| MOTHER'S DAY: Give your mom a truly heavenly gift on May 11th--a subscription to Space Weather PHONE! || || |
HEAVENLY TRIANGLE: Ringed planet. First-magnitude star. Gibbous moon. Add them all together and you get a heavenly triangle visible tonight. Look up after sunset for Saturn, Regulus and the Moon in scalene formation: sky map.
ERUPTING PROMINENCE: Today, astronomers are monitoring an unusually active prominence on the sun's eastern limb. "The eruptions at times are almost volcanic in appearance," says Les Cowley in England. "It's off again!" reports Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK, who sends this photo of the latest eruption:
Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky, has been watching the action through his Coronado PST and he has witnessed eruptions twice today already. "I was totally amazed!"
This high level of activity may herald an approaching sunspot. Readers, if you have a solar telescope, train it on the limb of the sun.
more images: from Britta Suhre of Dortmund, Germany; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from C. Miller and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Malcolm Park of London, England;
WHAT WOULD GALILEO SAY? Before you read any further, click here. That's what Galileo saw in 1610 when he turned his small telescope toward Jupiter: a fuzzy disk surrounded by four point-like moons. It wasn't much to look at, but his pioneering observations upended 17th century cosmology.
Fast forward 398 years to the backyard of amateur astronomer Paul Haese in Blackwood, South Australia: "I took this picture of Jupiter on May 10th using my peltier cooled 14-inch Celestron telescope."
"The seeing was great," he says. Jupiter's moon Io appears in the foreground not as a dimensionless point of light, but a true 3D orb. The Great Red Spot, a hurricane twice as wide as Earth, reveals its inner swirls while two companion red spots turn nearby: labels. The overall detail is simply breathtaking.
"I'm a happy camper, says Haese. "This is my best picture of Jupiter yet." And it didn't even upend cosmology. What would Galileo say to that?
Readers, Jupiter is a wonderful target for any backyard telescope and it's easy to find. Before dawn, look south for a bright light in the constellation Sagittarius: sky map.
more images: from Anthony Wesley of Murrumbateman, NSW Australia; from Mike Salway of Central Coast, NSW Australia; from Christopher Go of Cebu City, Philippines;
April 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]