Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Pass Over North America at Night with Annotated Stills

The videos from the International Space Station keep on coming. The astronauts are now shooting them at the rate of one frame per second, which gives a much closer resemblance to the true speed of the International Space Station than was shown in their previous videos. This sequence was captured January 30, 2012.

I grabbed some of the individual images from the sequence and annotated them to give you some reference points.

The ISS photographed three International Dark Sky Parks in this passage.  Can you name them?  I will point them out in a follow up post.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Red Aurora Australis

Here's a beautiful time-lapse video of the southern Milky Way (including the Magellanic Clouds) and the Aurora Australis. Enjoy!

Red Aurora Australis from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An Astronomer's Paradise video

From The World at Night comes this great timelapse video:

An Astronomer's Paradise from Babak Tafreshi on Vimeo.

Cerro Paranal is an astronomers paradise with its stunningly dark, steady, and transparent sky. Located in the barren Atacama Desert of Chile it is home to some of the world's leading telescopes. Operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO ) the Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located on Paranal, composed of four 8 m telescopes which can combine their light to make a giant telescope by interferometry. Four smaller auxiliary telescopes, each 1.8 m in aperture, are essential elements of the VLT interferometer. The music is composed by Thomas Nordwest and provided by the Ars Electronica (AEC). Babak Tafreshi

Public Star Party near Tucson on Feb. 25

If you'll be in the Tucson area on February 25th you should attend the star party that will be held that evening at Catalina State Park. It is being put on by the members of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association.  I will be there with my telescope and hope to meet lots of people eager to see and learn about the wonders of the winter skies.  Directions to the park are here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Déjà vu - all over again

Sometimes something very familiar from your past comes right back at you in ways that you don't expect.  In my email inbox today was a link to a cool Chalk Talk video on the Electromagnetic Spectrum from the National Science Foundation (it is embedded at the bottom of this post).

It opens with some animation of science stuff including this view of stars over an observatory dome:

I knew right away what dome that was - the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory.  Have a look at the photo below and you can easily tell that the drawing is based on it.  It happens to be one of the many photos that I took while I worked at Palomar.

I certainly don't mind that the NSF based some artwork on the image. As I recall I gave permission for them to use it to promote research at Palomar that they were supporting. I just didn't expect to see it come back in this context today.

Enjoy the video.