This Week’s Sky at a Glance, June 15 – 23

Friday, June 15th 2018 02:47 PM

Friday, June 15 As twilight fades after sunset, look very low in the west-northwest for the thin crescent Moon under Venus, as shown here. It's almost summer. But as twilight fades, look very low in the north-northwest for wintry Capella very out of season. The farther north you are, the higher it will appear. You may need binoculars. If you're as far north as Portland Oregon and Portland Maine, Capella is actually circumpolar.   Saturday, June 16   Look west as twilight fades for Venus and the thin waxing crescent Moon, as shown below. They're about 8° apart at the times of twilight for North America. Higher to their upper left, look for much fainter Regulus coming out as twilight fades further.   Sunday, June 17   The crescent Moon, far upper left of Venus, shines near Regulus tonight. Almost as bright as Regulus is orange Gamma Leonis (Algieba), higher above the Moon as shown here.   Monday, June 18   Now Regulus shines to the Moon...

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Surprise! Jupiter's Lightning Looks a Lot Like Earth's

Wednesday, June 6th 2018 11:21 AM

    Lightning storms on Jupiter are much more frequent, and much less alien, than previously thought, a pair of new studies suggests. The first evidence of lightning on Jupiter was detected nearly 40 years ago. Electrical currents in lightning bolts generate a broad range of radio frequencies known as atmospherics, or "sferics" for short. And in 1979, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft detected very low-frequency radio emissions from the solar system's largest planet — emissions that one might expect from lightning. The radio emissions that Voyager 1 detected from Jupiter — dubbed "whistlers" because they resemble descending, whistled tones — were the first signs of lightning in the giant planet's atmosphere. Subsequently, cameras on NASA's Jupiter-orbiting Galileo spacecraft, the agency's Cassini Saturn probe (which cruised past Jupiter on its way to the ringed planet), and other spacecraft confirmed lightning on Jupiter in the form of flashes of l...

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June 2018 - Sky Guide

Wednesday, May 30th 2018 04:10 PM

Welcome to the night sky report for June 2018 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. The warm nights of June are perfect for sky watching. Don’t miss the constellations Bootes (the Herdsman), Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), and Draco (the Dragon) -- or the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, all of which grace the night sky this month. The night sky is truly a celestial showcase. Get outside and explore its wonders from your own backyard.   Brilliant Venus dominates the western sky at dusk, joined by the crescent moon during the middle of the month. With a backyard telescope, Venus looks like a miniature moon. It is clear that we see only part of the sunlit side of the planet.   Jupiter dominates the southern sky, shining in the dim constellation of Libra, the scales. A backyard telescope readily reveals its cloud bands and orbiting moons.   Saturn rises later in...

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Tele Vue NP127fli Imaging the Skies Over Austria

Wednesday, May 30th 2018 03:31 PM

Check out these images utilizing the Tele Vue-NP127fli astrograph. The strength of this scope is wide-field imaging and the work in this area is exemplary.    For instance, the NP127fli  was able to perfectly frame and capture the spirit of the NGC 869 and NGC 884 in Perseus as twin clusters of sparkling blue-white diamonds, with a smattering of glowing red-rubies, punctuating the black velvet sky background. The Double Cluster never looked so good!   What is a Tele Vue-NP127fli?The NP127fli is a 127mm / 5-inch, f/5.3, APO (Nagler-Petzval) astrograph with an optical arrangement of 5-elements in 3-groups. Its sole purpose is to create wide-field images —  4.3-degrees on the diagonal of the 52mm diameter image circle. From the image below you’ll note that this scope lacks a traditional focuser. This astrograph is designed to operate with the Finger Lakes Instrumentation (FLI) Atlas electronic focuser – hence...

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 NEAF 2018, three up-and-coming astronomers share their insights on the future of amateur astronomy. Grant Regen, Pranvera Hyseni, and Will Clodfelder show how they found their WOW moment and fell in love with Astronomy.     Check out our Celestron products  

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How To Image Jupiter

Monday, May 28th 2018 03:11 PM

  After stargazing and exploring the night sky and its planets countless times... Jupiter, our Solar System's largest planet, has peaked your interest and you've decided that you're ready to tackle the rewarding process of Planetary Imaging. We understand that the process may seem slightly confusing and tedious, but capturing Jupiter's vibrant bands, massive Red Spot, and its four bright moons makes it all worthwhile. With many factors to consider such as location and equipment for the right approach to capturing a good-quality image you're probably thinking "Where do I start?". Follow this step-by-step guide on How To Image Jupiter and you will be well on your way to becoming an expert! | WHEN AND WHERE |  An important factor to consider when shooting Jupiter is its location in the sky. When it has just come up over the horizon, you will be observing it through a lot more of Earth's atmosphere than if it were up higher in the sky. So don't try...

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The Sun’s corona, invisible to the human eye except when it appears briefly as a fiery halo of plasma during a solar eclipse, remains a puzzle even to scientists who study it closely. Beginning 1,300 miles from the Sun’s surface and extending millions more in every direction, it is more than a hundred times hotter than lower layers much closer to the fusion reactor at the Sun’s core. A team of physicists at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) led by Gregory Fleishman, has recently discovered a phenomenon that may begin to untangle what they call “one of the greatest challenges for solar modeling” – determining the physical mechanisms that heat the upper atmosphere to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher. Their findings, which account for previously undetected thermal energy in the corona, were recently published in the 123-year-old Astrophysical Journal, whose editors have included foundational space scientists such...

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How to Calculate Telescope Magnification

Saturday, March 31st 2018 11:44 AM

What are Eyepiece Filters Video

Saturday, March 31st 2018 11:42 AM

Bizarre Stunted Galaxy Found in Our Own Cosmic Backyard

Thursday, March 15th 2018 02:04 PM

The odd galaxy, called NGC 1277, doesn't appear to have evolved much in the past 10 billion years, a new study reports. Learning about its history should shed light on galaxy formation and evolution in general, study team members said. NGC 1277, which is located about 240 million light-years away from Earth, is called a "red and dead" galaxy because it doesn't have enough fuel to produce new stars. That wasn't always the case, however. Shortly after the galaxy was formed, it produced stars 1,000 times faster than they are formed today in our Milky Way, the researchers said. [Gallery: 65 All-Time Great Galaxy Hits]     Credit: M. Beasley(Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias)/NASA/ESA Astronomers think the key to NGC 1277's development lies in its globular clusters, which are groups of stars. Large galaxies typically have two types of clusters: metal poor, which appear blue, and metal rich, which appear red. (In astronomical parlance, a metal is any elemen...

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