24 March 2015

Celestial objects out of my reach, not anymore!

On my latest astronomy trip to the Sahara in Southern Morocco, I met with many enthusiast people in astronomy. I had a blast doing many activities related to astronomy as Meteorite hunting, astrophotographying the night sky and learning much of astronomy in general at this fabulous hotel/observatory called Sahara Sky. 10 days of meteorite hunting, astronomy learning and stargazing in the Sahara was incredible and just unforgettable. Please join me in a series of posts on my journey through the Sahara in Southern Morocco and one of the most dark skies places I have ever seen.

Image credit: "Fornax IAU" by IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) - [1]. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

A great pleasure of mine while travelling abroad and writing about astronomy is to chase for objects and events we can not see from our observatory in Finland (Northern hemisphere). This time I choose the constellation Fornax and it's many Galaxies. It is literally a furnace of Galaxies.

One of the Galaxies in the constellation of Fornax
Credit: S. Lamoureux/ KTY Toutatis.
The point of all this is to showcase Southern Stars and Southern Constellations that are out of reach from Finland at our Observatory. Report on Southern Constellations that are mostly unknown to Northern hemisphere astronomers.
Fornax is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for furnace. It was named by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. Fornax has been the target of investigations into the furthest reaches of the universe. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is located within Fornax, and the Fornax Cluster, a small cluster of galaxies, lies primarily within Fornax.

In our observation of the Fornax constellation, we focused to a single galaxy within it. My observation partner Patrick Innocent from Sahara Sky explained that Fornax is the furnace of Galaxies. This Galaxy was one of many Galaxies in this part of the night sky. We also photographed a wide field of the region of Fornax to reveal 15+ Galaxies in the picture. When you look at the single Galaxy picture, you are looking at hundred of billions of stars.

"The most stars that I have shot in 1 photography! :) No wait!
I have also this wide field picture of the 15+ Galaxies. So this photo, really, we are looking at 15 times hundreds of billions of stars. That is far out!
I would say that this is the most stars that I have photographed in 1 picture."

Wide field photo of the Galaxies in Fornax.
Notice the green dots showing the Galaxies.
Credit: S. Lamoureux/ KTY Toutatis. 
The Constellation of Fornax opened my eyes to the vastness of the Universe, with all it's Galaxies grouped together it is an incredible site in the night sky.

Please continue reading the next post of my Astronomy trip in the Sahara, Southern Morocco HERE. Follow the complete travel post series and enjoy the astronomy behind it. This is all part of the public outreach of Astronomy Club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland.

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