Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eskimos, Ghosts, Messengers, and Discovery.

On Sunday, in between writing the two halves of the moon list, I went up to the Harford Community College Observatory. This is where the Harford County Astronomical Society is based, a small dirt road, some way into the woods next to a community college in Maryland. Anyways, we have a pretty decent set up with a mount and telescope, and a small group of us from the club (five in total) decided to try some imaging.

Eskimo Nebula. NGC 2392. HCAS.

We aren't the best group at it in the club, but we figured what the hey, worth a shot. It was a learning experience. Our targets were NGC 3242 (the Ghost of Jupiter) and NGC 2392 (the Eskimo Nebula). Both are planetary nebula, meaning they are created by shells of gas being ejected from stars late in their life.
Ghost of Jupiter Nebula. NGC 3242. HCAS.
These images are unfiltered and just stacked together by one of the guys in the club. They pale in comparison to Hubble images of these objects, but I'm proud to have helped take them none the less. I also ordered my first and own telescope camera as a bit of a late birthday present, an Orion StarShoot IV. So, hopefully I'll be posting more of my own images soon.

First Image Ever Obtained From Mercury Orbit. NASA.

In other news, yesterday NASA released the First Image Ever Obtained from Mercury Orbit. Taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft, confirmation that this has been a truly successful mission. Today they went ahead and released some 1,500 images that MESSENGER has already taken in just the few days it has been there! Universe Today has a good run through of some of the best ones, check it out.

One last, sadder piece of news, pictures have been released of the Space Shuttle Discovery's transition into retirement. The shuttle is to disassembled and cleaned to be made ready for public display. Click here for the pictures.


30 comments:

LunaSihne said...

Wow. Thats really cool.
And I wouldn't mind having one of those cameras.

hwidman said...

Love reading about stuff like this :)

following

hazdbot.blogspot.com

Pago said...

Damn that's pretty cool. And I'm looking forward for some pictures from your new telescope camera.

Well, the Discovery has had her fair share of flight missions, so maybe it is time for some new ship.

G said...

another great read...cool

Kevings said...

I like the Mercery picture, but i cant put my finger in why tho :o

Rob said...

Oh. Very pretty pictures, and a good read.

MuteMath Fan (& news junkie too!) said...

Awesome pictures! Amazing that we're so tiny in the grand scheme of things.

Bodhran said...

Wow, I didn't realise there were such colours in the sky - thanks for sharing!

Killer salmon said...

Couldn't see where to comment exactly about your poll. I was thinking maybe you could make a blog about the possibility of marine life on Saturn's moon Titan. As it is proven that bodies of water do exist on it.

SOMS said...

go NASA truly amazing if you think about it

Raw said...

Your pictures turned out great!

HiFi said...

Great shots of the planetary nebula. It's amazing how something so far away can be seen through a telescope.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Killer Salmon, you are right to comment in whatever the most recent post is. As far as Titan goes, that isn't liquid WATER, it is liquid METHANE. Though there could be life lurking there, it wouldn't be anything complex. I think you are getting some things confused with Europa.

BrAd? said...

Woah, those pics are awesome.

Shutterbug said...

Nice pictures! :)

Jay.CA said...

so much eye candy, thanks!!!

Necroticism said...

It looks so much like the Moon!

The Game Store Guy said...

Amazing pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.

mac-and-me said...

great post

Alphabeta said...

Eskimos, Ghosts, Messengers, and Discovery, oh my!
(Wizard of Oz reference).
Interesting stuff as always.

Aaron M. Gipson said...

Man, that's gotta feel good to know you are going to be taking your own astronomy pictures here soon. I can't wait to see what you grab! And it IS sad that the shuttles are being retired with no backup option. I can't believe that warfare gets top priority but more important things are sent to the back burner. Sometimes I wonder if we are going to make that 200 year deadline Hawking pretty much laid out last year (or was it 09? Been in the jungle too long).

Thanks for consistently feeding us this red meat of the cosmos. Carl would be proud...

Chuck said...

I read that the surface temperature of Mercury ranges between -168°C an 427°C! Huge differences. It looks so neutral in the images though, like our moon.

wronyr said...

Great pictures.
Definitely waiting for more.

Banacek said...

Does the Eskimo Nebula eat raw fish?

JD said...

That's awesome we're finally getting those pictures of Mercury

kgp318 said...

Nice pictures! They are amazing :)

Araita said...

Awesome, always loved asronomy since I was a little kid.

THUNDERCAT832 said...

It looks a little like the moon, but prettier! (such a chick statement...just kick me in the face, please?)

akrater said...

nice photos, and interesting post!

Moob said...

awesome

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