This recently released image by astrophotographer Terry Hancock of Downunder Observatory shows the dazzling pair of galaxies M81 and M82 wrapped in the elusive “integrated flux nebula” high above the plane of our own galaxy.
Thanks to photographer Manoj Kesavan for sharing this timelapse of beautiful New Zealand. He worked on this project from mid-2013 until late 2014, and the results are mesmerizing. Called ‘Leave Home’, the timelapse was shot from many locations in Palmerston North, New Zealand as well as Taupo and Auckland. Early in the timelapse you see daytime views of the New Zealand landscape but halfway through the night views of the southern skies commence.
— iTelescope.Net (@iTelescope_Net) February 11, 2015
An awesome all-sky view of the southern summer stars from iTelescope.net from their location at Siding Spring in Australia. You can see the southern Milky Way from the two bright stars of Centaurus, at left, moving right to the Southern Cross and the Coalsack, into the thick star fields of Carina and Vela. Sirius and Orion are at right. The Magellanic Clouds at lower left. And at top you see the full constellation Leo and brilliant Jupiter just a few days past opposition. Just to the lower right of Jupiter, you can see the faint fuzzy patch of the Beehive Cluster. At extreme right are the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini. A great image for armchair stargazers.
Every hour NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft gets 31,000 miles closer to its July rendezvous with the former planet known as Pluto. Last week, to mark the 109th anniversary of the birth of Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto, NASA revealed a new image of Pluto and its largest moon Charon. It’s the best image so far by New Horizons of this still-mysterious dwarf planet.
Comet Lovejoy fades slightly but remains accessible to stargazers in February as it moves northward into the constellations Andromeda and Perseus. Jupiter reaches opposition of Feb. 6 and remains in prime position for telescopic observing over the next couple of months. And Venus and Mars make an amazingly close approach in the western sky after sunset, accompanied by a thin crescent Moon. Here’s what to see in the night sky this month…