Video: The Observatories

The Observatories from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.

The above video was created by astrophotographer Alex Cherney, who won the main prize for the 2014 STARMUS astrophotography competition. Called “The Observatories”, this video shows several optical and radio telescopes in time-lapse motion set against the stars of the southern hemisphere. It is quite beautiful.

The Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

The first solar eclipse since 1979 visible from the lower 48 states of the U.S. will be visible from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21, 2017. The umbra– the region of totality– makes the west coast of North America at about 17:16 UT just south of Portland and heads out over the Atlantic about 90 minutes later at 18:48 UT over Charleston, South Carolina. The greatest duration of the eclipse will occur near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, just northwest of Nashville, Tennessee where the Sun will be eclipsed by the Moon for 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds.  However, this region is not, statistically, the place with the best chance for clear skies.  Eastern Oregon or western Idaho are likely better bets for weather.  The video above shows the path of the eclipse over the U.S.  Start planning your trip… this will be one of the most observed astronomical events in history!

The Sky This Month – September 2014

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Autumn star stuff.

The seasons change this month as the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south. This marks the arrival of autumn in the northern half of the world and spring in the downunder. A little comet passes through the northern sky this month, inviting stargazers with binoculars to have a look. Venus makes a close approach to a bright star in the morning sky early in the month, and Mars makes a striking rendezvous with its rival, the star Antares, in the evening sky later in September. Here’s what to see in the night sky this month…

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A Mini Tour of the Late Summer Sky

Late_Summer_StarsSummer’s getting long in the tooth in the northern hemisphere, but don’t give up on stargazing just yet. The Milky Way from Cygnus through Sagittarius remains visible during the longer nights. In the image above, for example, you see a patch of sky that’s particularly rewarding for observers with just a short time for stargazing. This part of the sky, which includes the constellations Ophiuchus and Aquila, is strewn with star clouds, open star clusters, and nebulae. It beckons stargazers in the northern and southern hemispheres to grab some good optics and take a closer look.
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Star Factories in Sagittarius

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Composite image by Terry Hancock of star forming regions in the constellation Sagittarius

The golden age of star formation in the Milky Way is long past, but there’s still plenty of activity in dusty spiral arms of the Milky Way. In this astonishing wide-field composite image by astrophotographer Terry Hancock of Downunder Observatory, for example, you see a half dozen emission nebulae in the Sagittarius Arm of our galaxy in which new stars ignite and set aglow the clouds of gas and dust from which they form.

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