Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014
By Makubex |
Today morning around 2:00 AM, we were treated with Noctilucent Clouds over skies of Tallinn, Estonia. This is the best Noctilucent Clouds I have seen so far. We also took some awesome pictures of it, enjoy :)

Picture below, taken by Kadri Tinn,

Pictures below, taken by Karthikeyan VJ,

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Posted on Monday, July 21, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |

One-Shot Color Astronomical Imaging: In Less Time, For Less Money! by L. A. Kennedy

Astronomical imaging with a regular CCD camera takes a lot of patience and time from the astrophotographer, as an image is combined in during processing out of several frames in different filters and depending on the object, one single frame can take tens of minutes or even hours in case of very dim objects and having to take the image in three or more filters makes it very time-consuming.

However there is a way to save time by using a so-called one-shot color CCD camera, that doesn't use RGB filters but instead there's a combination of pixels that are sensitive to different wavelengths and hence make it possible to capture almost everything in just one exposure, with the different color images later being separated in image processing.

This book is about using such a camera, the equipment needed, the set-up for imaging, some tips and suggestions, and also how to process the resulting image, which of-course differs from the more usual images taken through several filters and then combining them into one, so it is an important guide to getting started with this kind of equipment.

The book would also be of interest to those astrophotographers who are just getting started in the field and who haven't just yet decided what kind of equipment to start using, as it gives a good overview and shows some of the good and bad sides of different methods, and in addition most of the book is helpful for just about any astrophotographer as a lot of the suggestions are still valid no matter whether you're using a one-shot color CCD camera or a web-camera or even a DSLR camera.

Starting with all the basics for using a CCD camera and what kind of calibration frames and why one needs and how to take them to auto-guiding and how to plan your astrophotography session and objects you're imaging.

Very useful and concise, and also inspirational.

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Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014
By Makubex |

Original Mission Video as aired in July 1969 depicting the Apollo 11 astronauts conducting several tasks during extravehicular activity (EVA) operations on the surface of the moon. The EVA lasted approximately 2.5 hours with all scientific activities being completed satisfactorily. The Apollo 11 (EVA) began at 10:39:33 p.m. EDT on July 20, 1969 when Astronaut Neil Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly on the Lunar Module's descent stage.

A camera on this module provided live television coverage of man's first step on the Moon. On this, their one and only EVA, the astronauts had a great deal to do in a short time. During this first visit to the Moon, the astronauts remained within about 100 meters of the lunar module, collected about 47 pounds of samples, and deployed four experiments. After spending approximately 2 hours and 31 minutes on the surface, the astronauts ended the EVA at 1:11:13 a.m. EDT on July 21.

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Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014
By Makubex |
Animated graphic created by NASA multi-media to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission.

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Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
Prague in Czech Republic in the summer is full of tourists and accordingly there are many places that are of interest.

However in the history of astronomy Prague has had a visible place as the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe lived out his last years in Prague and there lived and worked Johannes Kepler, who is known for his three laws of planetary motion. In addition in the 20th century Albert Einstein lived in Prague for sixteen months.

So what would one visit in Prague when keeping astronomy in mind?

1. The Astronomical Clock

The Prague Astronomical Clock in the old town is the oldest clock that is still working having been assembled in 1410.

2. The National Technical Museum

In the National Technical Museum one can see several exhibitions including for example transport, printing and mining, but more importantly astronomy.

The Astronomy exhibition is about the historical instruments in astronomy, so one can see old reflectors and refractors, armillary spheres and celestial globes as well as astronomical clocks, telluriums and sundials.

Armillary spheres and a celestial globe in the National Technical Museum in Prague.

An astronomical clock in the National Technical Museum in Prague.

A Sundial with a cannon in the National Technical Museum in Prague

3. The Prague Planetarium

In the planetarium one can go and see several planetarium shows that are mostly in czech language, but some are also available in English and the visitors will be provided with headphones with a translation in English.

In addition to the planetarium shows one can also visit the astronomy exhibition in the lobby, where one can see models of the Hubble telescope and Voyager spacecraft, but also try out a Mars and Lunar rover simulation.

4. The Štefánik Observatory

The Štefánik Observatory also has a small astronomy exhibition, but they also offer the possibility of observing the Sun during daytime in case of clear weather and the Moon and planets in the evenings.

The Zeiss Double Refractor in Štefánik Observatory

5. The Kepler Museum

The Kepler Museum is a one-room museum with a poster-exhibition about the life and works of Johannes Kepler.

6. The Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler Monument

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Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
Join an ESA photo competition celebrating Rosetta spacecraft's last part of the mission.
Find out more here.

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Posted on Friday, July 11, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
  U.S. Spacesuits by Kenneth S. Thomson and Harold J. McMann

Spacesuits are some of the most iconic parts of manned spaceflight and their fascinating history goes back more than fifty years.

This book shows how spacesuits have changed through time and gone from silvery Mercury mission suits to the white beta-cloth covered EVA suits that are in a way small independent spacecrafts.

Although it is obvious that spacesuits are necessary for astronauts at different stages of spaceflight, the common news-reader would usually not really think what really goes into the design of such an elaborate system that has to protect the astronaut from the vacuum of space and from both high and low temperatures and at the same time have a suitable inner environment with precise levels

of oxigen and nitrogen, make sure that the air humidity doesn’t get to uncomfortable levels and eliminate carbon dioxide from the astronaut’s helmet.

In this fascinating book the reader will get a comprehensive look into everything about the American spacesuits, how they came about and why are they the way they are – for example why the clothing that astronauts wore during takeoff and landing were/are bright orange instead of dark blue. And of-course the different systems that are incorporated into specific spacesuits make for interesting reading as one finds out whether or not it's possible to eat or drink something while wearing a spacesuit and why different waste disposal systems are necessary.

In addition to finding out more about the spacesuits, the book is also important as the reader finds out about the people who are behind spacesuit design, as usually one wouldn't even think much about who or why designed one small but important component for spaceflight.

U.S. Spacesuits is the perfect book for a space flight enthusiast, as it goes into great detail about spacesuits and manages to make it obvious how and why spacesuits are important.

The book is also full of images of different spacesuits, some that were in use in the earlier missions, but also more modern versions, and one can't forget some of the still conceptual designs, which look quite unusual.

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