It is well below the latest forecast dated May 2009, and much below earlier forecasts.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Solar active region 11039

Detail of an image by Kanzelhoehe Observatory in Austria January 2. This region has produced more than 40 flares. Here is an animation of a C6.2 X-ray class flare, from the STEREO Ahead extreme ultraviolet camera.

Detail of a SOHO 171 angstrom image January 5

A telescope waits

click image for enlargement

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dance of the Telescopes

I recently showed this image at an Imaging Group meeting of the Tucson Astronomy Association.
The animation lasts about 45 minutes in real time. Notice the moving shadow of the telescopes, cast by of the moon. The telescopes are at New Mexico Skies, in the Sacramento Mountains, east of Cloudcroft New Mexico.

Ring around the Moon

This image is from the All Sky camera at New Mexico Skies, in New Mexico USA, a wonderful facility with many robotic telescopes. See the message by Steve Coe in the Arizona Observers List.

A beautiful cloud at sunset

Click on the picture for a 1024 pixel wide image

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Blue Moon Lunar eclipse of December 2009

My good friend Divyadarshan Purohit, with the Planetarium in Vadodara India (north of Mumbai in Gujarat), has sent me images of the eclipse that ended 2009.

See additional images from him at page.

"Blue Moon" does not refer to the color of the Moon, but to the rarity of the occurrence of an extra full moon in a season or year.

See also the Wiki articles: December_2009_lunar_eclipse and Blue_moon