31 January 2012

In London this weekend: Jupiter, the Moon and Venus

Jupiter, the Moon and Venus in London
London, UK. Friday 28.01.2012
Middle of the city in Islington on a corner of a street, heading for Jesus Jones concert I took a nice picture of the Moon (center) with Jupiter (left) and Venus (right).
As I was explaining the Planets and the conjunction with the Moon to a couple of friends, there were a man behind me who was "breathing in my neck" so to speak. I turned around and started to explain to him also the phenomena. 
He pulled from his jacket pocket his smart phone and started this app he had. Which was an Astronomy app to pinpoint stars in the night sky. He said to me that he always had a passion for Astronomy and he was very into it!
So I dedicate this picture to my new friend in London, Simon.
It was nice to meet you and enjoy the astrophotos!
Me, Amélie and Simon the Policeman

26 January 2012

STORY 3D MODELS: Solar System, Sun-Moon, Astrology EASY, FUN AND FOR EVERYONE

Solar System credit: Indiegogo/Sunaeon
Here we are Wednesday around 10 o'clock at night, the Sun is furiously storming the Earth and we have the opportunity to see Northern lights. In a genius inspiration, I call my dad and tell him to get dress and that we are going to "hunt" for Auroras Borealis. 5 minutes later I am at his doorstep picking him up for a short ride to the place where there are "packs" of Northern lights.

In the car, he starts to ask me about the stars and the universe. To my best of knowledge, I try to answer his questions fairly and in a novice way for him to understand (wich was hard, because I was tempted to start from the very begining to get the story straight) Anyway! We discused this and that and at one point he wanted to know if there where 3D models of Our Sun revolving around other Planets, Solar systems spinning about our Moon, Planet Earth shown from a distance, but still from a point of view of an observer from his recliner chair in his living room...
I said: WHAT!!???!??!!
Sun Moon credit: Indiegogo/Sunaeon
I was so confused I started to laugh and told him that bit by bit, slowly he will understand the secrets of Astronomy. At the same time in my head I was looking for a good 3D model of the Solar System, because even if he was all mixed up in his planets and moons, I understood what he was looking for. So I promised I would find a "Simple, Easy, Fun" 3D model of the Solar system on the internet that he could look at on his recliner chair all by himself.

This is so exciting! I searched the web and the first thing I found was these guys in Bratislava Indiegogo who had this incredible project: Unconvencional Educational Portal *SunAeon* and these awesome easy to use 3D models. Solar System Scope, Sun-Moon Scope and Astrology Scope. It was perfect! That was it! My old papa could have all his answers and more with these models.

Astrology credit: Indiegogo/Sunaeon
I urge you to discover these models and enjoy them. I sure will! Like I told my dad on the phone when he said to me that there where clouds in the sky and there would be nothing to see, I said: You never know what you will discover and you will never know if you missed something before you miss it... So here we are with new models in our pockets and a better understanding of Astronomy.

24 January 2012

Sun Storms and Solar Flares, The Sun is exploding CRAZY!

Coronal Mass ejection from our Sun credit: NASA
Sun Storms and Solar Flares, The Sun is exploding CRAZY!
The Sun has ejected the strongest solar radiation storm since September, 2005. NOAA says the storm is currently in progress and continues to get stronger, with a very fast CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) headed towards Earth.

When the ejection is directed towards the Earth and reaches it as an interplanetary CME (ICME), the shock wave of the Coronal Mass Ejection causes a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt the Earth's magnetosphere.
This process can cause particularly strong aurorae in large regions around Earth's magnetic poles. These are also known as the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) in the northern hemisphere, and the Southern Lights (aurora australis) in the southern hemisphere.
Coronal mass ejections, along with solar flares of other origin, can disrupt radio transmissions and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission line facilities, resulting in potentially massive and long-lasting power outages.

We are expecting a massive Sun Storm heading our way. This will bring us great opportunity to see the Northern Lights (Southern Lights). We wish it will not disrupt our communications, transmissions or other electrical devices.

HERE is an Infographic from Karl Tate at that explains the phenomena.
Wikiinfo: CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

Stunning Photos of Auroras from around the World

Auroras Borealis, Finland credit: Max Pickering
Stunning photos of Auroras Borealis from around the world.
Many had the opportunity to catch a photo of Auroras around the world, the cause of these displays was a Kp level 5.67 geomagnetic storm originating from solar activity on the 19th of January, produced visible aurorae throughout the northern hemisphere and viewers as far south as northeast England had great auroral views.

There is more to come, all indications of another blast is headed our way from the strongest solar radiation storm since September, 2005. NOAA says the storm is currently in progress and continues to get stronger, with a very fast CME headed towards Earth.
Sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. “Geomagnetic storming is a near certainty from this event,” reported NOAA. The associated solar flare peaked at about 0400 UTC.

You can view the Stunning Photos HERE
Remember to go outside and look for the Northern Lights ( Auroras Brealis), Now is the best time to see them, as our Sun is so active. Good luck!

22 January 2012

Head out and look for the northern lights!!!

Northern lighs: Green corona credit: Phil Hart
Head out and look for the northern lights!!!
A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at 0617 UT on Jan. 22nd.
At first the impact did not appear to be a strong one: the solar wind speed barely lifted itself to ~400 km/s when the CME passed by.
Now, however, in the wake of the CME, a dense and increasingly geoeffective solar wind stream is blowing around Earth, setting the stage for possible auroras on the night of Jan. 22nd.

Visit for more information on northern lights.

21 January 2012

Exoplanets: Super Earth - Super Hot - Supercritical fluid world?

A. I. of 55 Cancri e with Earth in front credit: NASA
A new look at an alien planet that orbits extremely close to its parent star suggests that the rocky world might not be a scorching hot wasteland, as was thought.
In fact, the planet may actually be stranger and wetter than astronomers ever imagined.

The exotic planet 55 Cancri e is a relatively close alien planet, just 40 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cancer (The Crab).

55 Cancri e is part of a multiplanet system that was first detected in 1997. Five planets circle the host star, and 55 Cancri e was discovered in 2004.

READ article on HERE

19 January 2012

The OUTER SPACE series: Astronomy for kids

This week in The OUTER SPACE series: Astronomy for kids
Astronomy is not only for Professionals or grown ups amateur astronomers, it is also for kids. Backyard astronomy can be a wonderful way to spend time with your kids.
There are many activities and games that you and your children can do inside on the computer that compliments well your stargazing sessions.

Remember more you show them the night sky at an early age, more they can have affinities older with astronomy and choose a career in this field.
As we go on in the future, Astronomy and its many branches are becoming more and more in and important discoveries are to be made.

So HERE is a link for games and learning about astronomy related topics.
Enjoy your family time with astronomy inside and outside and clear skies!

18 January 2012


The Internet LIMP's Through Space with all this nonsense of legislation.
Many of the sites I visit daily (and I presume you visit also daily) are closed for 24h. 
A protest that we Here at Links Through Space support. 

You might not realize, but Links Through Space is based in Finland. This makes us a "foreign" site, and exactly the kind of site that would be hammered by laws like SOPA and PIPA.

If you live in the United States, I urge you to understand the law that your lawmakers are trying to implement.

And then take action to let your government know that you deeply disagree.

HERE is another link (Wikipedia) about the law's SOPA and PIPA

17 January 2012

Make sense of it all; The Planetary Society Catalog of Exoplanets

Locations of Kepler Planet Candidates credit: Kepler/NASA
Also known as "extrasolar planets", are planets outside our solar system, orbiting distant stars.  
To keep track of this fast-changing field, the Planetary Society presents this catalog of exoplanets. 

Here you will find a complete and up-to-date registry of known exoplanets (16.01.2012) and what is known about them.

By clicking on the name of any exoplanet you can view a dynamic animation of its orbit, along with more detailed information on its physical and orbital characteristics.
READ more on The Planetary Society

16 January 2012

Russian Phobos-Grunt Mission ended in the Pacific ocean

Planetary probe Phobos Grunt credit: Roscosmos
The failed Russian Mars probe Phobos-Grunt came crashing back to Earth Sunday, January 15 2012
in a death plunge over the Pacific Ocean, according to Russian news reports.
The crash marked a dramatic end to Phobos-Grunt's brief and troubled life. The Probe launched November 8 2011 on a mission to collect soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos and send them back to Earth in a return capsule ("grunt" means "soil" in Russian).
Phobos-Grunt's main engines were supposed to fire shortly after liftoff to send the spacecraft on its way to the Red Planet. That never happened, however, and the probe got stuck in Earth orbit.

READ article by Mike Wall, Senior Writer HERE >>>


14 January 2012

Fall of Russia's Mars Probe Phobos-Grunt back to Earth

Phobos-Grunt probe Credit: Roscosmos artist's conception

Russia launched an ambitious Mars moon probe, the Phobos-Grunt mission, on Nov. 8, 2011.
It's mission was to collect the first samples of the Martian moon Phobos, but the spacecraft was soon marooned in Earth orbit.

Now unable to contact the Planetary probe, officials at Roscosmos are waiting for the reentry of the failed Phobos-Grunt mission.
See how the Phobos-Grunt probe will fall to Earth in January 2012 in the infographic HERE.
  1. Look at Video: Amateur Photographers Snap Doomed Phobos-Grunt Over France
  2. READ the Complete Coverage: The Fall of Russia's Mars Probe Phobos-Grunt 
  3. Wikipedia: Phobos-Grunt mission

13 January 2012

ExoPlanetary system: Discovery of Ring System around Sun-like Star

Illustration/Credit: Michael Osadciw/Uni.of Rochester
A team of astrophysicists from the University of Rochester and Europe has discovered a ring system in the constellation Centaurus that invites comparisons to Saturn.

The scientists, led by Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Eric Mamajek study the light curves of young Sun-like stars in the Scorpius-Centaurus association—the nearest region of recent massive star formation to the Sun.

"This marks the first time astronomers have detected an extrasolar ring system transiting a Sun-like star, and the first system of discrete, thin, dust rings detected around a very low-mass object outside of our solar system," said Mamajek

READ Full article at Astronomy Cmarchesin >>>

12 January 2012

3 ExoPlanets Smaller Than Earth Found

ExoPlanetary system KOI-961 (AI) Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
ExoPlanetary system KOI-961 has the three smallest exoplanets yet discovered.

NASA’s Kepler mission has detected no shortage of planets; more than a thousand candidates were discovered in 2011, a handful of which were Earth-like in size.
As data from the mission keeps pouring in, astronomers are continuing to confirm and classify these possible exoplanets. Today, a team of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology added three more to the growing list. They have confirmed the three smallest exoplanets yet discovered.

Read full article by Amy Shira Teitel on Universe today >>>
Read also article by Charles Q. Choi on >>>

07 January 2012

Exomoons? Kepler‘s On The Hunt

Artist's rendition of the view from a habitable exomoon.

Recently, Jon Voicey posted an article on the feasibility of detecting moons around extrasolar planets. It was determined that exceptionally large moons (roughly Earth mass moons or more), may well be detectable with current technology.
Taking up that challenge, a team of astronomers led by David Kipping from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has announced they will search publicly available Kepler data to determine if the planet-finding mission may have detected such objects.

Read article from Jon Voicey on Universe Today >>> 

06 January 2012

Four New Exoplanets to Start Off the New Year!

Art. Impression/Exoplanet revolving around Exosun
It’s only a few days into 2012 and already some new exoplanet discoveries have been announced. As 2011 ended, there were a total of 716 confirmed exoplanets and 2,326 planetary candidates, found by both orbiting space telescopes like Kepler and ground-based observatories.
The pace of new discoveries has accelerated enormously in the past few years. Now there are four more confirmed exoplanets to add to the list.

Read article from Paul Scott Anderson on Universe Today >>>

04 January 2012

Software: STELLARIUM, Home Planetarium

Stellarium, Planetarium for your computer
Happy new year 2012 to everyone!
The year 2012 for us here in Southern Finland, started with rain and storms, wind and clouds... It has been a sky watcher nightmare!
Nothing to do except collimating the scope, cleaning the oculars and see that the mount is well greased.
The Astronomy related blogs/news are also slow on the internet, the astrophotography on Flicker (for exemple) is slow aswell.
That is why I present to you a nice "home" planetarium called STELLARIUM. With this on your computer it is fun to look at what you would see in the night sky for today or tomorrow... Also for those who are more active, it is a fine tool to plan observations, find planet orbits and follow the daily moon.
Also Stellarium is a FREE software, so no fuss and easy to install, as easy to use.
Here is the link to download Stellarium software.

Clear skies for the near future and hope it helps you in the quest to enjoy your environement, space environement!