Thursday, August 26, 2010

WISE Captures the Unicorn's Rose

A new cosmic image taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE) shows the Rosette nebula located within the constellation Monoceros, or the Unicorn.

This flower-shaped nebula, also known by the less romantic name NGC 2237, is a huge star-forming cloud of dust and gas in our Milky Way galaxy.

We're just blogging this at astronomy for beginners because it's such a beautiful image.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fireball on Jupiter

FIREBALL ON JUPITER:  An amateur astronomer in Japan has video-recorded a fireball on Jupiter.  This marks the third time in only 13 months that amateur astronomy buffs have detected signs of something hitting the giant planet.  Will the latest impact leave behind a visible cloud of debris? .

SPACE STATION and SPACE PLANE FLYBYS: This is a good week for satellite watchers in the USA and Canada.  Both the International Space Station and the US Air Force X-37B space plane are making a series of favorable passes over North American towns and cities.  The spacecraft are easy to find using our Simple Satellite Tracker--an app for iPhones and Android.  Visit for downloads and more information.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower Peak August


The annual Perseid meteor shower is underway. Earth is passing through a wide stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, and each time a fleck of comet dust hits Earth's atmosphere - flash! - there is a meteor. Forecasters say the shower will peak on Thursday, August 12th, and Friday, August 13th. You can see Perseids flitting across the sky at any time between about 10 pm on Thursday evening and sunrise on Friday morning. Observers who get away from city lights can expect to count dozens of meteors per hour, especially during the dark hours before dawn.

BONUS: If you go outside a little early on Thursday evening, around sunset, you'll see a beautiful gathering of planets in the sunset sky--Venus, Mars, Saturn and the crescent Moon. It's a nice way to start a meteor watch.