You're probably already impressed at some of the photos amateur astrophotographers can capture with their 16-megapixel digital cameras. I know I am. That's why I'm beefing up my camera skills, so I can also take some amazing pictures of our skies above. But if you can take photos this good with a 16-megapixel camera, imagine what you could do with something a little bigger, say, 3.2 billion pixels! That's a whopping 200 times more pixels!
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.
Explore the night sky on your iOS device, or better yet, in the third dimension on a 3D TV. More information here and here.
Last night was the so called "Supermoon," where the moon was at perigee, which is the closest orbital point to the Earth while the moon was in full phase. This makes the moon appear larger by up to about 14% and brighter by up to around 30%. I went out and used my 5-inch refracting telescope to take several pictures.
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.
If you're into entomology, then you probably recognize the name E.L. Trouvelot. After all, he was the person responsible for the outbreak of invasive gypsy moths in North America, which are now one of the most destructive foliage-eating pests in the United States.
Tonight, I saw Mercury for the first time. Mercury is a hard planet to see, even though it is quite bright, because it's orbit is so close to the sun. The angle Mercury makes with the Earth and the Sun is never more than about 25 degrees and most of the time it is much less. As a result, you can't ever see Mercury during the night but at a couple of times in it's orbit you can see it at either dawn or dusk. Right now, Mercury is close to it's greatest eastern elongation and can be seen low in...
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.
Right now, Jupiter and Venus are rising in the early morning hours just before dawn. I went outside on the morning of the 4th of July and saw Jupiter and Venus right next to each other with the Pleiades (The Seven Sisters) just above them and knew that the next morning I was going to have to get up early and set up my tripod to try and capture what I saw. I used my Panasonic GH2 with the stock zoom lens set to about 40 to 50 mm equivalent and with the aperture open to about f/5. I set my ISO ...
Went outside tonight to see a 22 degree halo around the moon. Took a long exposure shot of it to bring out some of the color. Jupiter is to the right and Orion is to the left.
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.
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!
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...
Water covers approximately 70 percent of Earth's surface and the human body contains up to 78 percent water, depending on body size. Yet, water seems to be taken for granted here on Earth. But if you travel to an orbital altitude of about 250 miles, water starts looking pretty interesting. Especially to astronaut Don Pettit on-board the International Space Station.
Hello! I invite all the readers, interested in space, to discover the origin of the names of the planets in our galaxy. Just simply follow my words,... Step 1: Planets and Stars
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?
Are you a big astronomy enthusiast? Do you have some amazing astrophotography pictures you'd like to share? If so, become a contributor over here at Astronomy World! We are looking for new moderators, along with contributors, to post pictures and videos, write tutorials and astronomy-related news articles, and even share updates on how your observing went!
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.
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!
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.
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.
A little about myself and astronomy: I created this world because I love astronomy. I really, really, love astronomy. When I was ten, I went to a restaurant and saw a huge wall mural of the Andromeda Galaxy. At my house, we had a tiny refractor telescope. I knew this wasn't enough, so I bought (with help) an 8 inch Dobsonian reflector. I looked up one time to try to find something to look at and saw something fuzzy- the Orion Nebula. This is when I really got into using my telescope. I still ...
In 2006, everything that revolved around my world shattered into tiny pieces as I learned that scientists had decided to rescind Pluto's planetary status. Given the ol' Jeff Probst treatment, Pluto was officially voted off our solar system in the blink of an eye, leaving us with only eight planets and a whole load of useless textbooks. The primary reason that Pluto was demoted down to a "dwarf planet" was due to Pluto's largest moon, Charon, being about half the size of Pluto; all the other p...
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.
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!
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.
From Astronomy Picture of the Day, Milky Way Over Abandoned Kilns by Tom McEwan. McEwan shot some historic kilns in rural Nevada, stitching together a panoramic "digital conglomerate of five separate images taken in early June from the same location. Visible above the unusual kilns is a colorful star field, highlighted by the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy appearing along a diagonal toward the lower right."
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.
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.
There is many different types of stars in the universe. Majority of them are red dwarf stars. However, there are plenty of stars like ordinary stars (like our sun), red giants, blue stars and etc. Furthermore, when you look in the night sky, we see a lot of small and bright stars. What people don't know is that there are stars that are not even completely understood by astronomers and scientists.
Video: . Extraterrestrial life is life that does not originate from Earth. It is also called alien life, or, if it is a sentient and/or relatively complex individual, an "extraterrestrial" or "alien" (or, to avoid confusion with the legal sense of "alien," a "space alien"). These as yet hypothetical forms of life range from simple bacteria-like organisms to beings far more complex than humans. The possibility that viruses might exist extraterrestrially has also been proposed.
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...
On March 6, the STEREO and SOHO instruments detected a huge solar flare- the biggest ever recorded! The effects of it are now starting to reach the Earth- be sure to look for auroras later tonight!
Taken at the top of Haleakala in Maui.
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.
As a kid, I was always interested in what was beyond our world. I remember lying down on the top of my dad's car and watching the stars for hour, gleefully excited whenever a shooting star streaked across the night sky.
The comet Garradd is almost at its peak now, plus there's plenty more events going on this week, so be sure to observe!
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 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!
There's not much going on this week in the skies above, but there are a lot of conjunctions to take a peek at! And of course, there's the comet Garradd that's still showing its tail to us down here on Earth, so make sure to catch it before it's gone. The rest that's going on this week: