28 January 2013

Carnival of Space # 286 Light pollution special edition here @ LINKS THROUGH SPACE

(Images: International Dark-Sky Assocation. When the eastern power grid failed, from Ontario to New York City, in August 2003, it revealed something many city dwellers had never seen: from horizon to horizon, a sky full of stars. Then the power came back on.)
Welcome to Links Through Space, astronomy for everyone.
This is the blog of our Astronomy Club here in Kustavi, Finland
We write/post news about space related topics and we showcase our Astrophotos and Timelapses.
Our blog is a way for you to follow Space/Astronomy news and find new links through the Internet about Space and astronomy.
So here we have it, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Links Through Space is honored to declare the 286th Carnival of Space live from Kustavi Finland.
This Carnival of space #286 includes a Light pollution special edition.
Links Through Space has an article on Light pollution. A view of light pollution in astronomy these days.
Please visit the links in the article on light pollution carefully and participate actively to the many programs and events.
Thank You!

Light Pollution. Do we have to be concerned?

Artificial lighting is one of the most dramatic effects of mankind on the face of the Earth (to understand the scale this timelapse taken on the ISS shows the human settlements on the face of the night-time Earth as eerie filaments dwarfing thunderstorms and comparable to auroras in size). Main concern with astronomical observations is the type of light pollution called “skyglow”, which happens when light from cities is scattered by the atmosphere and redirected towards a distant observer. But the problem and concept of light pollution is much more complex than just an irritation to skywatchers, it seriously affects the natural patterns of humans and animals around the world. (See for example Wikipedia article for more details). Also the amount of energy (and therefore money) wasted to inefficient lighting is tremendous. It is estimated that 1/3 of all the lighting in the USA is wasted, amounting to $2 Billion in electricity cost.

16 January 2013

Opening of Space Exhibition in Turku, Finland

Space Exhibition 2013 Turku, Finland
Space Exhibition opening @ LATTE cafe in Turku, Finland.
Lots of friends and family, good snacks and great show!

The exhibition has a main gallery room, an Ultra-violet room and an interactive room. The Main room is full of pictures from our astronomy trips and other events of the astronomy club. The UV room is filled with posters of space. The interactive room has a Moon-carpet where people can "stand on the Moon". Also on the wall you can draw the Universe with coal sticks. Also you find a radio with CD of sounds of Jupiter and the cosmos.

The Space Exhibition is up until February 15, 2013 @ LATTE cafe (Kristiinankatu 5) Turku, Finland. Here is the page Facebook for those interested in seeing more pictures and info of the event.

Opening of the Space Exhibition, Turku, Finland
Thank's to everyone who came to see us and support us. We surely appreciate it and looking forward to seeing the new members in our future astronomy club Toutatis events.

Preparing the Space exhibition (Go Essi!)

09 January 2013

Conclusion of Our Journey through Moroccan Astronomy

Mosaic of the Milky Way
in the Sahara desert, Morocco
As a new year begins we leave the amazing astronomy trip in the Sahara desert and Morocco and we wish fair well and hope to meet again.

Many thanks to all the wonderful people we met along this journey.
Thank you!

See Articles and posts of Trip to the Sahara desert, Morocco HERE

Happy New Year 2013 to all and everyone and clear skies!

Photo Credit: Stefan Lamoureux / Astronomy club Toutatis

04 January 2013

Links Through Space reaches 50 000 views. Thank you for your support!

Astronomy club Toutatis's
Links Through Space has reached 50 000 views.
Astronomy is growing all around the world and the people are interested.
Thank you for your support and be assured we will keep on taking pictures of the night sky and report astronomy related news.

For the future Our Astronomy Club here in Kustavi, Finland remains open for new projects and activities concerning Astronomy that is beneficial for all. Astronomy trips, Space exhibitions, public observations etc...
Thanks for your support!

03 January 2013

Omega Centauri Globular cluster (NGC 5139) Maroccan style!

Omega Centauri globular cluster /NGC 5139)
Credit: Stefan Lamoureux / Astronomy club Toutatis
Click on picture to enlarge
Omega Centauri or NGC 5139
Featured in this sharp telescopic image, globular star cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) is some 15,000 light-years away. Some 150 light-years in diameter, the cluster is packed with about 10 million stars. 
Omega Centauri is the largest of 150 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Though most star clusters consist of stars with the same age and composition, the enigmatic Omega Centauri exhibits the presence of different stellar populations with a spread of ages and chemical abundances. In fact, Omega Centauri may be the remnant core of a small galaxy merging with the Milky Way (Source).

Personal observation of Omega Centauri in the Sahara desert, Morocco
At location 30 degrees North and 5 degrees West, Omega Centauri rose at 8 degrees above the horizon  just before the Sunrise. In the desert, the conditions where ideal. Transparency 7/10 (Sand particules and Sunrise), Seeing 9/10, temperature: +6C. I used a Meade 400mm / 2000 mm with focus reducer of 6.3 and a Canon 550D at prime focus. First I look at it through an eyepiece of 32mm and saw it very nicely and detailed. Then took the camera and started to make practice shots to center it and focus it well. As my window of opportunity was closing, I shot away a series of photos. Every now and then (I mean every 2 minutes) I check to see if the focus was ok and if the telescope was still following the object adequately. I manage to get a few pictures including the one you see at the top. I was very pleased with this session, and what a feeling to be outside by my own and listening to the camera snapping photos and looking to the horizon and imagining my self inside Omega Centauri and visualizing the night sky bright and full of stars. It was fantastic!

Northern hemisphere watchers don't give up! Canadians set example.
Omega Centauri is essentially a Southern hemisphere Globular cluster, but Northern sky watchers down of 42 degrees have the opportunity to have a look at this superb object in the night sky. Here is a fabulous article of Canadian observers who has had a glimps at Omega Centauri. Please read the article HERE

Core of the globular cluster Omega Centauri
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Core of Omega Centauri (NGC 5139)
Colorful Stars Galore in the Gigantic Star Cluster Omega Centauri.
The Hubble Space Telescope snapped this panoramic view of a colorful assortment of 100,000 stars residing in the crowded core of a giant star cluster. This is one of the first images taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), installed aboard Hubble in May 2009, during Servicing Mission 4.
The image reveals a small region inside the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri, which boasts nearly 10 million stars. Globular clusters, ancient swarms of stars united by gravity, are the homesteaders of our Milky Way Galaxy. The stars in Omega Centauri are between 10 billion and 12 billion years old.
The story of stellar evolution is depicted by the wide variety of star colors and sizes within this image of the globular cluster. Most of the stars in this snapshot are yellow white, like our Sun. They are adult stars that are shining by hydrogen fusion. The bright orange, red, and blue stars represent the final, flashy stages of life for Sun-like stars. All of the stars in the image are cozy neighbors.
The average distance between any two stars in the cluster’s crowded core is roughly 13 times closer than our Sun’s nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. Although the stars are close together, WFC3 can resolve each of them as individual stars. If anyone lived in this globular cluster, they would behold a star-saturated sky that is roughly 100 times brighter than Earth’s sky.
Omega Centauri is among the biggest and most massive of some 150 globular clusters orbiting within the Milky Way. It is one of the few globular clusters that can be seen with the unaided eye. The cluster resembles a small cloud in the southern sky and might easily be mistaken for a comet (Source).

See Globular cluster in wikipedia HERE
Fred Espenack Astropixels picture of Omega Centauri HERE
Omega Centauri on wikipedia HERE
Coordinates of Omega Centauri

Conclusion 7/7 of astronomy trip to Morocco. Hope you have enjoyed! Goodbye.