Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014
By VJ Karthik |
Check out this awesome time-lapse of Atacama Transitions and Landscapes under the Southern Sky. Time-lapse taken by, Christoph Malin


Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
Despite heavy rains around Tartu, Estonia there were a few moments of sunshine when it was possible to get a glimpse of some sunspots on the sun.
Here's an image taken with a Coronado SolarMax II telescope and Canon EOS 500D camera. ISO 800, exp 1/125s.

Credit: Kadri Tinn

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Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |

Deep Space Propulsion

A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

by K.F. Long

As a fan of science fiction movies and series such as Star Trek and Star Wars this book was a fabulous look into the real technology that is or isn’t possible.

„Deep Space Propulsion“ guides the reader through a myriad of different technologies that someday might be used to reach the stars, with short stops on the history of aviation and an introduction to jet engines, which one might think not too relevant for the topic of deep space propulsion, but it does make sense to have it in a book that introduces complex futuristic technology, and it would be sad if the reader wouldn’t have a grasp on how do airplanes stay in the air.

In addition to the different propulsion systems – solar sails and nuclear fusion for example, the book also looks into where and why should deep space missions in the future go, and also a look back at the history of the past fifty years and what kind of missions have been sent out already, what type of propulsion those used and where are they heading.

With the country that sent the first people to the Moon not having independent access to send astronauts even to the low-earth orbit, one might get pessimistic about other countries’ motivations and whether anyone is ever going to be able to walk on Mars. However this book gives a positive outlook at the same time not being naïve, but rather pointing out the difficulties and necessary energy required to reach the stars.

In general this book is a great book for getting acquainted with many topics – deep space propulsion methods and proposed spacecraft designs being just some of them, but history of deep space missions and the background of why, where and how to go about exploring deep space give the book some necessary depth and humanity so that it doesn't end up being just a catalog of high-tech possibilities.

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Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
As the solar activity remain quite high, yesterday evening sky-watchers in higher latitudes were treated to a northern lights display.
These images were taken at 23:08 EEST in Tartu, Estonia - the green light was only barely visible to the eye.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
WISE J0855-0714, a brown dwarf 7.3 light-years from the Solar System might be the first object outside of our system that shows signs of water ice clouds in its atmosphere.

The brown dwarf is the coldest known this far, with a temperature below zero degrees Celsius. Because of its smallness and the low temperature, it was first discovered with a space telescope - NASA’s WISE infrared space telescope.

The cloud observations however were made with the 6.5-meter Magellan Baade telescope in Chile, where astronomers took 151 near-infrared images, where the observations matched models of a brown dwarf with clouds of water ice and sodium sulfide.

The discovery hasn't been confirmed yet as it requires spectra, which might have to wait until the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

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Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
Venus, Jupiter and a crescent Moon were visible before sunrise on the morning of August 23rd.

Credit: Kadri Tinn

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Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014
By Kadri Tinn |
Here's an image of the Sun in Hydrogen-Alpha on August 22nd, 2014, taken with a Canon EOS 500D camera through a Coronado SolarMax II telescope. For the full disk image ISO 1600 and exposure 1/400s, and for the inset picture of the active region in the middle of the disk ISO 1600 and exposure 1/250s. I had to use a high ISO setting in order to capture the images quickly, as the sky was cloudy with clouds moving very fast.

In the inset you can see the larger sunspot - AR2146 and the spot nearby is part of the group AR2148 and the bright spot just coming into view in the lower right-hand edge is AR2149, that produced an M3-class flare yesterday and poses a threat for future ones, with even the possibility of an X-class flare.

Sun in H-Alpha on August 22,2014. Credit: Kadri Tinn

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