Archive for August, 2012

Planetary Nebula Heavens. 22 August 2012

by on Aug.30, 2012, under Astronomy Blog

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula
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.

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. 🙂


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Irthlingborough Lakes Appeal – We made it.

by on Aug.27, 2012, under Astronomy Blog

Well done to everyone involved in making the appeal to secure Irthlingborough Lakes a success.
It means they have secured the funds to purchase the land.

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.


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File Sharing and Downloading. Secure your network.

by on Aug.27, 2012, under Astronomy Blog

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.

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The Death of an Icon and inspiration for our age.

by on Aug.27, 2012, under Astronomy Blog

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.


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Landing site of Curiosity on Mars

by on Aug.15, 2012, under Astronomy Blog

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.

Click here or on image for more details.

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Curiosity safely lands on Mars

by on Aug.06, 2012, under Astronomy Blog

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.

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