Archive for August, 2012
I got a clear night, so I managed to get out and do some searching for some objects. Despite the relatively light night, I decided to scan through Aquila and the surrounding area to have a look for some planetary nebulae and few other nearby objects as well.
This area of the sky is rich in this type of object, produced by very powerful stars coming towards the end of their lives, throwing off parts of their atmosphere. Using an 8 inch Newtonian reflector and naughtily using GOTO on my planetarium software C2A (Outstanding piece of free software, I must say) I managed to find and observe the following objects:
NGC 6543, NGC 6181, 6804, 6891, 6905, 4779, 6826, 7331, 7662 – The Blue Snowball nebula.
The Dumbbell Nebula, ARO11, M56 and M57 – The Ring Nebula.
I also had a peek at the Cocoon Nebula as I was passing. I failed to see the Nebula itself, but there was a distinct line of stars and I “almost” convinced myself I could see the dark dust lane leading up to it.
But, it wasn’t all success. There were quite a number of objects I also failed to find as well.
All in all it was a great start to the new observing season which now is almost upon us.
Soon be Kelling.
But we still need a little more to secure all our funding to carry out the work required.
Once they’ve secured this they can really make a difference in creating a much better place for wildlife to live and breed.
It will forever secure a wonderful place for people to visit freely and still be able to walk their dogs.
For many people, sharing file, like films and music is common place.
It certainly saves you a lot of time shopping, and it also saves you a lot of money.
But the music and film industry are starting to hit back – BIG TIME!
Spare a thought for a Boston University student in the US who has had a fine of $635,000 imposed on him for illegally downloading 30 songs on a peer-to-peer network.
Is this fine disproportionate?
Well, according to US law you can be fined up to $150,000 for each copyright infringement.
In his case 30 songs would mean he would really have to pay $4.5m.
So do you think he’s got off lightly?
Much closer to home, over 2,000 O2 customers are going to be sent letters accusing them of illegally downloading copyrighted porn films produced by Goldeneye (int) Ltd.
But is it you downloading that music or those films?
If your home wireless network is not secured properly, anyone can (illegally) get on your network and download material.
When they do come looking for the culprit, your IP address will be implicated and could stand to be prosecuted for something you haven’t done.
So to avoid falling into this trap, always ensure that your wireless network is protected properly.
And if you want music or a film, pay for it. If you don’t it may cost you a lot more in the long run.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the Moon’s surface has died aged 82.
This was from complications following heart surgery.
He and Buzz Aldrin went to the Moon in peace for all mankind.
He was an inspiration to many, many people and their achievement certainly inspired me to take up astronomy all those years ago.
Amateur astronomers have recorded a flash as an object impacted Jupiter.
More details, news and events, keep (BIG) Bang up to date on my Blog:
Eagleseye Astronomy Blog.
The Mars Laboratory Curiosity is landed successfully on the surface of Mars on the 5th of August.
See their web page for further details, news and a great video of the landing.
Any questions, comments or have I made a mistake?
E Mail me: (Dave@eagleseye.co.uk)
Sky condition prediction for Higham Ferrers.
ALL TIMES Universal Time BST Unless stated.
The Stars (22:00h on the 1st, 21:00h on the 15th and 20:00h on the 31st of the month).
High overhead at this time of night, the bright star Deneb in the tail of Cygnus shines brightly down. This star is very remote, lying over 3,000 light years away. So it must be a very brilliant star to still shine at magnitude 1.25.Below the head of Cygnus, marked by the fabulous double star Albireo, lies Brocchi’s cluster, more famously known as The Coathanger in Vulpecula. One view in binoculars will reveal why. Below lies Aquila, the Eagle. This area is rich in planetary nebulae and a wander round this area of sky is extremely rewarding. In the western sky Arcturus is close to setting. The head and feet of Ursa Major now low in the north. In the eastern sky, Pegasus and Andromeda are well clear of the horizon. Perseus is now rising, followed closely by the Pleiades Star cluster. Auriga and the bright yellow star Capella are also rising. Now we can really see that winter is well and truly on its way.
This bright naked eye variable star is visible from the UK dimming from its usual 2.1 magnitude to 3.4 at the following times: 17th 02h, 19th 23h.
The Moon and its phases this month.
Moon phase calendar above generated using Graphdark By Richard Fleet.
Click here to download.
Last Qtr. – 8th.
New – 16th.
First Qtr. – 22nd.
Full – 30th.
As an aid to identifying the planets and stars, the Moon will be close to:
The Pleiades on the 6th.
The Hyades & Jupiter on the 7th.
Venus on the 12th & 13th.
Uranus on the 29th.
Reaches superior conjunction on the 10th. As it is so close to the Sun and its glare, it is unlikely to be seen this month.
Shining like a beacon in the eastern sky before dawn, at magnitude -4. Its phase is now becoming more gibbous by the end of the month, but is now getting a lot smaller as the distance from Earth increases.
Big and bright in the early morning sky at magnitude -2.
It is located within the horns of Taurus in the eastern sky before dawn and getting higher.
Keep a look out for disturbances in its northern cloud belts which have been recently reported.
Another planet that is sadly lost in the Sun’s glare this month.
Reaches opposition in Pisces on the 29th. Theoretically at least, it should be visible to the naked eye at magnitude +5.8. Binoculars or a small telescope will help you to identify it. A scope will show a small blue-green disk. If you do find this remote gas giant, how about trying to view its satellites. It’s quite a challenge though as the brightest satellite is just under 14th magnitude.
Favourably placed for observing in Aquarius. At magnitude 7.8 it will require a telescope to identify its small blue disk.
A new solar cycle is now well under way, and the Sun has had a recent flurry of sunspot activity with some nice large spots groups now appearing regularly. There have also been some auroral activity seen as far south as Kent, so keep a look out.
There have also been some large prominences visible from time to time and some quite active flare regions.
So if you have access to a Ha solar scope, take a look.
All graphics for all the events below are in the enlarged PDF file here.
All times UT (GMT) Unless otherwise stated.
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The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured some fabulous images of the landing site of Curiosity on the surface of Mars.
This image shows the probe parachuting down to the surface.
This picture shows evidence of the landing on the surface.
What a weekend.
Lots of GB Olympic Gold medals and now Curiosity has landed safely on Mars.
More details here: http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/mars/curiosity_news3.html
Fantastic Job guys & Gals.