Feb 182013

Detailed Photos of the Sun by a Backyard Astronomer


By day, Alan Friedman makes greeting cards for Great Arrow Graphics. At night, Friedman pursues his passion for astronomy from his observatory, located in the backyard of his home in Buffalo, New York. While it’s not an ideal site, given the street lights, telephone wires and jet stream winds. He makes the most of it, focusing on the brighter objects in the sky like our sun, moon and nearby planets.


Alan Friedman: Website | Tumblr | Prints



alan friedman sun photography (5)

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 Posted by at 6:38 am
Jul 172012

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 July 8
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Volcano and Aurora in Iceland
Image Credit & Copyright: Sigurdur H. Stefnisson
Explanation: Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. In Iceland in 1991, the volcano Hekla erupted at the same time that auroras were visible overhead. Hekla, one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, has erupted at least 20 times over the past millennium, sometimes causing great destruction. The last eruption occurred only twelve years ago but caused only minor damage. The green auroral band occurred fortuitously about 100 kilometers above the erupting lava. Is Earth the Solar System’s only planet with both auroras and volcanos?


 Posted by at 10:11 pm
Jul 172012
17 July 2012, 13:53:28 UT – Mission Day: 6073 – DOY: 199

Pick of the Week

Machholz Comet Babies Lead the Way (July 16, 2012)

As it is making its fourth appearance in the SOHO/LASCO cameras, we didn’t think that Comet 96P/Machholz could hold many more surprises for us. Shows how wrong you can be about comets!…

more »

Transit of Venus 2012 for SOHO

Hot Shots from SOHO

Transit of Venus 2012 for SOHO

On June 5, 2012 at sunset on the East Coast of North America and earlier for other parts of the U.S., the planet Venus will make its final trek across the face of the Sun as seen from Earth…

read the story »



JHelioviewer: A new way of looking at the Sun

JHelioviewer is new visualization software that enables everyone, anywhere to explore the Sun…

read the story »

the sun now sunspots
spaceweather estimated Kp
spaceweather SOHO
solar wind
At 13:37 UT
Speed: 434 km/s
Density: 1.86 p/cm3
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 Posted by at 4:13 pm
May 312012

« Reading List: Survivors | Main | Reading List: The Saturn V F-1 Engine »

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Heads up! Transit of Venus, 2012 June 5-6th

Transit of Venus in 6 days!
Transit of Venus: 2004-06-08 One of the rarest of celestial spectacles is the transit of the planet Venus in front of the disc of the Sun as viewed from the Earth. Indeed, this event did not occur at all in the twentieth century and takes place only twice in the twenty-first, the first of which, on June 8th, 2004, you’ve already missed. So it’s either catch the big show on June 5–6th of 2012 or plan to hang in there until the next transit of Venus on the 11th of December 2117.

 Posted by at 8:51 pm
May 272012

US Naval Observatory Master Clock

13:13:48 UTC

  Animated USNO Time in Standard Time Zones
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 USNO Master Clock Time Animated GIF Clocks
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 Converting from Universal Time

 Compute Local Apparent Sidereal Time

 Another Realtime Clock

See also the www.time.gov Time Display

BACK TO Time Service Home PageTop

 Posted by at 3:14 pm
May 162012

Astronomical Applications Department

of the U.S. Naval Observatory USNO
Welcome to the web pages of the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory. Our products – almanacs, software, and web services – provide precise astronomical data for practical applications, serving the defense, scientific, commercial, and civilian communities.

Sun and Moon rise and set times, Moon phases, eclipses, seasons, positions of solar system objects, and other data

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 Posted by at 11:05 am
Apr 052012

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 April 5
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download<br />
 the highest resolution version available.” /></a></p>
<p><center><strong> Zodiacal Light Panorama </strong><br />
<strong>Image Credit & <a href=Copyright: Miloslav Druckmüller (UM FSI, Brno Univ. of Technology), Shadia Habbal (IfA, Univ. of Hawaii) Explanation: Sweeping from the eastern to western horizon, this 360 degree panorama follows the band of zodiacal light along the solar system’s ecliptic plane. Dust scattering sunlight produces the faint zodiacal glow that spans this fundamental coordinate plane of the celestial sphere, corresponding to the apparent yearly path of the Sun through the sky and the plane of Earth’s orbit. The fascinating panorama is a mosaic of images taken from dusk to dawn over the course of a single night at two different locations on Mauna Kea. The lights of Hilo, Hawaii are on the eastern (left) horizon, with the Subaru and twin Keck telescope structures near the western horizon. On that well chosen moonless night, Venus was shining as the morning star just above the eastern horizon, and Saturn was close to opposition. In fact, Saturn is seen immersed in a brightening of the zodiacal band known as the gegenschein. The gegenschein also lies near 180 degrees in elongation or angular distance from the Sun along the ecliptic. In the mosaic projection, the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy runs at an angle, crossing the horizontal band of zodiacal light above the two horizons. Nebulae, stars, and dust clouds of the bulging galactic center are rising in the east.


Tomorrow’s picture: Venus and the sisters 

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 Posted by at 8:00 pm
Jan 282012

Canadian teenagers send Lego man into space

Using home-stitched parachute and equipment found on Craigslist, two 17-year-olds send Lego-naut 80,000ft into the air


Lego man in space makes one (very) small step. Link to this video

Two Canadian teenagers have sent a Lego man into the outer reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere using a home-stitched parachute and equipment found on Craigslist.

Two weeks ago, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17, attached the plastic figurine replete with maple leaf flag to a helium balloon, which they sent 80,000 feet into the air.

The pair managed to capture the entire journey into the blackness of space, including the descent, which lasted 97 minutes, using four cameras, at an entire cost of just £254.

 Posted by at 7:56 am
Sep 252011

Neutrino Surprise

To the shock of the physics world, news broke Thursday that the OPERA experiment had clocked neutrinos going faster than the speed of light between CERN and Italy’s Gran Sasso Laboratory 730 kilometers away. Very soon, it became clear there were two possibilities. The first, that the measurement was correct, would mean the shattering of a fundamental constant in physics. The alternative is that despite due diligence in finding an explanation, experimenters had overlooked a source of systematic error. Now physicists are scouring the results, published on arXiv, for an explanation as other neutrino experiment scramble to try to repeat the results. Until then, you can read our bloggers’ takes on this exciting news, as well as a live blog from the CERN presentation on Friday.


 Posted by at 7:02 am