Author Archives: Chompsky

Behold: the 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III – one the most elegant Rollers of RR’s ‘golden’ coach-building era. this car – one of only six hand built by James Young – was originally delivered to Melville Thompson, Esq. of Northern Ireland and required 2600 hours to complete.

Retaining its original 6.2 litre V8 engine and fully restored in 1997 by a former James Young employee, it’s accepting bids this month between €160,000- €237,000.


Behold: a diabolical pareidolia captured earlier this month. To wit:

Atmospheric refraction flattened the solar disk and distorted its appearance in this telescopic view of an Atlantic sunrise on June 10. From Belmar, New Jersey on the US east coast, the scene was recorded at New Moon during this season’s annular solar eclipse. The Moon in partial silhouette gives the rising Sun its crescent shape reminding some of the horns of the devil (or maybe a flying canoe …). But at its full annular phase this eclipsed Sun looked like a ring of fire in the heavens. June’s annular solar eclipse followed on the heels of the total lunar eclipse of late May’s Full Moon. Of course, that total lunar eclipse was a dramatic red Blood Moon eclipse.

(Image: Madhup Rathi)


Behold: NGC 6888, aka Sharpless 105, aka the Crescent Nebula – 25 light-years wide and blown by winds from its central, bright, massive star. To wit:

A triumvirate of astro-imagers ( Joe, Glenn, Russell) created this sharp portrait of the cosmic bubble. Their telescopic collaboration collected over 30 hours of narrow band image data isolating light from hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The oxygen atoms produce the blue-green hue that seems to enshroud the detailed folds and filaments. Visible within the nebula, NGC 6888’s central star is classified as a Wolf-Rayet star (WR 136). The star is shedding its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind, ejecting the equivalent of the Sun’s mass every 10,000 years. The nebula’s complex structures are likely the result of this strong wind interacting with material ejected in an earlier phase. Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of its stellar life this star should ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacular supernova explosion. Found in the nebula rich constellation Cygnus, NGC 6888 is about 5,000 light-years away.

(Image: Joe Navara, Glenn Clouder, Russell Discombe)


Behold: the southern constellation of Scorpius, but not as normally seen by the unaided human eye. To wit:

Scorpius more typically appears as a few bright stars in a well-known but rarely pointed out zodiacal constellation. To get a spectacular image like this, though, one needs a good camera, a dark sky, and some sophisticated image processing. The resulting digitally-enhanced image shows many breathtaking features. Diagonal across the image right is part of the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Visible there are vast clouds of bright stars and long filaments of dark and intricate dust. Rising vertically on the image left are dark dust bands known as the Dark River. Several of the bright stars on the left are part of Scorpius’ head and claws, and include the bright star Antares. Numerous red emission nebulas, blue reflection nebulas, and dark filaments became visible as the deep 17-hour expo image developed. Scorpius appears prominently in southern skies after sunset during the middle of the year.

(Image: Stefan Lenz)