August is a good time of the year to see Jupiter. Just after sunset, it’s the brightest object in its section of the south-eastern sky. So what’s going on here, then?
The featured image was taken about a month ago from the Persian Gulf. The image shows Jupiter just to the right of the nearly vertical band of the central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy. The unnamed rock formations appear in projection like the jaws of a giant monster ready to engulf the Jovian giant. When you see Jupiter, it may be interesting to know that NASA’s robotic Juno spacecraft is simultaneously visiting and studying the giant planet. Saturn is also visible this month, and although it is ‘nearby’ Jupiter, it is not as bright.
(Image: Mohammad S. Hayati)
It’s very difficult to tell what’s going on at the centre of our galaxy, what with interstellar dust blocking the view of conventional telescopes. In other bands of light however, such as radio, it’s a pretty lively place. To wit:
The featured picture shows the inaugural image of the MeerKAT array of 64 radio dishes just completed in South Africa. Spanning four times the angular size of the Moon (2 degrees), the image is impressively vast, deep, and detailed. Many known sources are shown in clear detail, including many with a prefix of Sgr, since the Galactic Center is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. In our Galaxy’s Center lies Sgr A, found here just to the right of the image center, which houses the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole. Other sources in the image are not as well understood, including the Arc, just to the left of Sgr A, and numerous filamentary threads. Goals for MeerKAT include searching for radio emission from neutral hydrogen emitted in a much younger universe and brief but distant radio flashes.
(Image: MeerKAT, SARAO)
Competing to inspire your awe – land and sky. Who ya got? To wit:
The Volcano of Fire (Volcán de Fuego) is seen erupting topped by red-hot, wind-blown ash and with streams of glowing lava running down its side. Lights from neighboring towns are seen through a thin haze below. In the sky, though, the central plane of our Milky Way Galaxy runs diagonally from the upper left, with a fleeting meteor just below, and the trail of a satellite to the upper right. The planet Jupiter also appears toward the upper left, with the bright star Antares just to its right. Much of the land and the sky were captured together in a single, well-timed, 25-second exposure taken in mid-April from the side of Fuego‘s sister volcano Acatenango in Guatemala. The image of the meteor, though, was captured in a similar frame taken about 30 minutes earlier — when the volanic eruption was not as photogenic — and added later digitally.
(Image: Diego Rizzo).
A rare and spectacularly vivid 30-image panorama of the central band of the Milky Way galaxy observed by photographer Nicholas Buer from the darkness of Laguna Cejar in Northern Chile last October.
Full image here.
A spectacular image of the Milky Way and, below it, an ascendent Mars casting its reflection in the waters off Rhode Island beach, captured by astrophotographer Abdul Dremali.
Brittas Bay, County Wicklow
Edward Wholohan writes:
The heat wave gives clear hot days and the added benefit of warm nights to sit under the stars admiring the Summer Milky Way...
The first segment of a flight from Zurich to São Paolo filmed in timelapse from the cockpit of an airliner by Swiss Air pilot Sales Wick. Sez he:
Just as the bright city lights are vanishing behind us, the Milky Way starts to become clearly visible up ahead. Its now us, pacing at almost the speed of sound along the invisible highway and the pitch-black night sky above this surreal landscape. Ahead of us are another eight hours flight time, but we already stopped counting the shooting stars. And we got already to a few hundred.
A composite image taken last October by Johannes Holzer at the Isar river in southern Germany. The image was achieved using two cameras shooting three photos from roughly the same perspective, which were then stitched. To wit:
..[the] sky with a Sony A7r and Vixen Polarie Startracker, one additional shot for the landscape without [a] Startracker, [and] underwater was done with a Canon 5Dm2 with an EWA Underwater case.
The Milky Way photographed from Chile after sunset on Tuesday surrounded by the ripples of airglow Australis. NASA explains:
Above a sea of clouds and flanking the celestial Milky Way, the airglow seems to ripple and flow across the northern horizon in atmospheric waves. Originating at an altitude similar to aurorae, the luminous airglow is instead due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation. Commonly captured with a greenish tinge by sensitive digital cameras, this reddish airglow emission is from OH molecules and oxygen atoms at extremely low densities and has often been present in southern hemisphere nights during the last few years.
Larger image here.
Astronomy Picture of the Day (NASA)
A rather spectacular 20 second exposure taken by Andrew Dros at Kootwijkerzand in the Netherlands last weekend.
Hoping to photograph images of the Perseid meteor shower, he set up a self portrait and accidentally caught the International Space Station as it passed across the backdrop of the Milky Way.
Leah Burgess writes:
Taken last night in Waterford. Dungarvan in the distance. No many perseids about…