October 24, 2011

JUPITER AT OPPOSITION

bright Jupiter rising over Bhuj city, during October 23 evening. Snap shot taken by canon EOS 550D








Jupiter is the most eye-catching point of light in the eastern sky after dusk. Shining at magnitude -2.9 Jupiter is heading towards its opposition, the closest distance from Earth on 29 October.

Even small Binoculars will show its four bright moons. Jupiter can be best viewed through a mid-sized to large aperture telescopes. A telescope will show a 50” wide disc of the planet. When near opposition the gas giant offers the earth bound telescopes stunning views of its stormy, banded atmosphere and large Galilean Moons.

Visit this link by Sky & Telescope website for more info about observing Jupiter




October 4, 2011

CLOUDY FUTURE FOR GROUND-BASED ASTRONOMY?



Today I recalled old news while checking e-mails of the year 2006. It was stating that the ground based astronomy will cease around 2050 due to the dramatic increase in cloud cover caused by Global Warming! I decided to share it again in this blog. The whole mail was as below:

“Ground-based astronomy may be almost impossible by 2050 as global warming causes a dramatic increase in cloud cover.

Clouds and aircraft condensation trails, or contrails, already hamper astronomy, says Gerry Gilmore, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge. Worries about cloud cover prompted a study, which Gilmore chaired, to look into how global warming and rising air traffic will affect the forthcoming 100-metre-wide Overwhelmingly Large Telescope in Chile. This is one of a planned series of extremely large telescopes designed to observe the skies in unprecedented detail.

Contrails and global warming feed off each other, Gilmore says. "Contrails increase global warming, and global warming helps larger contrails form."

Though they realized that increasing cloud was a potential threat, astronomers did not appreciate the scale of the problem before the study, Gilmore says. "The study shows that ground-based telescopes will be worthless by 2050."

Gilmore hopes to make the wider public aware of this overlooked consequence of global warming. "We can only go to the least affected places and try to make governments pass laws to protect these sites," he says. "But the future of cheap aero plane transport and climate change is out of our hands."

mail source: astronomyclubindia-normal@yahoogroups.com 

October 1, 2011

MARS MEETS M44!

Mars passes through the Beehive Cluster (M44) during October 1 and 2. Today early morning before dawn I observed this event using my 10x50 Olympus binoculars. I also took few shots of this event through my DSLR camera with a telephoto zoom lens.