27 February 2012

NEXT BIG FUTURE'S Carnival of Space 238 is here!

 Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major
Here is your tickets!

If you’re interested in looking back on the Carnival of Space, here’s the complete list that we have on UT or the archive to all the past Carnivals of Space. If you’ve got a space-related blog, you should really join the Carnival. Just email an entry to, and the next host will link to it. It will help get awareness out there about your writing, help you meet others in the space community – and community is what blogging is all about. And if you really want to help out, sign up to be a host. Send and email to the above address.

26 February 2012

Venus, Jupiter and the Moon very close together

26.02.2012 Kustavi, Finland
Venus, Jupiter and Moon in conjunction
credit: KTY Toutatis
(CLICK picture to enlarge)
Venus, Jupiter and the Moon where in conjunction on the 26.02.2012.
It was a very nice sight and fortunately we had good weather, so I was able to take this beautiful picture of the event.

Enjoy the astrophoto, you can see more Links Through Space Astrophotos HERE

Photo details:
Canon EOS 550D
18 mm
f/6.3 2s exposure
ISO 400

24 February 2012

VENUS2012! It is begun... The phases of Venus: Gibbous Venus 67%

 - The Phases of Venus -
This Picture of Venus (lower dot) and Jupiter (higher dot) was taken on the 21.02.2012 at 17:07UT in Turku Finland. You can clearly see Venus disk in a shape of a lemon rather than a ball like Jupiter's disk. (Click photo to enlarge)
On the night of the 21 of February Venus was 67% of Full and it is decreasing until it finally passe straight in front of the Sun, hence new Venus as in new Moon, therefore the transit of Venus of June 5-6 2012.

Gibbous Venus 67% of full 21.02.2012 Turku, Finland  credit: KTY Toutatis
Picture specs:
Canon 550D 18mm
f/3.5  1/4sec ISO 3200
Tripod on a fairly windy night

Click HERE to read the 4th post of our journey through astronomy in Enontekiö, Lappland.

wikiinfo: Phases of Venus

23 February 2012

VENUS 2012! It's phases, transit, whereabouts PART 2

Venus 2012 credit: KTY Toutatis
VENUS 2012 
Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it has been known as the Morning Star or Evening Star. Venus "overtakes" the Earth every 584 days as it orbits the Sun. As it does so, it changes from the "Evening star", visible after sunset, to the "Morning star", visible before sunrise.

- Phases of Venus 2012- 
As I posted in the last post VENUS 2012! It's phases, transit, whereabouts PART 1, the Phases of Venus are a real challenge for folks with telescopes. Here are some important dates that you will want to follow.
As the phases of the Moon, Venus also achieve Gibbous, half and crescent phases.
23.02. @ 23:00UT  Venus is 66,5% of full. (Gibbous Venus)
29.03. @ 12:00UT  Venus is 50% of full. (Half Venus)
03.05 @ 03:30UT Venus is 25% of full. (Crescent of Venus)
See HERE the Venus phase calculator.

 - Transit of Venus 2012 -
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 lasted six hours).
This year it will last 6 hours 49 minutes and 40 sec. Check Local transit times at

The transit of Venus on our Sun's disk this coming June 5 and 6  is a one time opportunity to see this phenomena. (calculate your location HERE by Xavier M Jubier)
We will follow up on the transit of Venus in these upcoming post of VENUS 2012. Stay tuned. 

 - Whereabouts of Venus 2012 -
If you are lost or confused and don't really know where to look for Venus in the first place, just follow the Sunset and just at the left (East) of the setting Sun is in the sky a real bright dot, (star like). If you see it, you will truly know it is Venus, shining like no other. Just to be on the safe side, you will noticed in this month of February-March another bright dot (star like) just at the left (more east) of it, shining brightly also. This one is Jupiter the third brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus. So here you have it! Now you know where to start to be in the game!

Follow us through Venus 2012 cycles and see true wonders. Good luck and clear skies.

Click HERE to read the 3nd post of our journey through astronomy in Enontekiö, Lappland.


21 February 2012

UNIVERSE TODAY'S Carnival of Space 237 is here!

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major
From Switzerland to Canada, Australia through Finland back to the U.S. of A's the Carnival is on!
If you’re interested in looking back on the Carnival of Space, here’s the complete list that we have on UT or the archive to all the past Carnivals of Space. If you’ve got a space-related blog, you should really join the Carnival. Just email an entry to, and the next host will link to it. It will help get awareness out there about your writing, help you meet others in the space community – and community is what blogging is all about. And if you really want to help out, sign up to be a host. Send and email to the above address.

15 February 2012

VENUS 2012! It's phases, transit, whereabouts PART 1

Phases of Venus 2002 credit: Chris Proctor TBG5 Observatory
Venus, the second closest Planet to our Sun. The closest Planet to Earth, our twin sister and Morning Star as well as Evening Star. 
The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows.

This year Venus is the Planet to follow! You have the phases of Venus through out spring until 5-6 of June where it will transit the disc of our Sun. This evening star (at the moment) is coming into conjonction with Jupiter and in the twillight the bright "star" looks fabulous.

For you people who has a telescope, Venus is a easy target but still full of surprises and I would say Challenging! HERE is link providing an image of a selected solar system object, in this case Venus that approximates the telescopic view of the object as seen from the Earth at the specified date and time.
 On you will find a schedule of how Venus' appearance will change during the coming months.
You have also a picture of a mosaic  of the phases of Venus to see what you are looking for, this is again for people with telescopes.

This time I wanted to emphasize on the phases of Venus and not the coming transit in June. We will have time to speak about the Transit of Venus happening on June 5-6 2012, don't worry!
For you people who does not have a telescope, find a astronomy club near you and go see it through there telescopes. Also wide views of the planet with the constellations at the back can give a very nice view.
So good luck with your observations and hope you have clear skies.

Click HERE to read the 2nd post of our journey through astronomy in Enontekiö, Lappland.

wikiinfo: Venus

14 February 2012

Happy St-Valentin's Day from Space!

Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin SSSystems
Happy Valentin's Day to everyone!
Here is the Image of the day and a new web page I found yesterday!
I thought it was a cool site and it is also in french, for people who can read french.
So happy St-Valentin's Day and remember to give your love one a tour of the night sky, maybe you will see together a shooting star or something extraordinary!

Clear skies!

12 February 2012

Soyuz, the real Union in Space!

Soyuz spacecraft (1967 - present)
The Soyuz ( meaning union) spacecraft has been a merit to Russian space engineering. This spacecraft has been reliable for over 4 decades. It is still used today as the prime spacecraft to bring astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.
Since 1967 the module has permitted Mankind to access space around Earth and improve space faring for future generations.
The Soyuz spacecraft is launched by the Soyuz rocket, the most frequently used and most reliable Russian launch vehicle to date. The Soyuz rocket design is based on the Vostok launcher, which in turn was based on the 8K74 or R-7A Semyorka, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile. Soyuz spacecraft are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
HERE is a Infograph of the spacecraft on

Wikiinfo: Soyuz (Spacecraft)

10 February 2012

Links Through Space 10 000 VIEWS and counting, Thanks for your support!

LinksThroughSpace / Astronomy Club KTY Toutatis
Kustavi, Finland credit: KTY Toutatis
Links through space has reached 10 000 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 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.

2 new moons discovered around Jupiter. The count: 66

Jupiter's newest moons S/2011 J2 Image: Scott Sheppard
2 new moons discovered around Jupiter. Last September, two satellites – the smallest ever discovered – were found orbiting Jupiter.

 That brings the number of Jovian moons to a whopping 66.  The moons – each about 1 km in size – are very distant from Jupiter. It takes the tiny satellites 580 and 726 days to orbit the gas giant.

READ Lillian Ortiz article on Universe Today HERE

wikiinfo: Moons of Jupiter

08 February 2012

Do we really need the Moon?

On Earth, Do we really need the Moon?
Could the planet have evolved the way it did without the Moon?
Is the up rise of life on Earth related directly to the Moon?
The Moon has been in all facet's of culture through out all the Civilisations on Earth and there is no doubt that it affects us in a way or another. Here is a documentary of the BBC that let us see how the Moon is so important to us in so many ways.
I hope you enjoy the documentary!

Documentary from the BBC on Youtube

Wikiinfo: The Moon

05 February 2012

LISTEN TO ASTRONOMY.FM RADIO on the net, Astronomy for your Ears!

ASTRONOMY.FM, Back on track and Alive for 2012!
I have listen to for 2 days strait and followed their Fun(d)-raiser and gladly saw that they have reach there goal. Congratulation!
Congratulation for Astronomy in general in my opinion. As I was listening to the programs, I was mesmerized and sticked to the radio channel for 2 days strait!
Here is what radio had to say about there success:

"THANK YOU to everyone who supported our 2012 Fundraiser. Whether you donated  funds or spread the word, your efforts are exactly what will keep us on the air for another year, and we appreciate that more than words can express. Moving forward, we will continue to grow AFM*Radio, bringing you even more programs, continued website development, and greater communication. Together, with your support and our team, we are sharing the wonders of the Universe all around the world – and that is a beautiful thing!"

Thank you
Keep up the good work!

THE OUTER SPACE series: It's Saturday! Long live Space race, long live Molvania!

In the OUTER SPACE SERIES this week:

It is Saturday on Planet Earth!
Party or "less" Party, this is the song to start from. Let your Saturday bring you to the above... the above where there is only Stars...


Hello fans in Brazil!
Hello fans in Singapore!
Hello fans in Finland!
Hello fans in India!
Hello fans in the UK! 
Hello fans in Malaysia!
Hello fans in the US!
Hello fans in Spain!
Hello fans in Canada!
Hello fans in Russia!
Hello fans in Philippines!
Hello fans in Germany!
Hello fans in Australia!
Hello fans in Italy!
Hello fans in Thailand!
Hello fans in Slovakia!
Hello fans in Space!

04 February 2012

New Astrophotos on Links Through Space

The Moon with a strange flash in Turku, Finland :)
Links Through Space has new Astrophotos
These past few days have been cold here in Finland.
The night are beautiful and pretty clear, but it is a pain to go outside to take pictures.
Never the less, It is rewarding to go out and take a few pictures.
We have this spot just outside the city where it is dark and have a artificial lake and nature, beautiful place to take photos, especially Astrophotos. 

Enjoy the Astrophotos HERE

03 February 2012

Exoplanets: Not to hot, not to cold. the Goldilock zone!

Image courtesy: Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Carnegie Institution.
Not to hot, not to cold. the Goldilock zone!
A team of scientists has discovered a planet lying in the "goldilock" zone of it's parent Star.
the goldilock zone is the region around a star where a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure can maintain liquid water on its surface.

The planet, GJ 667Cc, has an orbital period of about 28 days and with a mass about 4.5 times that of the Earth. The star that it orbits is quite interesting. It is an M-class dwarf star and is a member of a triple star system and appears to be quite different from our Sun, relatively lacking in metallic elements.
The team said this discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed.
“This was expected to be a rather unlikely star to host planets,” said Steven Vogt from UC Santa Cruz, one of the scientists involved in the discovery. “Yet there they are, around a very nearby, metal-poor example of the most common type of star in our galaxy. The detection of this planet, this nearby and this soon, implies that our galaxy must be teeming with billions of potentially habitable rocky planets.”

“This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it,” said Guillem Anglada-Escudé, from the University of Gottingen in Germany. He was with the Carnegie Institute for Science when the planet was first discovered.

READ Nancy Atkinson's article on Universe today HERE
wikiinfo: Goldilock zone (The habitable zone) 
An example of a system, based on stellar luminosity for predicting the location of the habitable zone around types of stars

02 February 2012

Russian Observatory fitted for Exoplanet search

Pulkovo Observatory - Credit: Vladimir Ivanov
Old becomes New.
Located just south of Saint Petersburg on Pulkovo Heights, one of the greatest Russian Observatories of all times – the Pulkovo Observatory – is about to embark on a very noble study.

The hunt for exoplanets is one of the most popular aspects of modern astronomy and one of the fastest growing fields. In less than 25 years, 755 and an ever-increasing number of planets have been cataloged… and the research just doesn’t end.

Read Tammy Plotner's article on Universe Today HERE
wikiinfo: The Pulkovo Observatory

01 February 2012

Northern Lights with my Dad!!!

Northern Lights in Turku, Southern Finland © KTY Toutatis
The famous Northern Lights hit Turku, Finland once again this year on the 30.01.2012.
The phenomena was low at the horizon and did not have an intense glow to it, but we still captured it on camera. You can see on the picture on both edges of the photo there is a yellowish light, these lights are the airport and the city in the background.
The hazy green light are the Northern Lights in the middle.
With the Sun in a raging mood, we can expect to see more Aurore Borealis.
For my father, it was the first time he saw Northern Lights, but he didn't seem so excited as I imagined. With all the superb really beautiful pictures on the Internet it is hard to please the real-life-people. Don't give up Dad, we will see more glamorous Aurores next time!
Here is a link to where you can find out when the Sun send his raging coronal mass ejections to Earth.