Showing posts with the label backyard astronomy

Great American Eclipse of 2024

The total solar eclipse will be visible along a narrow track stretching from Texas to Maine on April 8, 2024. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout all 48 contiguous U.S. states. Are you ready for a spectacular celestial show? The 2024 solar eclipse is gearing up to grace North America with its awe-inspiring presence. This rare event promises an unforgettable experience for those fortunate enough to witness it. But hold your horses, eager sky-gazers! To truly savor the magic of this cosmic phenomenon, a little preparation goes a long way. Here's your go-to guide on how to bask in the brilliance of the 2024 solar eclipse: Hunt Down the Perfect Spot: Picture this: Mexico, the United States, and Canada are all in the eclipse's path of totality. The duration of totality? Well, that varies depending on where you're stationed. Luckily, the internet is your trusty sidekick here. Dive into online resources, like the insightful video by NASA Science on YouTube, for a bre

SN2024gy Discovered in the Galaxy NGC 4216

SN2024gy imaged on 01/11/2024 by Luis Velasquez is from 2.25 hours of LRGB data from Insight Observatory's affiliate remote telescope AFIL-3 located in Hakos, Namibia. In the vast expanse of the cosmos, an extraordinary event unfolded on January 4, 2024 – the discovery of Supernova 2024gy in the galaxy NGC 4216. This celestial marvel was unveiled to the world by the keen eyes of Koichi Itagaki, a passionate Japanese amateur astronomer. SN2024gy belongs to the exclusive category of Type Ia supernovae, a type that originates in binary star systems. What makes these stellar explosions particularly captivating is their role as "standard candles" in the cosmic distance measurement toolkit. The consistent brightness exhibited by Type Ia supernovae allows astronomers to precisely calculate their distance from Earth, offering a unique window into the mysteries of the universe. The significance of this discovery extends beyond the cosmic spectacle itself; it signifies the c

Great Fireball of '66

The author's artistic rendition of the "Great Fireball of '66". At around 7:15pm, on Sunday, April 24, 1966 – fifty-seven years ago this past April - I was 8 years old, and I just happened to be passing by the open front door to our house, in Falmouth, Massachusetts, facing, due, West...If I had been doing anything else - other, than that – I could not be writing this today… This is my digital painting/impression of the “Fireball”, as I observed it from my front door-step, super-imposed onto a photo of the Mullen-Hall School, in Falmouth, as seen from my perspective. I remember that the sky was still light, and absolutely cloudless (about 30 minutes after sunset) when I noticed a bright ball of light about the size and brightness of the full moon approaching from my left in my field of view (toward the South). I remember being, "frozen", in place, as I watched this bight, "thing” – I first thought it was maybe a burning aircraft, moving parallel wit

Exploring the Celestial Wonders of Orion

Messier 42 and Running Man Nebula processed by Utkarsh Mishra using 1 hour of image data captured on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.75 Dream astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) telescope located in New Mexico, USA. The final image is a combination of separate images captured through luminance, red, green, and blue (LRGB) filters. The constellation Orion, with its distinctive shape resembling a hunter, is a treasure trove for astronomy enthusiasts seeking to explore the depths of the night sky. Within this iconic constellation lies a myriad of deep sky objects, including nebulae, star clusters, and even a supernova remnant. One of the most famous deep sky objects in Orion is the Orion Nebula (M42), a stellar nursery located in the "sword" of Orion. Visible to the naked eye, this nebula is a stellar cradle where new stars are born, making it a breathtaking sight through telescopes. Adjacent to the Orion Nebula is the Running Man Nebula, a complex of gas and dust that adds

Amateurs Enhancing Professional Astronomy

Messier 101 - Pinwheel Galaxy with Supernova SN 2023ixf imaged and processed by Craig Stocks at Utah Desert Remote Observatories. One of the most notable ways amateur astronomers contribute is through extragalactic supernova searches. Supernovae are crucial for understanding the evolution of galaxies, and amateur astronomers often participate in systematic monitoring of distant galaxies to detect these brilliant cosmic explosions. Their unique advantage lies in the time and dedication they can commit, often using their own equipment. The observations and data collected by amateur astronomers provide a wealth of information that can complement professional research, aiding in the study of supernova properties and their impact on galactic ecosystems. Exoplanet research is another field where amateurs can play a pivotal role. While professionals have access to state-of-the-art telescopes and instruments, amateur astronomers can contribute by regularly monitoring stars for the telltale