Astro The RSS feed for Astro.

  • Sunspot AR3664 that created the fantastic display of Aurora went around the Sun over last 2 weeks and is back. It is reduced in intensity and can be seen at the top left edge. Although it is not likely, I am hoping that it will create more Aurora in coming days.

  • The totality lasted only for 3 minutes and 33 seconds but the whole eclipse went on for about two and half hours. Fortunately, I was at a spot where I could observe and photograph it from start to finish. Here is the whole total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 compressed in a one minute video.

  • From all the photos taken during the total Solar eclipse on Monday, this one is my most favorite. It shows some corona but if you zoom in at the bottom half of the photo, the solar prominences and Bailey’s beads are so striking!

    For those who don’t know what Bailey’s beads are… these are the small specks of light coming through the lunar craters and valleys as the Sun emerges from totality.

  • A collage of eclipse progression and 2 photos taken during totality - one showing the corona and the other showing solar prominences and Bailey’s beads.

  • Three minutes and thirty three seconds of totality - an amazing experience! Here are three shots from beginning and end of totality. Will post more tomorrow.

  • Sun on Sunday, March 24. So many sunspots! I guess there is a higher chance of seeing northern lights due to with all this solar activity.

  • Halo around the moon tonight.

  • These photos were taken about 24 hours apart. From the movement of the Sunspots we can appreciate the Sun’s rotation. This is the first time for me to observe this and the Sun rotates much slower than I expected.

  • My favorite constellation in the sky. Playing here with a diffuser filter to get that soft dreamy look.

  • Same object from Feb 2021 and Feb 2024. Finally, learning how to use all the equipment properly.

  • 2024 version of the Running Man (NGC1977) and Orion Nebula (M42). This star forming region in the sword of Orion is about 1350 light years away. The core was intentionally overexposed to bring out the dark nebulosity.

    This image is a stack of sixty 1-minute exposures taken with WO Zenithstar61 telescope attached to ASI533-MC-Pro camera. Processed using SIRIL and Photoshop.

  • The Horsehead and Flame nebulae from Orion. The bright star (Alnitak) between them is the leftmost star in the belt of Orion. Can’t take enough photos of this view.

  • Elephant’s Trunk nebula in constellation Cepheus is an emission nebula that is about 2400 light years away from us. It is an area of intense star formation and contains many young stars (~100,000 years old). Total exposure for this image is 2.5 hours (30x5 min).

  • Startrails from my front yard. No Geminids. Hope to catch some tonight.

  • California nebula (NGC1499) from the constellation Perseus. It is about 1000 light years away from us in the Orion arm of the Milky Way. This nebula glows because of intense radiation from a super hot class O star called Menkib.

    Total exposure for this photo is about 4.75 hours.

  • Annular solar eclipse 2023 - first empty nester trip

    When we watched the total solar eclipse in 2017, I knew the next one was going to be in April 2024 and was excited about it as it will be visible from close to home. Sometime in 2021, when I read about the Annular eclipse in October 2023, I wanted to go watch it but, thought that it was going to be … read more

  • Trifid nebula (M20) and Lagoon nebula (M8). Really like how the blue color of the reflection nebulosity in Trifid showed up. This is a stack of only 13 two minute exposures. The exposure time is limited because of the trees in the southern sky. Hope to get a couple more clear nights to add to this.

  • The famous “Pillars of creation” captured from my front yard.

    It is an area of intense star forming activity at a distance of 7000 light years. Images from Hubble telescope in the 1990s greatly improved our understanding of star formation process.

    This nebula is catalogued as M16 and also known as Eagle nebula or Star Queen nebula.

  • Last night, it was one of the best Lyme Land Trust public Astronomy nights at Alan’s observatory. Clear skies, cool temps and very little glow. The Milky Way looked spectacular! There were lot more people (25+) and we split the telescopes out in 2 groups. I was with Scott and Jon in the field away from the big telescope. Jon’s mount kept misbehaving so we only used manual telescopes in our area. We could show a good bunch of targets:

    • M4 globular cluster in Scorpius
    • M8 Lagoon nebula in Sagittarius
    • M13 globular cluster in Hercules
    • Double star in Ursa Major
    • Alberio in Cygnus
    • Saturn

    Along with the usual crowd of older folks, there were a few younger people who were interested and asking questions. It was a fun night overall. Hope we get more good nights like this.

  • M51 aka the Whirlpool galaxy along with its companion dwarf galaxy NGC5195. They are at about 24 million light years away and the spiral structure of M51 seems to be affected by its interaction with its smaller partner. This is a stack of 60 one minute long exposures.

    a face-on view of a spiral galaxy with its smaller companion on a dark star filled background