Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A man is running next to the Orion nebula

This is one of the best known celestial objects. Messier 42 is a combination of a bright emission and a reflection nebula. Do you see the running man next to it?
See also:

Look, there is a horse head in the sky!

The B33 and IC434 nebulas in Orion are among the most prominent regions of the northern winter sky. See also:

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Whirlpool galaxy

This is crop of the following photo. It has been shot at 750mm (f/5.5) FL and a color camera having 7.8x7.8mu pixels.
This is the wide view 1,8° x 1,2°.

A hires photo is available under:
Find more info at or

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Jupiter Zoo

What an amazing year! 2011 was a very productive one, offering our astronomy community numerous chances to capture the planets and especially the biggest one; Jupiter! Often, the atmospheric conditions were good enough to make high resolution planetary photography possible even from the backyard!

This is a short video clip of Jupiter on Sept. 26th, 2011 at 20:54 GMT, one month before its opposition. All photos have been taken at 3860mm focal length using a TIS DBK21 color camera on an old Dall Kirkham cassegrain telescope.
This RGB composite has been developed with the software Giotto by following certain processing steps described here. You can easily detect Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm having almost the same diameter as Earth. [Wikipedia]
Although Jupiter would need to be about 75 times as massive to fuse hydrogen and become a star, the smallest red dwarf is only about 30 percent larger in radius than Jupiter. [Wikipedia]
The shadow of Jupiter's icy moon Europa can be detected  as a dark spot on some of the images, an evidence of a Sun eclipse on Jupiter. However, this is something occuring frequently.

Monday, January 16, 2012

NGC 2232 in Monoceros

Here we are again! I wish you a happy new earth year 2012. Let's look at the stars again! Towards the galactic disk, in the Monoceros constellation, an impressive open star cluster called NGC2232 is visible even in small instruments. This group of stars has a brightness of 4.2 mag and an apparent size of 53 arcmin in our sky. It has a diameter of approx. 18 light years and its light travels 1200 years to reach our planet [Wikipedia]. A high resolution image is available at: