Just a couple Saturday's ago, we were blessed with the Supermoon, where the moon was at perigee with our planet, creating a larger than usual Moon for us here on Earth. Now, we've got another spectacular show in the skies coming up, only this one isn't at night. There will be an annular solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20th!
The annular solar eclipse was amazing. It was so much fun watching the sun transform from a thin crescent to a ring and then to a thin crescent going the other direction. I'll be posting up the pictures used to make this video in various resolutions on my photography website over the next few days, all of the way up to the full 16 megapixel ultra-detailed images.
NASA announced yesterday that their Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-sized planets orbiting a sun-like star outside of our solar system. Could this mean aliens? Unfortunately, no.
This week's AON is brief, but there's plenty to see. Without adieu, here's the news: Through March 2012—The Garradd comet shines in the sky! Here's how to observe it!
This year is a leap year, which means today is leap day! I will be explaining why this happens and some special conditions below in the AON. Plus, there is a new feature this week—elongation! Be sure to check it out below.
I woke up at 4:00 am this morning in order to take some video of the last total lunar eclipse visible from North America till 2014. The eclipse was beautiful. It was amazing to watch the shadow of our planet creep slowly across our nearest neighbor. Once the shadow was blocking out most of the light from the sun, the moon was significantly dimmer and the color had changed to a reddish orange. This color is caused by the same effect that makes our sunrises and sunsets so colorful. The light fr...
The next total lunar eclipse won't occur until April 2014, so if you're interested in seeing the moon engulfed in a light orange to blood red hue, set your alarm and get out there before 9:05 a.m. EST (6:05 a.m. PST, 1405 GMT). I'm planning on taking some High Definition time lapse video of the darkening and reddening that will occur.
Earlier today, a meteorite flew over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, triggering a shock wave that injured hundreds of people and caused damage to buildings and vehicles in the area. Witnesses describe seeing a bright ball of light streak through the sky followed by a loud boom as the 10-ton meteorite entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded.
For years, astronomers have been trying to figure out how our galaxy came to be. Even with the help of high-performance computers, no model of a spiral galaxy has ever been able to recreate the Milky Way, until now. An international team of researchers has created the first successful simulation of what happened 14 billion years ago to give our galaxy its unique shape. Turns out, all they needed was a bigger bang. Photo by IntelFreePress
There's nothing more inherently awesome than looking up into the stars and wondering WTF is really out there. Outer space is one of those rare items that a Google search cannot provide all of the answers for.
It's taken me several weeks to figure out the Meade Coronado SolarMax II 60 Double Stack telescope that I bought to produce a timelapse video of the solar eclipse but I'm pretty happy with the images I can produce now. Here's hoping for clear skies tomorrow!
Will the world end this coming December? If you believe all of the Mayan calendar hype, maybe. But whether you believe that doomsday is coming in 2012 or not, you can rest assured it won't be from a planetary collision. At least, according to NASA.
Recent research published in an issue of Nature suggests that there are actually more planets in our universe than stars. Using the Milky Way as the focus, the researchers found that each star has an average of about 1.6 planets in orbit around it, which suggests that extrasolar planets (exoplanets) outnumber stars, bringing new hope for the search of extraterrestrial life.
Since the first time we've been to Mars, the question was 'Did there used to be life here?'. That all changed for the better when NASA told us that the Opportunity rover found signs of water- the essential part to life. NASA officials on Wednesday said the rover discovered a mineral vein of gypsum running along the rim of a crater called Endeavor. The gypsum was deposited by flowing water billions of years ago. The vein is about 20 inches long. They found it while studying a rock called Tisda...
I think most of these are iPad apps, which I don't have, but I'd love to see some reviews of some of these apps to find out whether they're worth downloading or not.
His name is Don Pettit, but I like to call him Space MacGyver. He's well known for his paper clip fixes and ingenious coffee invention in zero gravity, and we've all seen the NASA astronaut in his Saturday Morning Science videos during his first stay on the International Space Station. And now he's back on the ISS with a brand new physics-related show... Science Off the Sphere.
This morning, NASA launched the five suborbital sounding rockets from Virginia as part of ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment). Each rocket was launched 80 seconds apart and released chemical tracers that created "milky, white clouds at the edge of space." Now, I've seen plenty of bullet tracers in my life, but these are far more poetic. Take a look at the time-lapse video and see for yourself. Why shoot these tracer rockets? To help scientists "better understand the process responsi...
This week's AON has lots of conjunctions—be sure to observe them! Here it is: The Garradd comet is still in the sky! Here's how to observe it!
Astronomy World will be posting a weekly blog post that informs fellow observers upcoming interesting events in the sky. These will include:
Since the Geminid Meteor shower is intensifying more every year, grab your binoculars and lay down in a field to enjoy the show! If you are going to observe one day, do it on the peak: December 14th.
The comet Garradd is almost at its peak now, plus there's plenty more events going on this week, so be sure to observe!
NASA reports that the sun erupted late last night with a large solar flare—an M8.7 class flare. The classification is calculated according to the peak flux of 100 to 800 picometer x-rays near Earth measured from the GEOS weather satellite. There are 5 letter classifications for solar flares, each with a linear 1-9 number scale of severity. M is the fourth most powerful class, with X leading the way. But last night's earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), captured by the Solar Dynamics Ob...
There isn't much going on this week, unless you like to observe the moons of Jupiter! January 27: Io transit
This week's AON might be a little short, but finally, the Garradd comet's peak has come! I picked the Garradd comet to follow because it's a bright and easy-to-follow comet. Be sure to observe it! If you need help finding it, you can find more information here.
Note: This shower is only visible in the Northern Hemisphere. The Quadrantid meteor shower is one of my personal favorites, mainly because of the amount of meteors it produces. You can sight more than 100 meteors per hour- that's more than 1 meter per minute. Even though that doesn't sound like much, it will make your observing experience much more exciting. The peak is short, typically lasting no more than an hour or so. It is more easily observed on the fourth, with its peak at 1:00 AM EST.
This week's AON may be a little short, but the ones to come will be packed full with information. I am really hoping for the skies to clear so I can observe soon!
NASA will be attempting to land the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars tonight, and you can watch it live. Curiosity (the Mars Science Laboratory) was launched almost a year ago on November 26, 2011, and will be finishing its 354 million mile journey to the red planet tonight (Sunday, August 5th) at around 8:30pm PST. The craft will be deploying a supersonic parachute to slow itself, as it will be traveling at upwards of 1,000 mph. The show's not over though, as the first images from the ...
Seeing an aurora in person is one of the most amazing spectacles you could witness in the skies above. But what about the skies below?
My attempt at real astrophotography. The two bright nebula are M 42 and M 43 located in Orion's Sword. I took about 20 images at ISO 800 and 1.6 second exposures using a 300 mm lens and stacked them in Photoshop after repositioning them because of the movement of the sky. This is cropped in just a tiny bit.
Again, there are tons of events this week, and as usual, most of them are caused by Jupiter's moons. But there is some happenings with Venus, too, so don't miss out.
This week's AON is pretty short, but there are also lots of clouds because it is winter. However, that just makes the few days of open sky way more valuable!
If you haven't seen one, a comet is one of the most spectacular astronomical objects in the sky, partially because it is so close to Earth. At the closest, it is only 1.3 a.u. (194,477,400 kilometers) away from Earth. Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd was discovered by Gordon J. Garradd on August 13, 2009. It never comes closer to the sun than Mars's orbit. Usually, a comet moves fast, but it has stopped moving so fast recently, making it really easy to observe. It can be observed by a telescope or wit...
The peak of the Lyrid meteor shower of 2012 was the night of Saturday, April 21, and I went to Whiskeytown Lake near Redding, California and took about 1,000 pictures. I used 3 Panasonic GH2s with various lenses and edited all of the shots together to make the time-lapse video below. You really have to watch it in full screen at 720p or 1080p HD in order to appreciate it. This is only my second attempt at a time-lapse video and my second attempt at filming meteors, but I was pretty happy with...
Grab your binoculars and telescopes, because there's a lot going on in the night skies this week. The usually dim Little Dipper will appear brighter as it moves to the right of Polaris, creating a cool effect with the Big Dipper. There's also a first-quarter moon and a really good view of Saturn. If you know of something else, share with us in the comments below!
This is a really quick video I took of a moonrise last year. It has been sped up by a factor of 8 and was taken using a 2600 mm equivalent lens (75 times zoom for a 35 mm lens). The mountain it is rising over is about 40 miles away.
If you slept in during the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower this morning, don't fret, because plenty of early risers did manage to wake up—with their cameras. Even if you did wake up and managed to withstand the cold morning air, you might not have seen anything. Cloud cover could have made it impossible, as well as bright city lights. But some stargazers made it their mission to photograph the Quadrantids, and lucky for you, they did.
AON is moving to Wednesdays! There are lots of things going on this week in the skies above, so be sure to observe. As usual, there's a lot to see around Jupiter, with its moons eclipsing and transiting. Also, a star from the Virgo constellation will be in conjunction with our Moon.
This week, there's a lot going on in the skies above, with at least one event per day! There's also an equinox, which only occurs about twice a year!
The Garradd comet has just about reached its absolute peak! By the way, I took those pictures below of the moon through my iPhone using an adapter. Pretty cool, right?