Archive for March, 2012
An amateur astronomer discovered a supernova in the galaxy Messier 95 on March 16th, 2012. Two weeks later, the supernova continues to shine bright. Here’s a picture of M95 I took earlier this week. The supernova is the star to the lower right of the galaxy core. No one knows for sure when the supernova first erupted, but this object is not seen in pictures of the galaxy taken before March 20th.
Messier 95 is an estimated 38 million light years away from Earth, which means the star in this galaxy would have exploded over 38 million years ago. A supernova is the most powerful release of energy in the Universe. This supernova from a far distant galaxy outshines some of the other stars in the picture, which are all in our local Milkyway Galaxy. This gives you a relative idea about how bright and powerful supernovas are.
Here are a few photos of an interesting conjunction with the Crescent Moon, Venus, Jupiter and the Pleiades earlier tonight.
A close up as they set behind the trees…
The Moon and Venus at full zoom on the telephoto camera lens.
March has been an amazing month for planet viewing. Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are visible in the west just after sunset while Mars is rising in the east. By 10 PM Saturn is also visible in the east. These planets are the brightest objects in the night sky and the experience can be greatly enhanced with binoculars or a low powered telescope
Here’s a photo from March 14th of Jupiter, Venus and a meteor. Venus is the bright object in the lower side of the picture. Jupiter is to its right. The Pleiades is also visible in the upper left.
Here’s a photo of Mars taken from Freeland MD on the night of March 6th, 2012 at 12:13 EST.
I am still learning how to do planetary photography and this is one of the first Mars photos I’ve ever taken. I’m using a DMK astronomy video camera with RGB filters and registax software to capture, process and stack the video. This data was collected using a RCOS 14.5 telescope without a barlow lens. I do not have my procedure down quite yet.