The majestic image below of the Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation
," captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, has become an iconic astronomical photograph. It depicts the visible light, meaning the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can see. In this new take above, NASA scientists present the same view of the pillars but in infrared light "which pierces through obscuring dust and gas." From NASA
In this ethereal view the entire frame is peppered with bright stars and baby stars are revealed being formed within the pillars themselves. The ghostly outlines of the pillars seem much more delicate, and are silhouetted against an eerie blue haze.
Image credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team
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Photographer Eric Brummel created this magnificent time-lapse video of the Milky Way in which the sky is stabilized so you can experience the Earth's rotation. He captured the footage at Font's Point, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California. From Universe Today:
Eric created this time-lapse by using a star-tracker with his camera. A star-tracker rotates the camera at the same speed as the Earth, but in the opposite direction. It has the visual effect of stabilizing the sky. Usually, star-trackers are used to stabilize the camera during a long exposure, to avoid blurry or streaked stars in the image.
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Harun Mehmedinovic of the SKYGLOW project shares with Boing Boing this latest video from their project celebrating the beauty and importance of keeping the night skies dark. Read the rest
A moment of peace. Read the rest
Amateur astrophotographer Ethan Chappel was using his telescope to look for Perseid meteors on Wednesday night when he happened to capture an image of something very large slamming into Jupiter. It was most likely a massive meteor. From Sky and Telescope:
After running the camera data through a program designed to alert the user to just such transient events, Chappel spotted a flash of light in the planet's South Equatorial Belt (SEB). It expanded from a pinpoint to a small dot before fading away — telltale signs of a possible impact based on previous events observed at Jupiter....
If confirmed this would be the 7th recorded impact at the solar system's biggest planet since July 1994, when 21 fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the planet in succession to create a rosary of dark impact boils visible in amateur telescopes.
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Astrophotographer Ralf Vandebergh
captured an image of the US Air Force's X-37B space plane in orbit. The reusable, uncrewed space vehicle, designated OTV-5, is on a secret testing mission since its launch in September 2017. From Vandebergh's post at Spaceweather.com
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I have been hunting for the OTV-5 since months and saw it visually in May. When I tried to observe it again mid June, it didnt meet the predicted time and path. It turned out to have maneuvered to another orbit. Thanks to the amateur satellite observers-network, it was rapidly found in orbit again and I was able to take some images on June 30 and July 2. This most recent pass was almost overhead. The OTV is a small version of the classic Space Shuttle, it is really a small object, even at only 300 km altitude, so dont expect the detail level of ground based images of the real Space Shuttle. Considering this, the attached images succeeded beyond expectations. We can recognize a bit of the nose, Payload Bay and tail of this mini-shuttle with even a sign of some smaller detail.
Images were taken through a 10 inch F/4,8 aperture Newtonian telescope with an Astrolumina ALccd 5L-11 mono CMOS camera. Tracking was fully manually through a 6x30 finderscope.
Adrien Manduit (previously) returns with a breathtaking timelapse of galaxies as viewed from Teneriffe. Read the rest
The scientist/artists in NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio created this magnificent video to accompany a recent performance by the National Symphony Orchestra Pops of Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune." From NASA:
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The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera. The viewer follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon. The sprawling ray system surrounding Copernicus crater, for example, is revealed beneath receding shadows at sunrise and later slips back into darkness as night encroaches...
The visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter global elevation maps and image mosaics. The lighting is derived from actual Sun angles during lunar days in 2018.
The Royal Museums Greenwich announced the shortlisted images from their Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 and the photos are absolutely breathtaking. They'll announce the winners in October. See more at: Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 shortlist gallery
Above: "RS34358_NGC 6726 and NGC 6727" by Mark Hanson, Warren Keller, Steve Mazlin, Rex Parker, Tommy Tse, David Plesko, Pete Proulx.
Below: "Aurorascape" by Mikkel Beiter; "Expedition to Infinity" by Jingpeng Liu
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Deep-sky photographer Rogelio Bernal Andreo did the calculations, then managed to catch footage of Starman and the Tesla Roadster that were launched via the Falcon Heavy rocket. Read the rest
Xiaohan Wang was driving near Keluke Lake in Qinghai Province in China, but stopped to snap this lovely image of airglow bands framing the Milky Way. Read the rest
Filmmaker Adrien Mauduit collected his favorite timelapse shots of 2017 into a contemplative piece that is a lovely way to look back at 2017 and ahead to 2018. Read the rest
On Saturday, space photographer John Kraus, age 17, captured this magnificent image of the International Space Station transiting the full moon. He took the photo using a Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500mm lens on an equatorial mount used for astrophotography. This wasn't a lucky shot. It took John weeks of planning. From Kraus's article at Petapixel:
As the ISS orbits Earth at 17,500mph, or roughly five miles per second, the transit lasted just 0.90 seconds.
This transit was visible from a narrow path stretching from the middle of Florida to the east coast. I was stationed in a very specific location, as being just several tenths of a mile can throw off a planned transit photo.
Given that the transit occurred so quickly, and I was in such a specific location, it’s natural to ask how I calculated the information required to take this photo. Luckily, I didn’t have to, as there’s a website dedicated to finding out transit info.
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