Possible Nova in Sagittarius

   A possible nova (not yet to be confirmed) was discovered by Astronomer John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia, on March 15th and reported to the IAU. See link below.
   The possible Nova is easily located within the teapot shaped asterism of Sagittarius as these pictures show.
http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/unconf/followups/J18365700-2855420.html


   Pictures were taken this morning at around 5 am CST from a location along 50 Highway west from where I live in Lee’s Summit Missouri. These are cropped from the original which was taken with the following settings. 18 mm lens; 6-seconds; f3.5; ISO 1600.
   The nova is currently at around 5th magnitude meaning that it could be seen with the naked eye in dark enough skies. I added apparent magnitudes for 4 stars near the Nova’s location.
   From my picture location the sky was still too bright but I was pretty sure I saw the nova using 10×50 binoculars.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

[centup]
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Mars Passes Two Globular Clusters

25 October - The Teapot and the Milky Way

The Teapot and the Milky Way

   For the last couple of days my posts have described the Milky Way as viewed from my mid-northern latitude location, and the path Mars was taking across the Milky Way as it passed by the Lagoon Nebula. This is an area of the Milky Way above the teapot-shaped asterism for Sagittarius where numerous deep sky objects are visible to the unaided eye, or seen using binoculars. Deep sky objects are outside the solar system but are either within the Milky Way Galaxy and would include nebula, and star clusters (globular and open), or deep sky objects are the galaxies outside of ours.

mars2-ani   Over the next week Mars continues its eastward ‘march’ and will pass by two globular star clusters, coming within about 0.20o from M-28 on 2-3 November, and about 1o from M-22 on the 6th. This animated graphic is set to 1-day intervals and starts on October 27th and ends on November 9th. Globular cluster M-28 has an apparent magnitude of 8.5 and is estimated to be 19000 light years distant, in Sagittarius. Also in Sagittarius is globular cluster M-22 at a distance of 10000 light years with an apparent magnitude 6.5.

galaxy-parts   A globular star cluster is a compact group of stars numbering in the tens of thousands to a few million. Round in appearance globular star clusters are mostly located in the galaxy’s halo, a spherical area around the galaxy center where the older stars in the galaxy are located. Globular clusters contain the oldest stars in the galaxy.
   
   
   
[centup]
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

We Are Here!

   I just had to share this! Be advised that there are some ‘F-bombs’ and other lesser swear words.

“We live in the cosmic equivalent of an f***ing cul-de-sac.”

                                (from the Onion — of course)

   
   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Which Way Are You Going?

   This semester I have a Physical Science class in addition to my Astronomy class and during last night’s discussion about speed and acceleration I mentioned that the speed of an object is always relative or with reference to something else. I even added that “quote” from Einstein’s mother, “Everybody is a relative.”
4 motions   Seriously, in discussing this I dipped into Astronomy and talked about how the Earth and other planets in our solar system all have at least 4 general motions relative to the Sun and the galaxy. And that even the galaxy is in motion and its speed is also relative. On the Earth we rotate (1,000 mph at the equator); we revolve around the Sun (67,000 mph); along with the rest of the solar system we are following the Sun toward the star Vega (43,920 mph); and with regard to the galaxy we are revolving around the galactic center (483,000 mph) as are other stars in the galaxy.
   
   
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.