Astronomy Foundation's Picture of the Month - John Chumack's Total Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring Effect
With the Great American Eclipse just days away, the Astronomy Foundation chose to highlight an image by professional astrophotographer and amateur astronomer John Chumack. John’s image was captured on Film with a Pentax K1000 and 80mm University Optics Refractor (600mm FL) back in 1998 on the Island of Aruba. This is what you can expect to see on August 21st for all in the USA centerline.
This spectacular effect occurs as the last of the Sun disappears and just after it emerges from behind the Moon.
Astronomy Foundation's Picture of the Month - Mike Reynolds's Total Solar Eclipse
This stunning solar eclipse was imaged by Michael "Mike" D. Reynolds, PH.D. Dr. Reynolds is an author, Dean and Astronomy Professor at Florida State College. He was selected and trained by NASA as an astronaut for the Teachers in Space Program. Dr. Reynolds leads eclipse expeditions and is a recognized expert on meteoritics. In addition, Mike is an Astronomy Foundation Board Member.
Telescope: Meade 80mm APO
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
System: Direct Objective; 480mm focal length
Exposures: 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, and 1/500 second, all five images stacked in Registax and adjusted in Photoshop (unsharp masking, noise reduction, color balance)
Date: March 29th, 2006
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Month (AFPOM) - Brandon Townley's Milky Way
Brandon Townley's beautiful image of a country landscape shows the Milky Way arching over a pavilion, reflecting in a pond near Sunbury, Ohio.
Image: Comprised of 8 individual pictures stitched together to make the 180 degree panoramic picture. Each picture was a 30-second exposure at f/4 and ISO-4000.
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark III and 17-40mm lens.
Location: Sunbury, Ohio
Date: September 2, 2016.
About the Photographer: Brandon Townley grew up in Central Ohio and has been behind a camera for as long as he can remember. His love for travel has given him the opportunity to photograph a vast array of landscapes and environments. At 23, this young artist's work has already been featured in many publications and has published two books. A sampling of his photos can be found here:
Astronomy Foundation’s Picture of the Month - Molly Wakeling’s Helix Nebula
The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) is stunning example of an object belonging to the planetary nebulae class. Found in the constellation Aquarius, this large nebula's actual diameter is about 2.5 light-years and apparent size is about half the diameter of the Full Moon. Approximately 650 light-years away, it is one of the nearest and brightest planetary nebulae to our solar system. The Helix Nebula is so large and bright that it can be observed from dark sky locations using binoculars.
Molly Wakeling began astrophotography as a hobby when she received her first telescope as a gift in July 2015. Ms. Wakeling is an Air Force physicist and astronomy has always been her favorite area of science. Her other hobbies include leading a Girl Scout Troop, astronomy outreach with the Miami Valley Astronomical Society, and playing video games.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week - John Welsh's Moon
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week - Andrew Davies's Orion Nebula
Orion is one of most recognizable constellations in our night sky. Check out the area just below the three stars that make up Orion's Belt. That fuzzy looking spot is M42, or NGC1976, the Orion Nebula. One of the brightest emission nebulae in our night sky, with an apparent magnitude of 4, it is visible to the naked eye on moonless clear nights. About 1,300 light years from Earth, 30 to 40 light years in diameter, the Orion Nebula is a stellar nursery where thousands of stars are born.
Image by Andrew Davies: taken with 400mm lens on Canon 600D, EQ5 mount unguided for 90 seconds at Astrofarm, Confolens, South of France on 4th November 2015 01:30am local time. Green stripe at bottom is trail of a copper rich meteor which passed through image.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week Celebrating Outreach - David Eicher's Starfest
From the Astronomy Foundation President David Eicher:
On Saturday evening, October 17, I was delighted to be a special guest at the 20th anniversary Starfest, a huge urban star party put on by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York (AAA). The AAA is the nation’s largest astronomy club and, led by their energetic president, Marcelo Cabrera, they do a fantastic and nearly nonstop job of putting on numerous outreach events, showing the wonders of the universe to the public.
For 20 years now, the AAA has hosted a great public stargaze in Sheep Meadow, east of 67th Street and Central Park West, in Central Park. The first time I attended one of these events, I have to say, I was blown away by the extent of what could be seen in a telescope from midtown Manhattan. Despite the light pollution, deep-sky objects like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Double Cluster looked great! And of course many of the hundreds of visitors who washed in and out of the meadow during the evening saw the Moon. Numerous kids had great views that may inspire them to get into astronomy in later years.
I was privileged to speak to the audience for a short time, repeating some of the big science ideas we’re witnessing in astronomy from my detailed lecture of the night before. Al Nagler of Tele Vue Optics also spoke to the crowd about his illustrious career in optics, and filmmaker David Gaynes provided a showing of his film “Saving Hubble.”
The night was chilly, no doubt, but I reassured the crowd by letting them know that it was much colder yet on Mars.
We had a wonderful time and no doubt inspired many people to awaken their interest and point their attention toward the heavens.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week - Mike Taylor's Super Blood Moon Eclipse Sequence
This stunning image by astrophotographer Mike Taylor was shot on September 27, 2015, 8PM - 2AM during the "SuperBloodMoon" eclipse. This image is a multiple exposure blend captured as the moon eclipsed over this dilapidated shack in central Maine, USA. For more information about this image, please visit http://miketaylorphoto.com/
Equipment and Exposure Details:
Processed via LR & PS CC. Foreground & Sky: Nikon D600 & 14-24mm @ 14mm f/2.8 - 13 secs - ISO 160 Moon Sequence: Nikon D7000 & 70-300mm @ 300mm (450mm equivalent) f/11 - multiple secs - ISO 200-3200 (changed as the moon changed)
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for August 30, 2015 - Brian Drourr's Night Float
This beautiful image taken by photographer Brian Drourr is a single exposure shot with a canon 6D and Rokinon 14mm lens at f2.8 35 seconds iso 6400. Brian shot this image at Ricker Pond State Park in Northern Vermont on 8.14.15 during the Perseid meteor shower. Check out that glow!
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for September 20th, 2015 - Thomas Cornille's Moon
French Amateur Astrophotographer Thomas Cornille celebrated the 2015 International Observe the Moon Night by creating this beautiful twelve image mosaic of the moon in Reims, France.
"International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is an annual worldwide public event that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration. Everyone on Earth is invited to join the celebration by hosting or attending an InOMN event — and uniting on one day each year to look at and learn about the Moon together." - http://www.observethemoonnight.org/
Equipment: Shot with an 8" Newtonian telescope, spc 900 webcam with lr cut filter on an Orion SkyView Pro mount.
Exposure: Filming with webcam, 1/500, 5 frames per second, 140 frames per image. Assembled with Iris and Imerge.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for August 23, 2015 - Robert Sparks's Haleakala Perseids
This amazing image was taken near the summit of Haleakala on Maui with a Canon 6D and Rokinon 14mm lens at f/2.8, ISO5000 for 30 seconds.
By day, Robert Sparks works in the Education and Public Outreach Group at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona.
Astronomy Foundation's Picture of the Week for August 16th, 2015 - Jeanette Lamb's Galactic Core
This week's amazing image of the galactic center of the Milky Way Galaxy was taken during the Queensland Astrofest 2015 Star Party by astrophotographer Jeanette Lamb.
Equipment and Exposure Details: Stacked imaged comprising of 11x3 minute exposures with Vixen Polarie mount, Canon 550D @ ISO3200, Canon 24mm Pancake lens @ F3.2.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week (AFPOW) for July 13th, 2015 Steve Cullen's Mauna Kea
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for June 21, 2015 - Lightning Strike
James Willinghan, amateur astrophotographer, shot this awesome image of a lightning strike in Elkridge, Maryland the night of June 18th. Note the airplane at the bottom of the bolt taking off from Baltimore Washington International Airport.
Exposure Details: This photo was captured during a 15 second exposure.
Equipment Used: James used a Canon Rebel XSI, ISO 100 at f11.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week (AFPOW) for July 6th, 2015 - Ted Saker's M16, The Eagle Nebula
Astrophotographer Ted Saker (Columbus, Ohio) shot this gorgeous image of M16, The Eagle Nebula in the constellation Serpens. Part of the Milky Way passes through Serpens Cauda. so it's absolutely lousy with stunning galactic deep-sky objects like M16, Eagle Nebula. It contains several active star forming gas and dust regions, including the iconic Pillars of Creation. Classified as an emission nebula, surrounded by star cluster M16, the Eagle Nebula is predominantly ionized hydrogen. About 6,500 light years away from Earth, the nebula measures 70 light-years by 50 light-years.
Exposure Details: 4800 secs. L, 2400 secs. Ha, 3600 secs. S-II, and 4200 secs. O-III, HST palette. SBIG ST-8XME camera with AO-8, SBIG CFW-10 with Custom Scientific hydrogen alpha (H-a), Schuler sulfur II (S-II) and Baader oxygen III (O-III) filters.
Equipment Details: Optics used was an Astro-Tech f/8 AT8RCF on a Losmandy Gemini I G-11 GEM.
Location Details: Shot at the 2015 Texas Star Party May 14th and 16th.
Astronomy Foundation’s Picture of the Week for June 15, 2015 – Fireflies and Venus
Welcome summer with Joe Bergeron’s image of whimsical fireflies and brilliant Venus lighting up the night sky.
Exposure Details: Shot near a private pond in Broome County, NY, Joe’s image comprises approximately 20 8-second exposures, combined to add to the firefly population.
Equiment Used: Joe used an Olympus Micro 4/3 camera with a 50mm lens at f/1.4, ISO 1600.
Joe Bergeron is a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists, an accomplished astrophotographer, and science fiction author and illustrator of the Cosmic Cat and The Endurian Universe novels. For more information, please visit http://www.joebergeron.com
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for June 8th, 2015 - Emission Nebulae in Cepheus
This week's stunning Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week is brought to us by Eric Africa and features emission nebula in the constellation Cepheus. Cepheus lies in the northern sky not too far from Polaris. Its church-steeple shape represents the ancient Greek king of its namesake, with Cassiopeia his queen following in his footsteps. This regal constellation is host to many emission nebulae, including Cederblad 214, the bright nebula to the left, and NGC 7822, the fainter arc on the right.
Like many emission nebulae (designated from the light emitted by gases ionized by stars embedded within them), this object is a huge star nursery. Stars born within the giant clouds of gas and dust of this object light up its gases with ionizing radiation, and blow away their shrouds of dust with strong stellar winds. The latter is evidenced by the comet-like shapes of the dark dust clouds, pointing back at the stars causing their erosion.
Exposure Details: H-alpha: 12 x 30 minutes Binned 1x1 (mapped to Green in Hubble Palette) SII: 14 x 30 minutes Binned 1x1 (mapped to Red in Hubble Palette) OIII: 14 x 30 minutes Binned 1x1 (mapped to Blue in Hubble Palette)
Equipment Used: Takahashi FSQ-106N on a Takahashi EM200 Temma-PC mount. SBIG STL-6303 camera with 8-position filter wheel and Astrodon narrowband filters. Externally guided with an SBIG Remote Guide Head on a Borg 45ED refractor.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for June 1st, 2015 - "The Great Foot of Sagittarius"
This week's AFPOW, "The Great Foot of Sagittarius", is by Jeannette Lamb. She imaged this region with her Takahashi FS-78 on an HEQ5Pro Mount and using a Canon CDS1100D. Total imaging time of 3.5 hours using 5 minute subframes. Jeannette calls this composition "The Great Foot of Sagittarius" with the Lagoon Nebula making up the heel and the toes are IC4685.
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for June 29, 2015 - Rho Ophiuchi and the Planet Saturn
Astrophotographer Derek Demeter shot this magnificent image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex (pronounced 'oh-fee-yoo-ki') and the planet Saturn (bright star on the right) at Bryce Canyon National Park. The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex is a dark nebula of gas and dust that is located 1° south of the star Ophiuchi in the Ophiuchus constellation. "It's one of the nearest star-forming regions to Earth, allowing us to resolve much more detail than in more distant similar regions, like the Orion nebula." -nasa.gov
Astronomy Foundation Picture of the Week for May 18th, 2015 - Clouds of Orion
This week's AFPOW, "Clouds of Orion" is by acclaimed starscape and astrophotographer Rogelio Bernal Andreo. It is a mosaic of the region around the constellation of Orion. It is comprised of over 44 individual panels that took Rogelio more than 240 hours to capture.