Skyglow Project

Images and video credit & copyright: Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic.

I’ve shown work from these guys before as I’ve been following this project for some time and they’ve all been incredible images.  But after three years of intense effort which included traveling more than 150,000 miles across the continent and accumulating more than 3,000,000 images, Gavin Heffernan of Sunchaser Pictures and Harun Mehmedinovic have completed and releases the final product known as SKYGLOW PROJECT.

The Skyglow Project uses images, time lapses and information to take you on a journey across North America and introduces you to its dark sky locations to drive home the impact that light pollution is having on our night skies and environment. It’s one thing to be in favor of a movement like this, but it’s another thing completely to take the initiative to apply that motivation and embark on an incredible undertaking like this.  We should all applaud and appreciate what these guys have achieved.  Bravo fellas!

In addition to all of this, they’ve created a special timelapse from the legendary observatories high atop Maune Kea, Hawaii called “POLI’AHU.”  Have a great weekend everyone!

Skyglow Project:

Skyglow Project Store:

Skyglow Project Facebook:

Harun Mehmedinovic Twitter:

Harun Mehmedinovic Facebook:

Harun Mehmedinovic Instagram:

Gavin Heffernan Twitter:

Gavin Heffernan Instagram:

Gavin Heffernan Facebook:

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China’s First Space Station Supply “Tianzhou 1” Coming Up

Image credit & copyright: China News.

Launch Alert!

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11:40 UTC (07:40 EDT) a Chinese Long March 7 (Y2) rocket will lift off from Launch Pad 201 at the Wenchang Space Center on Hainan Island to deliver the nation’s first cargo and refueling mission to the new Tiangong 2 space station. The Tianzhou 1 spacecraft can deliver upwards of 6,500 kg (14,330 lb.) into low Earth orbit (LEO).

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Station’s Next Crew Prepares For Launch

Image credit & copyright: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 03:13 EDT (07:13 UTC) a Soyuz-FG rocket; MS-04 (ISS 50S or Soyuz 52) will be lifting off from Launch Pad 1/Launcher 5 (LC 1/5) at the legendary Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Its Soyuz spacecraft (callsign Olimp or Olympus) will carry two crew members of Expedition 51/52 to the International Space Station (ISS) on a six-hour, four-orbit “fast-track” launch to docking.   This will be the 4th flight of the upgraded Soyuz which replaces the TMA series.

The crew will dock with the Russian Mini Research module-2 (MRM-2) Poisk “Search” Module later that evening and that capsule will remain there for approximately 6 months as a crew escape vehicle should they need it and ultimately a return vehicle.

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John Glenn to Ride Atlas Into Orbit Once Again With OA-7

Image credit & copyright: United Launch Alliance (ULA) of the launch of OA-6.

LAUNCH ALERT: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 11:11 EDT (15:11 UTC) the United Launch Alliance (ULA), utilizing an Atlas V-401 rocket designated (AV-070) will be embarking on their second International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission by launching the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship (S.S. John Glenn/Cygnus 7) as part of Orbital ATK-7 (OA-7 or CRS-7), from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida.

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An Image of What Was

Image credit & copyright: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

A short thought that I wrote about five or so years ago when I bought my 8” Celestron telescope and aimed it at this object; the Eskimo Nebula. Object information below as well of course.

Out of Time

“What a wonder it is, to observe planetary nebulae or supernova remnants.  Images are great; they will certainly show you the object with much greater color and detail.  But there’s something; almost, romantic, to see them with your own eyes; looking through the eyepiece, back into time.

As you observe them, your mind may start to wander. Was there life there amongst that stars planets?  Was there a species there who also loved the stars as we do?  Did they long to travel to distant worlds and did they fantasize about what’s possible in the great expanse of the universe?  More importantly, were they interplanetary, interstellar, did they do what was necessary for their species to survive?  Or did they hesitate, and die with the star they were born with?

If there is a civilization around a star just a few tens of thousands of light years further away, that star hasn’t died yet as they see it.  From their vantage point, any inhabitants of that star system are still making those very choices that will determine what becomes of them when they appear as we see them now.

The bigger question remains.  When some alien long from now, peers through their telescope in amazement at our planetary nebula, will they spare a thought to what became of us?”

The Eskimo Nebula or NGC 2392 is one of the all-time planetary nebula classics, and this photo, one of the all-time Hubble Space Telescope classics. Discovered by Frederick William Herschel on January 17, 1787 this nebula resembles an Eskimos face surrounded by a winter parka hood when viewed through a telescope. Estimates say that approximately 10,000 years ago (as we see it) a star (HD59088), much like our own Sun began to die and its outer layers expelled into the surrounding universe by the violent stellar winds of the dying star. Though the long bright orange filaments laced throughout the outer shell are not well understood; the outer shell of material ejected into space was done so during the stars red giant phase and that material is now being ionized by the massive dose of ultraviolet radiation released from the now exposed inner layers of the 10th magnitude white dwarf remnant.

Name: NGC 2392, Caldwell 39, Eskimo Nebula, Clown Face Nebula. Central star designation: HD59088.

What is it?: Planetary nebula.

How big is it?: Approximately 0.5 of a light year in diameter.

How far away is it?: Approximately 2,800 light years.

Apparent Magnitude?: 10 or +10.

Where is it? (General): Constellation Gemini

Where is it? (Exact RA/Dec J2000): RA 07h 29m 10.76s / DEC +20° 54′ 42.48”.

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SpaceX Readies to Re-Fly a Falcon

Image credit & copyright: SpaceX of the launch of CRS-8. Live streaming links and mission information below.

LAUNCH ALERT: Thursday, March 30 at 18:27 EDT (22:27 UTC), SpaceX will make history once again because as they launch the SES 10 satellite into orbit, it will be launching from Launch Complex-39A (LC-39A) on a re-used Falcon 9 rocket.

I know that we humans tend to get bored with things pretty quickly but I’m still floored every time that one of these boosters launches, returns and survives. Now we’re going to see if one of these recovered boosters (booster core 1021) can deliver another payload into orbit and land yet again. The booster being used on this mission was the booster used on flight 23, used for CRS-8 on April 8, 2016. Static fire on pad 39-A was conducted on Monday, March 27.

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Each Egg a Universe Unto Itself

Image Credit & Copyright: Allison Murray.

If you’re like me, you enjoy finding new and exciting ways to have fun and open your kids minds to new things so what a great idea for those of us who are space nuts and also love painting up Easter eggs.  I don’t celebrate these holidays per-se but there’s something to be said for traditions and taking part in moments that create memories like coloring eggs and egg hunts.  I still remember countless holidays through my childhood and I cherish many of them.  I’ll keep this short and sweet but I’ve placed Allison’s link below so you can give these galactic eggs a shot yourself!

Allison’s tutorial on this egg design:

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