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Red Moon, Green Beam

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

Red Moon, Green Beam Red Moon, Green Beam

Waterton Lake Eclipse

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

Waterton Lake Eclipse Waterton Lake Eclipse

Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

A beautiful, reddened A beautiful, reddened

Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles? When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles?

An Unusual Globule in IC 1396

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

An Unusual Globule in IC 1396     An Unusual Globule in IC 1396

Saturn in Blue and Gold

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

Why is Saturn partly blue? Why is Saturn partly blue?

Earth size Kepler 186f

APOD - 11 hours 52 min ago

Earth size Kepler 186f Earth size Kepler 186f

Mars Opposition Watercolou​r

Astronomy Sketch of the Day - 12 hours 34 min ago
Mars Opposition-April 15, 2014

Mars Opposition-April 15, 2014

•Object Name (Mars)
•Object Type (Planet)
•Location (Artignosc sur Verdon – France)
•Date (April 15th)
•Media (Watercolour on white paper, digital tools Paint.Net for the text)

I use my 4” refractor (achromatic) f/10 – 200x to make the initial sketch; sadly the 12” Dobson give me less contrast for this target. Although the full Moon was very bright, (maybe more bright because of the clear sky of my new small village of Artignosc), details on Mars were easy to watch.

After making the first sketch, some locals came in my backyard to have a look, I like that, and sharing beauty is so easy to do.

For this image I use watercolour, on a very humid 300gr paper, I let the pigment floating as I saw the planet colours. The water helps me to give a natural look and feel. Of course this image has no any scientific value; this is just to keep a souvenir of this Mars close passage. Don’t try to compare the little details of my watercolour with reality; I let that to my astrophotography friends, they are so good today!

More info (in French sorry) on http://astro.aquarellia.com

Friendly yours

Michel Deconinck

NGC 3081

Astronomy Sketch of the Day - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 03:00
NGC 3081

NGC 3081

Hi All,

A while back my eye was caught by an image I saw in Mark Bratton’s Herschel book of what turned out to be a galaxy (NGC 3081) in Hydra, at first glance I took it to be a planetary nebula, something along the lines of the Saturn nebula but without the ansae.

Last night having got band from playing my harmonica at the band rehearsal and with a lovely clear sky I decided to take a look, lying pretty close to the well loved Ghost of Jupiter planetary, it was well placed for me to observe on Tuesday evening.

I found this to be a rather unusual galaxy, having a distinct bright central nucleus and a definite outer ring, slightly elongated E-W but basically a ring, some discernible haze outside of the right but no evidence of any structure connecting the ring to the nucleus or of any arms projecting out from the ring, therefore back to my original thoughts that it looked like a planetary nebula with a bright core, stellar illuminated with a fainter outer shell of expanding debris.

Clouds and Crosses over Haleakala

APOD - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 00:42

Clouds and Crosses over Haleakala Clouds and Crosses over Haleakala

Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

Science Daily - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 19:17
Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface.

Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites

Science Daily - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 19:17
Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

First potentially habitable Earth-sized planet confirmed by Gemini and Keck observatories

Science Daily - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:19
The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of another star has been confirmed by observations with both the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini Observatory. The initial discovery, made by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, is one of a handful of smaller planets found by Kepler and verified using large ground-based telescopes. It also confirms that Earth-sized planets do exist in the habitable zone of other stars.

Look Deep Into the Universe

About Space - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:29
See Galaxies!

What do you see if you look out at the universe? From Earth's surface, you see stars, planets, and galaxies. Of all these objects, galaxies are the most fascinating and evocative, but also tougher to spot in the sky than the others. Yes, there are a few naked-eye galaxies: the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. If you want to be complete, of course the Milky Way Galaxy is extremely easy to spot, but only because we're IN it. Most other galaxies are outside ours and they require magnification (binoculars and telescopes) if you want to see more than fuzzy blob of light. Astronomers have always seen many more galaxies with their larger research observatories, but nowadays, with the advent of advanced telescopes, such as Hubble Space Telescope, they're seeing a LOT more galaxies than they used to!


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A cross-section of the universe

Science Daily - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:44
An image of a galaxy cluster gives a remarkable cross-section of the universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near neighbors to objects seen in the early years of the universe. The 14-hour exposure shows objects around a billion times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye.

Mars near Opposition

APOD - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 03:42

Mars near Opposition Mars near Opposition

Mars in Opposition

Astronomy Sketch of the Day - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 03:00
Mars on April 13, 2014

Mars on April 13, 2014

Planet Mars on sunday 13th of april 2014, sketch is made five days after mars was in opposition. We should expect that during opposition – april 8th – the smallest distance between our blue and the red planet is achieved. However, this time the two planets elliptical orbit reaches it’s closets distance on april the 14th.

The sketch is made on sunday the 13th of april 2014. The telescope : TEC 160ED, F8 – 11 mm Plossl eyepiece met 2x Barlow lens. TFov 0.3 °. Afterwards adapted in Pro-create en Psd

Cosmos for the Next Generation

About Space - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:37

Are you watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey?  In the U.S., it airs on Sundays on Fox TV and on Mondays on National Geographic Channel. You can also see episodes online at CosmosOnTV.com. For space enthusiasts, astronomers, and others simply interested in learning more about our universe, this program is the one to see. It's the next generation of a series begun by Dr. Carl Sagan in 1980, a series that set a whole generation of astronomers and science writers on their career paths.


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Mars: Meteorites yield clues to Red Planet's early atmosphere

Science Daily - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:33
Geologists analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars to understand the history of the Martian atmosphere. Their new article shows the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged in important ways early in the solar system's 4.6 billion year evolution.

Lunar Hide and Seek – Occultatio​n and Lunar Eclipse

Astronomy Sketch of the Day - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 03:00
The Lunar Eclipse and occultation of April 15, 2014

The Lunar Eclipse and occultation of April 15, 2014


Tonight after setting up with friends and being thwarted by clouds, I raced home to see if I could still observe part of the lunar eclipse from a different location. Upon arriving home I found it was clear and quickly set up my 15×70 binoculars. I was delighted to see h Virginis just peeking its bright head out from behind the limb of the Moon and quickly started a sketch of my observation. The umbra had almost made it over the last portion of the limb and the remaining edge was brightly lit. The Moon took on a coppery glow and the stars shone nearby that normally cant be observed during full Moon.

15×70 Binocular on tripod

Black Stathmore paper, colored pencils & pastels

Thia (Cindy) Krach

Maui, Hawaii

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New S*T*A*R Officers

These are the new Club Officers, voted in at the June 2013 Business Meeting.