Skip to main content

Astronomy
Astronomy
2867 members
0 questions
15 posts

Your place to discuss the night sky. 

Profile Photo: Burley Packwood spent 18 hours of exposure time collecting light from the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 2.5 million light-years away. Along with the Orion Nebula and Pleiades, Andromeda is one of Packwood's favorite deep-space objects to image. Photo by Burley Packwood.

Banner Photo: Green Valley resident Burley Packwood has spent the last 20 years making images of the night sky and deep-space objects. This is an image of the Orion Nebula. Packwood took about 13 hours of 20-minute exposures and multiple short exposures to compile  this single image. Photo by Burley Packwood.

Discussion
Kevin MurphyStaff Member
Journalist Product Manager

A show in the sky

A combination of light and shadow create the screen in which the moon appears blood red. (Andrey73RUS photo)
A combination of light and shadow create the screen in which the moon appears blood red. (Andrey73RUS photo)

Did you get a chance to check out the Super Flower Blood Moon on Sunday night? 

It was shocking to see how blood-red the moon appeared. The moon looked like something from a sci-fi movie

Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun intern Christian Alexander Alvarado talks with Green Valley astrophotographer Burley Packwood who describes the astronomical phenomenon responsible for the change in the moon's appearance.

Here is a recorded livestream from NASA of the Super Flower Blood Moon as seen from telescope views across the world, including an episode of NASA Science Live that explains the science of the total lunar eclipse. 

Share your photos of the Super Flower Blood Moon with the community.

Discussion

First test images from Webb Telescope dazzle astronomers

NASA's new James Webb Telescope is still about two months away from beginning its first official scientific observations this July, but it's already sent back some dazzling test images showcasing what the $10 billion telescope can do.

Astronomers showed off the comparison on Monday (pictured below) between one of Webb's infrared test images of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, and the same view captured by NASA's previous infrared observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Once the science begins, professors and researchers at the University of Arizona in Tucson – many of whom had a hand in designing the telescope – will get a front row seat to its observations.

The James Webb Telescope is the largest and most powerful astronomical observatory ever sent into space, and was designed to explore the cosmos both near and far, from the atmospheres of moons orbiting planets in our own solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.  

After its launch on Christmas Day 2021, the telescope reached its final destination (an orbital point around the sun about a million miles from Earth) in January, and finished aligning its 18 mirror segments in April.

NASA has also set up an interactive webpage where you can follow the James Webb Telescope's progress through space. Find it at: webb.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

An infrared image of the Large Magellanic Cloud taken years ago by NASA's retired Spitzer Space Telescope dissolves into a recent, far sharper test image of the same satellite galaxy taken by the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the new James Webb Space Telescope. (CREDIT: AZ DAILY STAR, NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI)
An infrared image of the Large Magellanic Cloud taken years ago by NASA's retired Spitzer Space Telescope dissolves into a recent, far sharper test image of the same satellite galaxy taken by the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the new James Webb Space Telescope. (CREDIT: AZ DAILY STAR, NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI)
Discussion

Blinking object that changes color in the eastern night sky

Someone came into the Green Valley News office today and asked about a blinking star or planet that changes color in the eastern night sky. I was asked by Kevin Murphy to reply to NABUR. I asked Kevin if the person knew what time of night they saw this and whether it moved. He replied he didn’t believe what the person saw was moving. This helps some, but it would also be very helpful to know when he saw it. The only thing I can think of that truly blinks in the night sky is an airplane. If a plane is flying towards an observer, it can blink yet appear motionless. Also, although satellites don’t blink, they sometimes rotate slowly, changing from bright to virtually invisible objects, then back to bright again. And, they don’t remain motionless. I happened to be awake at 5:00 this morning and I knew that at that time Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn were in a row in the eastern sky. I looked at them both with my naked eye and with binoculars. Since Venus and Jupiter are very bright, they appeared to “twinkle” because of normal atmospheric disturbance, especially through binoculars. Bright objects like planets or very bright stars can appear to momentarily change color for the same reason. Not knowing when the person saw his “blinking star or planet” I can’t say what the object was. If it was early morning, I’d guess it was Venus. Hope this helps. 

Discussion

Incredible

What an incredible feat so far. The James Webb Telescope has reached its final destination, 1,000,000 miles from earth in orbit around the sun. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/science/james-webb-telescope-arrival.amp.html