28 December 2011

Venus and the crescent Moon in conjunction 27.12.2011

Click to enlarge /Credit: KTY Toutatis
On a see cruise back home from the Island of Åland, we had the most incredible sight in the sky.
At 17:03 Venus and the crescent Moon where in a perfect alignement. The conjunction was align also with a ship at the horizon.
On the picture you can see the Earth-light reflecting on the Moon (earthshine). Also the crescent Moon was only 10% of a new moon and at the background the Sun was setting down.
You can go and watch more Astrophotos on our Links Through Space FLICKR page

Here are the specs of this picture:
Canon 550D, 55mm lens, f.5.6, ISO 800, Exp:1/3 sec.

Wiki info: Conjunction ( astronomy and astrology)

26 December 2011

Venus and the crescent Moon in conjunction 26.12.2011

Click on picture to enlarge /Credit: KTY Toutatis
Here is a picture of Venus in conjunction with the crescent Moon. The Moon was only 4% of the new Moon.
You can see venus in the thin stripe where there is no clouds and just at the right of it is the crescent Moon (all is left of the tree).
This picture was taken on the 26.12.2011 at 17:05 (UTC+2) in Eckerö, Åland, Finland.
Me and my girlfriend went to catch this event , but when we saw the clouds, we tought it was over. but perceverance paid off and we got this unique picture of the event.

Hope you like it, you can comment also!
Cheers from the islands!

16 December 2011

Expectation zero. Comet Lovejoy still emerge from behind the Sun

 Expectation zero. Comet Lovejoy still emerge from behind the Sun
Watch this video of the comet emerging from behind the Sun.

It’s the morning after for the sungrazing Comet Lovejoy, and this feisty comet has scientists shaking their heads in disbelief. “I don’t know where to begin,” wrote Karl Battams, from the Naval Research Laboratory, who curates the Sun-grazing comets webpage. “What an extraordinary 24hrs! I suppose the first thing to say is this: I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And I have never been so happy to be wrong!”
Article by Nancy Atkinson
 Read more HERE on Universe Today>>> 

11 December 2011

CONCLUSION: Moon eclipsed by clouds in southern Finland

Full Moon /Credit: KTY Toutatis
Conclusion: The lunar eclipse of december 10, 2011 was under cloud cover.
For us here in southern Finland, the clouds took over the sky and we had no chance to see the eclipse.

Many people included me had set up there cameras and telescopes to capture the event.
Personally I was trying to find a higher spot and see where there would be an opening in the clouds, but without success! I decided to cruise around the city in my car to find high grounds that had a view on the east (north-east) but clouds where everywhere.

It was a major disappointment even though it was known that yesterday would be snowy and cloudy.
I guess we have to be content with photos and videos from all around the world and enjoy them for this time.
Next time as we meet with a lunar eclipse in a couple of year we hope to have clear skies and nice warm weather.
Now lets try to capture some shooting stars, as the Geminids are coming into town. The Geminids meteor shower is expected to be at its peak between the 13-14 of december.
Read more on the geminids HERE >>>
Good luck!

10 December 2011

Want to measure the moon's diameter?

Want to Measure the Moon? Click here
Are you planning on watching the lunar eclipse today Saturday, December 10?
Would you like to try your hand at doing something new and unusual, like measuring the Moon?
Then join the The Classroom Astronomer (TCA) magazine effort by using time-honored techniques – with a modern twist! Step inside and we’ll tell you where to get the information on how it’s done...

The International Measure The Moon Night is coordinated by The Classroom Astronomer Magazine, which is based in Marietta, GA USA. The publisher of the magazine is Dr. Larry Krumenaker.

The website "measure the Moon" is an simple-educational-fun way for you to find out with real professional methods the distance (from Earth) and size of the Moon. This experiment should be very gratifying, having measured by yourself the size of the Moon. Two options are open to you; the shadow method and the lunar parallax method. For the Lunar parallax method you need to take pictures of the lunar eclipse and cross reference them with counterparts around the world. The International Measure The Moon Night event brings together people from all around the world for an experience you will never forget.
Visit the website measurethemoon and be part of the bigger picture.
Have fun!

08 December 2011

Links Through Space 5000 VIEWS and counting, Thanks for your support!

Links through space has reached 5000 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 the Astronomy Club here in Kustavi, Finland remains open for new projects and activities concerning Astronomy that is beneficial for all. Public observations, Starclubs, DVD's and much more...

Thank you again and remember to go outside and look at the night sky, you never know what you will discover next.

07 December 2011

Geminids meteor shower from 7.12 - 14.12.2011

Shooting Stars

Its the finale of this year’s meteor showers: The Geminids will start appearing on Dec. 7 and should reach peak activity around the 13th and 14th.

This shower could put on a display of up to 100+ meteors (shooting stars) per hour under good viewing conditions.
However, conditions this year are not ideal with the presence of a waning gibbous Moon (which will be up from mid-evening until morning). But seeing meteors every few minutes is quite possible. Geminid meteors are often slow and bright with persistent coloured trails which can linger for a while after the meteor has burned up.

Here is a link for Best time to observe for Finland HERE>>
Here is a link from wikipedia: Geminids meteor shower

NEW ASTROPHOTOS from Kustavi Finland

Click to enlarge /Credit: KTY Toutatis
Tonight Observations started slowly.
First I set up my telescope to look at the Moon and right bellow it Jupiter, but then the clouds and fog came along and canceled my session.
After a while, I went back and took a couple of snapshot of the Moon's halo. It was nice because Jupiter was right bellow it and made a nice "solar system" family portrait.
Then a few hours later, I caught the Constellation Orion and Taurus with the Pleiades in a motionless sky.
You can see the new astrophotos HERE>>>

Enjoy! and remember to go outside and have a look at the night sky!

05 December 2011


Last moments of Full lunar eclipse (Penumbra stage)
Saturday 10.12.2011 ECLIPSE OF THE MOON
A total lunar eclipse will take place on December 10, 2011. It will be the second of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the first having occurred on June 15.

For those who where there for the last eclipse in Kustavi in June, knows it is an exciting phenomena.

The greatest totality of the eclipse is at 14:31:49 UTC
(16:31:49 finnish time) 
The lunar eclipse starts as the moon rise up from the horizon (In southern Finland). The entire eclipse last for 51 minutes. From 13:33 finnish time to 16:06 finnish time.
Here is a link to see how the eclipse progress HERE>>> (source wikipedia)
Here is a link for more information on the lunar eclipse HERE>>> (source

Good luck and enjoy!

29 November 2011

THE OUTER SPACE series: Martian curse

Click on image to enlarge

In THE OUTER SPACE series this week:
The "Mars curse", the "Martian curse", the Galactic Ghoul" or the "Great Galactic Ghoul".

The high failure rate of missions launched from Earth attempting to explore Mars has become informally known as the "Mars Curse" or "Martian Curse". The "Galactic Ghoul" or "Great Galactic Ghoul" is a fictional space monster jokingly said to consume Mars probes, a term coined in 1997 by Time Magazine journalist Donald Neff.

 Of 38 launches from Earth in an attempt to reach the planet, only 19 succeeded, a success rate of 50%. Twelve of the missions included attempts to land on the surface, but only seven transmitted data after landing.
 The majority of the failed missions occurred in the early years of space exploration and were part of the Soviet and later Russian Mars probe program that suffered several technical difficulties, other than the largely successful Venera program for the exploration of Venus.
Modern missions have an improved success rate; however, the challenge, complexity and length of the missions make it inevitable that failures will occur.
The U.S. NASA Mars exploration program has had a somewhat better record of success in Mars exploration, achieving success in 13 out of 20 missions launched (a 65% success rate), and succeeding in six out of seven (an 86% success rate) lander missions.
source: wikipedia
Read more on the exploration of Mars HERE>>> 

26 November 2011

The launch a success, now we follow protocol!

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory and its Curiosity rover have blasted off on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

--The rocket's first-stage common core booster, and the four solid rocket boosters, will ignite before liftoff. Launch, or "T Zero", actually occurs before the rocket leaves the ground. The four solid rocket boosters jettison at launch plus one minute and 52 seconds.
Fairing Separation
--The nose cone, or fairing, carrying Mars Science Laboratory will open like a clamshell and fall away at about three minutes and 25 seconds after launch. After this, the rocket's first stage will cut off and then drop into the Atlantic Ocean.
Parking Orbit
--The rocket's second stage, a Centaur engine, is started for the first time at about four minutes and 38 seconds after launch. After it completes its first burn of about 7 minutes, the rocket will be in a parking orbit around Earth at an altitude that varies from 102 miles (165 kilometers) to 201 miles (324 kilometers). It will remain there from 14 to 30 minutes, depending on the launch date and time. If launch occurs at the beginning of the launch Nov. 26 launch window, this stage will last about 21 minutes.
On the Way to Mars
-- The second Centaur burn, continuing for nearly 8 minutes (for a launch at the opening of the Nov. 26 launch window), lofts the spacecraft out of Earth orbit and sends it toward Mars.
Spacecraft Separation
--Mars Science Laboratory will separate from the rocket that boosted it toward Mars at about 44 minutes after launch, if launch occurs at the opening of the Nov. 26 window. Shortly after that, the separated Centaur performs its last task, an avoidance maneuver taking itself out of the spacecraft's flight path to avoid hitting either the spacecraft or Mars.
Sending a Message of Good Health
--Once the spacecraft is in its cruise stage toward Mars, it can begin communicating with Earth via an antenna station in Canberra, Australia, part of NASA's Deep Space Network. Engineers expect to hear first contact from the spacecraft at about 55 minutes after launch and assess the spacecraft's health during the subsequent 30 minutes. The spacecraft will arrive at the Red Planet Aug. 6, 2012, Universal Time (evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT).
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Launch management is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Atlas V launch service is provided by United Launch Alliance, Denver
Source: Whitney Clavin 

25 November 2011

Tomorrow: Mars Science Laboratory launch on NASA TV

Nasa's launch team gives a "GO" to Mars Science Laboratory.
Tomorrow november 26, 2011 Nasa is launching the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to our neighbour planet Mars.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover rolled out to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station around 8 a.m. EST Friday. Launch is set for 10:02 a.m. this Saturday.
You can be part of the lift off by attending the Nasa TV  Here>>> tomorrow Saturday. You can also look at the Nasa Television on Youtube  Here>>> There you find all kind of cool videos of missions and history of Nasa. Be part of  history, be part of the future of space exploration.

22 November 2011

11 Amazing Things NASA's Huge Mars Rover Can Do

New mars rover Curiosity
The new Mars rover Curiosity from the space agency Nasa is scheduled to launch from Cap Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on November 26 2011.

It is set to investigate the Martian surface and look for past life and other interesting things like boulders and rocks along the way.
Here is an article on by Mike wall that tell us exacly what the rover is capable of doing on the surface of the planet and what kind of scientific instruments it has.
READ ARTICLE HERE by mike Wall >>>

19 November 2011

Ben Howard had this to say... in music he keeps the dream up, So do you.

Ben Howard's song "Keep your head up" is a delicate reminder that you have to follow your dreams. Whether it is a giant sledge piscine on a side of a mountain or a ship traveling the Stars, you should always pursuit your goals.
Listen to this song to appreciate the beauty of creativity and be one of all to seize the moment and bring back the dreams in your lives.

Creating for the futur and enjoying it, could almost get us out there!

17 November 2011

Leonids meteor shower tomorrow night 17-18.11.2011

Radiant of the leonids in the constellation of Leo
The Leonids are coming!
The meteor shower is expected to be at its peek at the early morning of the 17-18.11.2011.
Leonid meteor shower is a very elegant heritage relics from comet Temple-Tuttle. The Earth will cross the remain of the comet and this fenomena will bring the meteor shower.
In 1966 the Leonids meteor shower was a meteor storm and the observers that witnessed it said there where more "shooting stars" in a minute that they could count.
Hopefully this year will bring the same meteor storm.
To see the meteor shower you only need good cloths, your eyes, good company and hot chocolat coco.
Go outside and see if you can catch one of the Leonids. Good luck!

wiki: Leonids meteor shower

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

14 November 2011

Cool Timelapse of Earth viewed from space in the ISS space station

Text from Nancy Atkinson:
What more can we say? The view from the International Space Station is incredible, and this latest time-lapse sequence of photographs was put together by Michael König.

These views are taken with a special low-light 4K-camera now on the Space Station, and covers August to October, 2011.
The crews of expedition 28 & 29 were behind the camera, while König refurbished, smoothed, retimed, denoised, deflickered, and cut, etc.
You can see all the images taken with this new camera at the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory website, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

11 November 2011

What is the link between the Negev desert and space faring?

Negev desert (credit:
Hello everyone!
Can living beings survive a journey of years through interplanetary space?
The Planetary Society is testing whether 10 distinct organisms could survive such a long journey in interplanetary space with the LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) launched on board Russia's Phobos-Grunt ("soil") mission.

Since only ten organisms could be selected for the trip, the stakes in choosing the right ones were high. Read more >>>

The last organism to be integrated in this experiment is some soil from the Negev desert. What kind of extremo-soil is this Negev desert soil to be sent into space? I started to wander why would they want to send soil from this desert. all other organism are some sort of "living bacteria" crudly speaking, but the Negev soil is just soil, so what did the Planetary society had in mind when they sent this soil sample?
Now as the mission is in peril, we can only hope and wait to see if the Russian Phobos-Grunt "soil" mission will get to the red planet and complete its journey back to Earth with more answers surrounding our solar system origins.
wiki: Negev desert

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

08 November 2011

Asteroid 2005 YU55 Close flyby!!!

Asteroid 2005 YU55 Credit: Nasa/JPL/Caltech
Hello everyone!

Nancy Atkinson and Jason Major at Universe today are following the story of Asteroid 2005 YU55.
Here are some "links through space" on the story of the Asteroid.

  1. Nancy Atkinson: Just In: Asteroid 2005 YU55 
  2. Nancy Atkinson: Hoping to see Asteroid 2005 YU55? There's an App for that!
  3. Jason Major: Asteroid 2005 YU55: See it for your self! 
For my part I think I will be clouded out and to be honest I will be monitoring the asteroid from my computer on the internet. Also i will have my geiger meter ready for the tremors this asteroid brings and my doomsday device meter to see the effects predicted by many. Also pop corn and party if all goes wrong!
Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

06 November 2011


Sunspot 1302 (right) and 1305 (center) on 01.10.2011
hello everyone!

Many has asked me what is a sunspot.
Well, In my many attempts to explain the phenomena, its always difficult to explain and confuses people more then giving them an answer.
So what is a sunspot?
Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. (read more on wikipedia >>>)

As I read the news about sunspot AR1339 it made me think of the biggest ever sunspot recorded to this day. What is the biggest sunspot ever? Well here is a link to a brief history of the phenomena and an explanatory of sunspots.
READ HERE >>>. Apparently the biggest Sunspot ever recorded was back in 1947. Also sunspot 5395 in 1989 was remarkable and AR9393 in 2001 hit the "spot".

These phenomena may bring heavy magnetic storm here on Earth and disrupt are communication systems and radio frequencies, but it also bring us the extraordinary northern lights that are so beautiful.

A word of advise: Please be careful when viewing the Sun, it can blind you and must only be looked with certified sun filters. please be cautious and ask your astronomy club for more information.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

25 October 2011

Timelapse through space no.2

Timelapse through space no.2
// Sunset behind trees, constellation Orion, Mars and Moon in the night sky//

Hello everyone!
I had fun putting all this together today.
Hope you enjoy as much as I do. 

You can watch more Timelapses from our Astronomy Club Toutatis HERE.

Stefan Lamoureux
Kustavi, Finland

22 October 2011

Time Lapse Through Space: Pleiades Sisters chasing Jupiter in meteor shower

Hello everyone!
This time on Links Through Space we concocted a time lapse of the Pleiades (the seven sisters) chasing Jupiter in the night sky all during the Orionids meteor shower. You can see meteors, Jupiter and the Pleiades dashing through the sky! Many airplanes fly in the neighborhood too.
Video by Tapani Isomäki and music by Kevin MacLeod

This is best seen in HD. Switch to 1080p in the bottom of the video frame. 
This is a Time Lapse of 436 shots packed in 1:05 minutes of pure chase in the celestial vault. Look how Jupiter tip toes away from the following Pleiades.
Canon 550D/ tripod/ 18mm/ ISO 1600/ exp: 436x30s./ Interval: 15s. 
EOS utilities/ Resized and animated on Photoshop.

You can watch more Timelapses from our Astronomy Club Toutatis HERE

18 October 2011


Constellation of Orion
The Orionids meteor shower is this week end!
On friday October 21 around 24h00 Finnish time (21h00 UT) and on the dawn of Saturday October 22 (early hours of the morning) the Orionids meteor shower are expected.
The Orionids is an average shower producing about 20 meteors per hour at their peak. It is not the most powerful meteor shower of the year, but it is worth a look.
The radiant (direction from where they come) is just north-east of the constellation Orion. If you can find the bright orange star Betelgeuse, you are almost in the radiant. never the less, look at the entire sky for the meteors, if you catch one, the sight is pretty impressive!
The picture at the left is a meteor from the draconids meteor shower on October 8th 2011. It was a great feeling to capture one on camera...great!!!!
Remember the best way to look at meteor showers is to have a comfortable recliner-chair or simply a blanket (or yoga mat) on the ground and face up the sky. You dont really need nothing more than your eyes, little nocturne pic-nic and good company. Of course if you have a camera and tripod, it is worth to take it with you. 
Dark places like the country side or parks in your neighborhood is good places to go for these events.
I will be at home in the island of  Kustavi where our starclub is due this week end, and hope there will be lots of people participating. If you are in south Finland and want to join us, just contact us Here.
I hope you join the fun and good luck!

17 October 2011


1st picture of Jupiter with Meade ETX-70
Hello everyone!
Yesterday I gave it a shot and went to one of my favorite places to view the night sky near the city of Turku where i live when i am at work. At Haunistenallas (artificial lake Hauninen) the sky was clear and I had a chance to set up my Meade ETX-70.
I had it set up with my canon 550D for a positive projection type of astrophotography (camera connected to eyepiece in adapter connected to telescope). It was a real challenge but I manage to take a few shots and then just to see how far I can go I added a 3x barlow lens to the set up.

I have to say, the Meade ETX-70 is to small to have a heavy load like it. The clamps dont hold anymore. never the less, I took this image of Jupiter that I processed in gimp and enlarged at 150%. Not really a sharp picture, but you can still notice the bands on the surface of the planet.
All in all it was a good experience and I am happy with my first picture of Jupiter in my Meade ETX-70.
Here are the specs of the shot: Meade ETX-70/ Canon 550D (positve projection) 25mm/ISO 800/ exp:1/160/processed Gimp.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

10 October 2011

Poor Draconid meteor shower but wonderful auroras borealis!!!!!

Click on photo to enlarge
Hello everyone!
On october 8th me and a friend went outside to see the Draconid meteor shower. We stood there with our cameras in place and waited for the big light show. The cameras where on tripods and programed to take a picture every 10 seconds. The exposure time was 8 seconds to 13 seconds.
In two hours we saw about 20 shooting stars, and not really brights ones ether.
The Moon was in the south-east behind the trees, but still was bright. The sky was clear and the very close city lights did'nt bother us to much.
But still no meteor shower as we where expecting!
In the middle of a routine "dew off" of the lens on my camera, I noticed on the picture some faint greenish lights, i could'nt believe it, it was the auroras borealis that came to visit us here in southern Finland.
That made my night and i was very happy to have taken the risk to go out and see the Draconids and at the end to see the northern lights. It was simply amazing!
You can go see our astrophotos of the Draconids and of the northern lights on our FLICKR page HERE

Here is also a time lapse of the Northern lights, check it out its pretty cool!
If dont see the time lapse well, you can go and see it in FLICKR HERE

Remember to go outside and look at the night sky, you never know what you could see.

03 October 2011


Our Milky Way Galaxy
Hello everyone!
This weekend we held our astronomy club at a friends cottage.
The night sky was amazing, friday and saturday no clouds at all.
We had planned to look at the comet Garradd and photograph the Milky Way. At the end, we didn't find comet Garradd and we had problems with the milky way photos.
But nevertheless, we saw a very large meteor falling to Earth and we reported it to the Finnish astronomy society. The next day we saw in the news that a meteorite had fallen in Mikkeli eastern Finland.
We also took a glimpse at the Sun and saw its huge sunspots.
Take a look at the astrophotos here --->
Next month we are back in Kustavi for new thrilling stargazing.
Until then, remember to go outside and look at the night sky.

27 September 2011


© iStockphoto / Roman Krochuk
Hello everyone!

According to the Sun is experiencing a massive geomagnetic storm.
This means we will be able to see Auroras clearly in the sky.
Tonight is a great night to go outside and look for Auroras Borealis, even in your city parks, street corners or a little darker place if you can find one. Take your camera with you, it can make a nice souvenir of the event!
So get out this evening  and enjoy the view!
Wiki-info: Auroras

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

25 September 2011

Final words on UARS satellite: ???

Upper Atmosphere research satellite (UARS)

Here are the final words on the Upper atmosphere research satellite re-entry from Nasa: I give you the link, you can go and read it on their pages it is more convenient like that.
NASA UARS page --->

For my part, I was looking forward for videos and photos of the event, but apparently nothing was captured on tape...
This event turned up to be a mystery, conspiracy claim and had a ambiguous end. I guess we will never know!!!!

Here is a video I found on YT, it looks pretty cool! dont know if it is authentic, but it look amazing!!! Enjoy!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

24 September 2011

First video of the UARS satellite Re-entry HOAX or REAL!!???!!

Here you have it folks!
The first video of the UARS satellite falling into the atmosphere.
Is it a HOAX or is it REAL??!!??
In the video the guy says it is september 22th and we all know that the satellite dropped in the night of the 23-24th of september...
Also this video is suppose to be in Canada, but the guy says his in Oklahoma city...??!!??
So you can be the judge of it.
Me I like it, and we will have more informations along the day, so stay tuned!!!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

23 September 2011

Latest Updates on the UARS satellite Re-entry

Hours Remain Before the UARS Satellite Comes Crashing Down...

Here is a animation made by Analytical Graphics, Inc. that shows how the satellite will break down in the atmosphere.

The last updates of the falling satellite according to NASA: "As of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 100 miles by 105 miles (160 km by 170 km). Re-entry is expected late Friday, Sept. 23, or early Saturday, Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time. Solar activity is no longer the major factor in the satellite’s rate of descent. The satellite’s orientation or configuration apparently has changed, and that is now slowing its descent. There is a low probability any debris that survives re-entry will land in the United States, but the possibility cannot be discounted because of this changing rate of descent. It is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry with any certainty, but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours.".

Here is a site where i found a nice and simple tracking system of the UARS satellite.
Go and check it out --> Traking site

For my part I am following the updates on the internet and many sites that i visited are down due to a large trafic of the sites. People are interested and it shows.
My camera is ready, but who knows where the satellite will fall. I hope it will be in our skies just to have a nice picture of the fiering fire ball. Lets see!  
Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

21 September 2011

Re-entry of Huge satellite to burn up in meteor-like fashion.

UARS Satellite  (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite)
Watch out, RE-ENTRY!

On September 7, 2011, NASA announced the impending uncontrolled re-entry of UARS and noted that there is a small risk to the public.

As of September 21, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 195 km (121 mi) by 210 km (130 mi). Re-entry is projected for 23 September 2011. Some debris may survive to reach the surface.

NASA has now refined its prediction for when this bus-sized satellite will fall to Earth. The 20-year-old defunct satellite now has a predicted re-entry Time of about 20:36 UTC on September 23, 2011, plus or minus 20 hours, according the the UARS Reentry Twitter feed.
So have a camera/video camera at hand and hope it passes by your skies!
Source: wikipedia

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

14 September 2011

The OUTER SPACE series: Top 75 Spaceships in sci fi TV series and movies

In the OUTER SPACE series this week:

This week we have a list of spaceships from several sci fi tv series and movies. A list of Top 75 spaceships presented by

Surely there are spaceships missing in this list, but we can still enjoy the ones presented.
Here is the link to the spaceships -->

Leave a comment of your favorite(s) spaceship(s) or include a missing spaceship to the list.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

12 September 2011

More than easy Time Lapse animation with Gimp!

Click on image to view the animation

Hello everybody!

A friend of mine came to look at the stars with me on Saturday, I told him about a Time Lapse project I wanted to do with the passage of comet Garradd in the night sky and he immediately showed me how to do it with GIMP. 
This morning I went through my old astrophotos and stumbled across pictures of the partial solar eclipse that I had taken (Jan 4 2011). I decided I would do a Time Lapse of the eclipse.
So here it is an animation of the eclipse made on Gimp. The simplicity of making this animation was stunning, I was genuinely surprised at how simple it was.

Here is a link to the a tutorial on Timelapse processing with Gimp. HERE

03 September 2011

THE OUTER SPACE series: Ancient astronauts

in the OUTER SPACE series this week:

Ancient astronaut theories!
Surfing on the internet can get exausting. Reading real hard reading about astronomy and related topics about space can be hard.
Sometimes it's good to let go and enjoy something a litle bit more "light".
So here is this week enjoyement!

Wiki info: Ancient astronaut

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

30 August 2011

Lightning storm in Kustavi, Finland

Click on photo
Hello everybody!
These days are very cloudy here in Kustavi (southern Finland) where I live. There is not much to see in the sky astronomy wise. It is very dark and quiet.

Rain is pouring from the sky and yesterday a thunderstorm started to roar and the lightnings started to appear.
Laying on my sofa because of the flu, I was looking through my window and I was wondering if I could capture a picture of a lightning...

So here you can see on the above picture the result of an attempt to catch one. I was very surprised and my girlfriend excited to the point that she wanted to restart her hobby in photography. Here is a link to interesting facts about lightnings you can read on this slow rainy day. HERE --->

Wiki-info as well: Thunderstorm

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

23 August 2011

THE OUTER SPACE series: Mobile saunas in space, Mir's legacy

Our Sauna on Earth

in the OUTER SPACE series this week:

Saunas! True way of life the Finns will bring with them in space. It has been a way of life on earth, it will be a way of life in space.
The Space Station Mir has one story of its own...

Read more -->

14 August 2011

The OUTER SPACE series: Strange objects in space

(credit: Pakalert Press)
In the OUTER SPACE series this week

we propose light reading about space.
Enjoy your reading and comment please.
Good reading!

 Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

20 July 2011

The Moon 19.07.2011 Waning Gibbous

Click on photo to enlarge
Hello everyone!

The phases of the Moon changes every 3-4 days. Here we have Waning Gibbous at its best. The Moon is going towards the new moon and will achieve it on July 30th.
In the mean time, I hope to be able to capture the last quarter and the waning crescent to complete my mosaic of the phases of the Moon.

Enjoy the picture and leave a comment.
Here is a link of a short video of the phases of the Moon
on YT. HERE --->

Ps. I dedicate this picture to my cousin Simon who has his birthday on the 19.07. the day I took the picture.
Happy birthday Simon! 

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

08 July 2011

CHALLENGE Phases of the Moon! Leave a comment with your photo

Click on photo to enlarge
Can you identify the phases of the Moon?
In the past few months a have taken these Moon pictures to make a mosaic of the phases of the Moon.

The Full Moon is represented by the central total eclipse of the Moon on June 15, 2011. You can see on the picture the partial eclipse of the Moon as it was exiting the shadow of the Earth (the end of the eclipse).

So here is my CHALLENGE to anyone who is wanting to take a picture of the Moon and send it back to us.
Leave a comment with your photo down the page, we will showcase it in our posts and articles.

Link to Phases of the Moon Monthly . HERE->
Have a look at more Moon pictures HERE ->
Good luck to everyone. Leave a comment with your photos.

04 July 2011

STAR CLUB in Kustavi, every first Saturday of the month

Hello everyone!

Yesterday we had our Star club here in Kustavi. The telescope was outside and the theme of the day was the SUN.

Many curious people came and peeked through the lens to see the sun in an other way.
Some saw the sun straight away, some were not sure what they were looking at.

It was nice to see the reaction of the people and the comments and small conversation they lead on. All in all it was a nice day, the people left home with a new perspective of our Sun.

I think my mission is complete and i am looking forward for next time and observe other sky objects like our Sun.

(Remember when looking at the sun you have to protect your eyes and use filters with your telescopes, binoculars or other viewing instruments.)

Here is a link to see the Sun with its sunspots in real-time --->HERE The space weather center.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

20 June 2011

Summer solstice, the longest day, the shortest night. 21.06.2011

 Hello everyone!

Summer solstice is within us every year, we all know it and we all enjoy it, especially Juhannus. Here is facts about Finnish culture and the summer solstice.

Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after the Finnish god Ukko. In Karelian tradition, many bonfires were burned side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). 
After the celebrations were Christianized, the holiday is known as juhannus after John the Baptist (Finnish: Johannes Kastaja). Since 1955, the holiday is always on a Saturday (between June 20 and June 26). Earlier it was always on June 24. A lot of the celebration of midsummer takes place on midsummer eve, when many workplaces are closed and shops have to close their doors at noon.

In the Finnish midsummer celebration, bonfires (Finnish kokko) are very common and are burnt at lakesides and by the sea. Often two young birch trees (koivu) are placed on either side of the front door to welcome visitors. Swedish-speaking Finns often celebrate by erecting a midsummer or maypole (Swedish midsommarstång, majstång). 

An important feature of the midsummer in Finland is the white night and the midnight sun. Because of Finland's location spanning around the Arctic circle the nights near the midsummer day are short or non-existent. This gives a great contrast to the darkness of the winter time. The weather varies between years, the highest temperature is on average about 20°C (Southern Finland).

Many Finns leave the cities for Midsummer and spend time in the countryside. Nowadays many spent a few days there, and some Finns (who don't travel abroad) take their whole vacation in cottage. Rituals include bonfires, cookout, sauna and spending time together. Heavy drinking is also associated with the Finnish midsummer. 

It's also common to start summer holidays on Midsummer day. For many families the Midsummer is the time when they move to the countryside to their summer cottage by the sea or lake. Midsummerday is also the Day of the Finnish Flag. The flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer eve and flown all night till 9 pm the following evening. Finnish Canadians in the New Finland district, Saskatchewan, Canada celebrate Juhannus.

Happy Juhannus to everyone!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

credit: Wikipedia

17 June 2011


Links through space has reached 2000 views.
Astronomy is growing in our community and the people are interested. Thank you for your support and be assured we will keep on taking pictures of the night sky.

For the future Kustavi Astronomy Club here in Finland remains open for new projects and activities concerning Astronomy that is beneficial
for all. Every first Saturday of the month we continue with our open door observations, space related presentations and DVD shows.

So, welcome all of you who wants to learn astronomy and other that are just curious.

Tapani Isomäki, Risto Honkasalmi and Uolevi Leppäkoski
KTY toutatis Astronomy Club
Kustavi, Finland

16 June 2011

Total Eclipse of the Moon 15/16.06.2011 (Part 3)

Hi everyone!
Yesterday was the Total eclipse of the Moon and  we where very exited to experience this amazing occurrence.
But as we stood there the only thing we where starring at was the clouds...
By surprise at 00:36 just before the partial eclipse ended, we saw the most amazing Full Moon with a piece of it missing.

That is where every body shouted and clapped. Me I was preparing the cameras and the telescopes so that every one present at our Eclipse of the Moon party could see it through the telescopes.
Photos and observation lasted for 30 minutes and at the end, despite the clouds at the beginning, the people where very happy.
So all in all it was a great experience and I want to thank all the participants and say: "See you at the next Lunar eclipse!"

And here is the MOON CAKE that we made in honnor of the Total eclipse of the Moon 15-16.06.2011.


Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

15 June 2011

Total Eclipse of the Moon 15/16.06.2011 (Part 2)

Hi you astronomy lovers!
On the photo above you can see how the Eclipse will unfold itself in the landscape of Kustavi. (click on the photo to enlarge)
I went to the place where we are going to see the Eclipse tomorrow and simulated how it would look like.
At the same time it was a good practice to see where to put my camera and telescope for the best possible pictures.

So if you are near Kustavi come and join us for the Total Eclipse of the Moon of june 15-16 2011.  (just phone me at 045 121 0560)
 We expect to have a BBQ and even a cake in a form of the Moon with a orange-brownish color to fit the occasion :)

ps: If you cannot attend our Lunar Eclipse party, you can always go at this site ---> Astronomy live and look at it on the internet via other peoples telescopes.

Enjoy and clear skies!!!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

10 June 2011

Total eclipse of the Moon on the 15/16.06.2011

Hello Stargazers!
This month we have the opportunity to watch the total eclipse of the Moon.
It is the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2011, the second occurring on December 10.

It is a relatively rare central eclipse where the moon passes in front of the center of the Earth’s shadow.
The last lunar eclipse closer to the center of the earth’s shadow was on July 16, 2000.
The next central total lunar eclipse will be on July 27, 2018.

The phenomenon starts at 20.23 Finnish time and goes until 2.02 am, but the total eclipse occures at 23.13.
The Moon is in the southern sky and is very low in the south of Finland. Not more then 6 degrees in the sky.
So if you want to see it, you have to go up and be sure there is no trees or building blocking the horizon.

Here is a link --->HERE where you can visualize the eclipse (U.T. time). Enjoy and clear skies.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

24 April 2011

ISS-trail and Saturn in my backyard

ISS-trail and Saturn (Most up dot in the picture)

Hello everyone!
Like I posted yesterday on this blog, the International Space Station was in the neighborhood tonight and I manage to take a picture of the thing speeding at 27,000 km/h. This ISS-trail is a 30 second shot from my backyard and it includes the planet Saturn and the Star Spica (α Vir). It moved from right to left (on the image) and disappeared in the shadow of the Earth. This just took a minute or so, but it was a fabulous moment.

For all you who missed it tonight, it will be back tomorrow night and for a couple of nights more. So just head outside and look at the southern skies. Let your imagination go wild and take a snapshot of this man made bright object. Enjoy!
See two photos of the ISS-trail in Astrophotography page HERE --->

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

23 April 2011


Globular cluster Messier 03

Here are few new astrophotos you can look at from the Astrophotography page -->

Hope you like them. You can always leave a comment, we like to be in touch with you!

Astrophoto 1: Messier 03 (globular cluster in the constellation Canes Venatici)
Astrophoto 2: Double star ZETA LYRAE
Astrophoto 3: Messier 57 (the ring nebula)
Astrophotography page -->

Do not forget we have open observation nights in Kustavi every first Saturday of the month. If you live in the south of Finland, come and visit us.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

"At last a UFO, a little bit of action!!!"

ISS credit:

Hi everybody!
So, around 10 O'clock this evening I was preparing the telescope and checking that everything is ok for tonight's observation when suddenly I looked through the window and saw a light in the sky speeding eastward. First I though it was a plane but the object had no blinking lights. All exited, I though to myself "At last a UFO, a little bit of action!!!". But then again there was something strange. Then I realized it was the International Space Station (ISS).

It was the second time I saw it and it was the second time it surprised me and did'nt have the time to film it. But now I am ready and looking forward to film it when it passes next time.
Next time is tomorrow and the following days in the region of Turku (Southern Finland). So if you live around Turku, Finland and want to see this very bright man made "light" in the sky, check out this listing of dates and hours of sightings HERE----->  
And do not worry, when it will pass, you will see it, no doubt!
Good luck and tell your friends, It is great to see it with other people.

19 February 2011

Our Sun and sunspots

Here are the first astrophotos of our Sun.
I forgot my remote control for my camera, so it is a bit blurry...

But wonderful it is to take pictures of our nearest star.

VERY IMPORTANT: Remember to always use filters on your telescope when watching the Sun. Protect your eyes from the Sun at all time.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

16 February 2011

New astrophoto, check it out!!!

New photo of a halo of the Moon taken in Kustavi, Finland

Photo by: Essi Vuontisjärvi

It was a real cold night and the air was still.
We saw also light pillars coming from light posts and other light emission, but we dont have photos... sorry!

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

05 January 2011

Partial Eclipse of the Sun 04.01.2011 Turku, Finland

The Partial Eclipse of the Sun was fabulous.
We hope you enjoy the photos and maybe comment on the occasion

Thank you
Tapani, Risto and Janne

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland