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.|
|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.