„Lift up your eyes to heaven and see. Who has created these things?
It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name.
Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing (…)”

Middle Eastern poem about the stars, 8th century BCE

Recent

Bode's Galaxy & Cigar Galaxy

M81 & M82 / NGC 3031

Bode’s Galaxy is a grand design spiral galaxy which means it has prominent and well-defined spiral arms. It is about 12 million light-years away, and is 90,000 light-years across. Its nucleus is a supermassive black hole, with a mass 70 million times that of our Sun.

read more Jun 25, 2022

2022 Planetary Alignment

Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon

In June 2022 all of the planets came into alignment. It is exceedingly rare that all planets would be visible at the same time. They formed a large arc of over 100° on the morning sky.

read more Jun 23, 2022

Veil Nebula

NGC 6960 / Caldwell 34

The Veil Nebula is the remnant of an exploded star. It is massive; when viewed from Earth it is over 30 times the area of the full Moon. The actual diamater is about 65 light-years and our distance from it is around 2,500 light-years. Even the finest filaments are huge; their thickness is about the distance from the Sun to Pluto! The supernova explosion (that this nebula is the remnant of) happened less than 20,000 years ago.

read more Jun 23, 2022

Ring Nebula

M57 / NGC 6720

Dora’s favorite planetary nebula imaged on the night of the summer solstice. In the middle is a (now) white dwarf. It is actually 200x as bright as the Sun, but is 2,400 light-years away. This nebula is tiny (when viewed from Earth), just 1.5 by 1 arcminutes. It only started the expansion 200-600 years ago!

read more Jun 21, 2022

North America & Pelican nebulae

NGC 7000 / Caldwell 2 & IC 5070 & IC 5067

The North America Nebula is huge; when viewed from Earth it is over 10 times the area of the full Moon. The actual diamater is about 90 light-years and our distance from it is around 2,590 light-years.

read more Jun 11, 2022

M13

NGC 6205

The M13 globular cluster is one of the largest and brightest in the Milky Way. This ancient, 11.6 billion years old cluster is made up of 100,000 stars and thousands are visible in this picture. It is located 22,200 light-years away from Earth.

read more Apr 30, 2022

Articles

Etcetera

Assorted throwaway pancakes

More often than not astrophotos don’t come out the way you planned them to. There are about a 200 steps involved in taking a picture, and they all have to be right. Also, often we need to experiment, finetune equipment or the sky is not good enough for long enough to finish a project. These are some examples of failures and experiments.

read more Mar 20, 2022

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