Space news (August 15, 2015) – approximately 6,000 light-years toward the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) –
When NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope first looked at the Little Gem Nebula (NGC 6818) using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 back in 1997, the image obtained was done so with filters that highlighted ionized oxygen and hydrogen in the planetary nebula.
This image of the Little Gem Nebula shows off complex structures with a bright, enclosed central gas bubble surrounded by larger, more diffuse gas clouds obtained using different filters. Offering the human journey to the beginning of space and time a totally different view of this spectacular stellar object.
Our own Sun billions of years in the future will shed its outer layers into space to create a glowing cloud of gas similar to planetary nebula NGC 6818. Space scientists believe the stellar wind created by the star at the center of this planetary nebula provides the force to propel the uneven outflowing mass.
Studying the final days of sun-like stars provides scientists with data concerning the life cycle of stars similar in size and output to the Sun. Data they can use to devise new ideas and theories to delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the closest star to Earth.
You can find more information on planetary nebula here.
We all experience things differently, but we each witness wondrous things and gain knowledge about ourselves and the bigger universe we live in during our journey.
What does skywatcher or astronomer mean to you? People viewing the night sky and contemplating the meaning of the universe. We have created distinct categories that are listed below.
What kind of sky watcher or astronomer are you?
The professional skywatcher or astronomer earns a significant portion of their income from working in astronomy. They either teach the science in college or university or do space science research on a daily basis. Modern researchers work in individual science specialties like archaeoastronomy and astrometry, or on teams of space scientists planning current and future space missions and designing and engineering the latest spacecraft.
The amateur telescope maker and gadgeteer
This breed of skywatcher once composed a large percentage of astronomy hobbyists. They build amazing telescopes from scratch, grind mirrors, and haul their spaceship-to-the-stars to local star parties. Hands-on amateurs and inventive innovators, many are first time users and adopters of new astronomy technology. The amateur telescope maker and gadgeteer enjoy looking at telescopes as much as through one.
The amateur specialist astronomer
Amateur specialist skywatchers love to observe variable stars, track satellites across the sky, and spend days, weeks and even months hunting for comets. They provide useful scientific data that contributes to our understanding of the universe and enables the human journey to the stars.
The backyard skywatcher or astronomer
The backyard skywatcher thinks space is cool and many are quite knowledgeable concerning the latest astronomy news or book. They enjoy reading about space science and astronomy and a percentage own their own telescope.
The beginner skywatcher
The beginner can be of any age group and just joined the human journey to the beginning of space and time. They often come to the adventure with a relatively clean slate, so find everything exciting.
The astronomy photographer
Often a photographic artist of the highest ability, the astronomy photographer creates and shares astronomy photography techniques and stunning images of the cosmos. Having a vast array of astronomy photography skills and amazing patience, they often leave us sitting back and enjoying their work.
The science fiction fanatic
The science fiction fanatic loves astronomy because of concepts like wormholes, folding space, multiverses, and tachyons. Constantly looking for a door to another dimension or the next universe, they’re more at home in Star Trek, than the real human journey to the stars.
The space travel and planet colonization advocate
Often a romantic soul, the space travel, and planet colonization advocate can be a member of The Planetary Society and wants to colonize other worlds. They’re currently pushing for the colonization of Mars, traveling to nearby asteroids and the jovian moons, and actively push for funding for the human journey to the beginning of space and time.
The space nut or visionary
The space nut or visionary sends in letters ‘disproving’ relativity or offering a brilliant alternative theory. Often they believe NASA is covering up an eminent and world-ending asteroid strike and provide detailed math and physics to back up their claims. Convinced they know something the rest of us don’t, some could be right.
The imprisoned skywatcher
The imprisoned skywatcher has developed a deep curiosity about astronomy but lives in a light-polluted region of the world. They read all they can about space science and the human journey to the stars, but can’t enjoy the journey as they should.
The astronomy zealot
The astronomy zealot looks at the “Big Picture” and the most outrageous models of the human journey to the beginning of space and time. Throw them a string theory or multiverse hypothesis and they swallow it whole. They’re cerebral, speculative and open-minded to anything, and often prefer a novel possibility over hard fact.
The spouses and friends
Spouses get invited to attend star parties, astronomy talks, and sightseeing tours through the solar system and beyond. Only partly enjoying and understanding the process and events, they learn to enjoy these moments, or just put up with it.
The Star Followers
Star navigators are mostly pilots, adventurers, and yachtsmen using the night sky to navigate the globe because they enjoy the hands on feeling of adventure in the ancient art of celestial navigation.
Following their passion and desire to explore, they’re the astronauts of the future, the true adventurers at the forefront of the human exploration of the solar system and beyond.
The enthusiastic human with no idea
The enthusiastic human with no idea about the human journey to the beginning of space and time is the majority of the human race. Unable to name or pinpoint the brightest star in the night sky, or the most common element in the universe, the cosmos just isn’t that interesting to them, so far.
No matter what kind of sky watcher or astronomer you’re, the wonder and mystery of the cosmos can create a passion to answers questions deep within the heart.
Questions generations of sky watchers and astronomers spent thousands of years looking up into the night sky trying to answer. Answers we have designed and engineered amazing spacecraft and telescopes to find during the modern age of space travel and astronomy we live today.
Welcome to the human journey to the beginning of space and time!
Editor and Chief
The human journey to the beginning of space and time
Earth’s most popular spaceship-to-the-stars has evolved
NexStar Evolution includes everything you love about Celestron telescopes, plus a few upgrades to enhance the view
Quickly and efficiently find the most popular stellar objects in the sky by touching your smartphone or tablet. Just connect to NexStar Evolution’s wireless network to manipulate your new NexStar Evolution using the included Celestron SkyPortal planetarium app for iOS and Android.
Available in 6 in, 8 in, and 9.25 in models
State-of-the-art lithium battery allows for up to ten hours of continuous sky watching
Includes a Schmidt-Cassegrainoptical tube, with StarBrightXLT optical coatings, and is Fastar compatible
A USB charging port, adjustable tray light, and improved tripod add new convenience features that make using your new NexStar Evolution a lot more fun and safe
Download free SkyPortal app
You can find the new NexStar Evolution at Celestron.
Get a new perspective on the universe by looking through Ultima Duo high-performance photo-visual eyepieces offering stunning views of the solar system and crystal clear images of the Moon and planets. Versatile enough to go from viewing to imaging in the blink of an eye, Celestron’s new Ultima Duo eyepieces combine fully multi-coated, state-of-the-art optics and a built-in T-adapter for reliable Astro imaging.
Celestron’s Ultima Duo eyepieces have a 68-degree field of view perfect for visual observing and industry standard 42mm T-adapter threads. Just remove the rubber eye guard and then easily attach a DSL camera for unforgettable images of the planets and Moon.
The 2014 Cometron 114AZ is Celestron’s 114mm (4.49 inches) Newtonian telescope, with 10mm and 20mm Kellner eyepieces, offering stunning 22.5x and 45x views of the planets, Moon, and comets speeding through the solar system.
I distinctly remember counting the dollars saved until I could purchase my first telescope. Walking down to the local hobby store to pick it up was a pleasure I had been thinking about for months.
I still have this first scope. I recently discovered it sitting in a closet downstairs, forgotten about, but still usable. I was only twelve years old when I purchased it, from dollars I had saved from my paper route. A 2-inch reflector, I had first seen it sitting in the store window. It had an all white cylinder, with black trimming, and was about 20 inches in length. Mounting her was simple, but the locking clamp was crude, and the tripod unstable at times. There was no way to align the optics system of my first telescope. She was beautiful to me, my first reflector, but she didn’t offer unforgettable views of the solar system. Still, as a young boy exploring a world he had dreamed about, purchasing this first telescope was one of the best gifts I have ever bought myself.
The telescopes sold today to young people and adults deciding to experience astronomy and owning a telescope for the first time offer a far better view of the solar system and cosmos than my first reflector. Considering the recent news that the Rosetta spacecraft will near Comet 67P Churyumov during the coming days, and NASA’s future plans to drop a lander on this comet, lots of people will be desiring to take a look. Fortunately, Celestron is introducing two new Cometron telescopes for 2014 perfect for a beginner. The CometronFirstScope and Cometron 114AZ. Two new telescopes offering beginners great views of the solar system at a reasonable price.
The complete astronomer’s guide to viewing the Moon using binoculars
People often ask me whether they can get great views of the solar system using even simple 7 x 35 binoculars and the answer is yes. It doesn’t matter if you’re using relatively expensive 7 x 35 Leitz Leica BA Trinovid binoculars or the less expensive Celestron 71300. The night sky will explode with visual gems invisible to the naked eye and the Moon will come alive with color when viewed through binoculars.
The view becomes even better when seen through binoculars like the Oberwerk 100mm giant binocular telescope. Numerous double stars can be seen using state-of-the-art astronomy binoculars, variable stars will noticeably fluctuate at times, and you’ll see stars the naked eye isn’t able to discern. The list of objects to view using binoculars is virtually endless, but let’s start with the Moon.
A mere 238,000 miles distant, the Moon offers viewers on Earth more visual gems than any other object in the solar system. Soaring mountains, immense plains, insanely deep and wide valleys, and hundreds of craters are easily visible on the Moon using astronomy binoculars.
Selecting the best lunar phase for viewing the Moon is critical for people deciding to tour our closest neighbor using binoculars. Very little detail is often visible on the surface after a New Moon, but as the Moon rises further east night after night, more features of the surface come into view. During the First-Quarter phases of the Moon, an amazing variety of lunar surface terrain can be viewed through binoculars.
The huge plains of the lunar seas Serenitatis, Mare Crisium, Tranquillitatis, and Fecunditatis cover the equatorial regions of the Moon. Travel northward to view several large craters scattered across the landscape or south to view an area often called the “no man’s land” of the Moon. Experience the south polar region to be inspired by the rough beauty of a region with so many craters it’s often hard to tell them apart.
It’s always fascinating to view the line dividing the night and day on the Moon, which astronomers refer to as the Moon’s terminator (lunar terminator). Viewers can often see unusual lighting effects on the surface as the Sun rises and sets. If you view from the right angle, a crater can look like a bright, bottomless pit. Sunlight can often be seen traveling down the wall until it floods the bottom of the crater.
The best time to view a New Moon is normally April and May for viewers in the northern hemisphere, and October and November in the southern regions of the planet. Viewers north of the equator desiring to experience the Moon less than a day before New Moon should view during July and August, while those south of the equator will have better luck during January and February. During these times the Moon is higher in the sky, so if you slowly scan a point below the horizon directly under the Sun and the view is free of obstacles, you might experience an extremely thin crescent.
Modern astronomy binoculars offer grand and inspiring views of the Moon and solar system sure to open the mind to the usefulness of binoculars when viewing the universe. Make plans to check out the view they offer and we’re sure you’ll discover just how useful they’re.