A legally blind photographer/astronomer on disability so I use this site to contribute to society.
Last Updated: added graphics for the 88 constellations under Observation/The Night Sky.
This site is a testament that even though I have a physical disability - legally blind - I can still do things that helps other people.
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APOD:Moon Mountains Magnified during Ring of Fire Eclipse
Credit & Copyright: Wang Letian (Eyes at Night)
Explanation: What are those dark streaks in this composite image of a solar eclipse? They are reversed shadows of mountains at the edge of the Moon. The center image, captured from Xiamen, China, has the Moon's center directly in front of the Sun's center. The Moon, though, was too far from the Earth to completely block the entire Sun. Light that streamed around the edges of the Moon is called a ring of fire. Images at each end of the sequence show sunlight that streamed through lunar valleys. As the Moon moved further in front of the Sun, left to right, only the higher peaks on the Moon's perimeter could block sunlight. Therefore, the dark streaks are projected, distorted, reversed, and magnified shadows of mountains at the Moon's edge. Bright areas are called Baily's Beads. Only people in a narrow swath across Earth's Eastern Hemisphere were able to view this full annular solar eclipse in 2020. Next month, though, a narrow swath crossing both North and South America will be exposed to the next annular solar eclipse. And next April, a total solar eclipse will be visible across North America.
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APOD:HH 211: Jets from a Forming Star
Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Webb; Processing: Tom Ray (DIAS Dublin)
Explanation: Do stars always create jets as they form? No one is sure. As a gas cloud gravitationally contracts, it forms a disk that can spin too fast to continue contracting into a protostar. Theorists hypothesize that this spin can be reduced by expelling jets. This speculation coincides with known Herbig-Haro (HH) objects, young stellar objects seen to emit jets -- sometimes in spectacular fashion. Pictured is Herbig-Haro 211, a young star in formation recently imaged by the Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in infrared light and in great detail. Along with the two narrow beams of particles, red shock waves can be seen as the outflows impact existing interstellar gas. The jets of HH 221 will likely change shape as they brighten and fade over the next 100,000 years, as research into the details of star formation continues.
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APOD:Methane Discovered on Distant Exoplanet
Illustration Credit: Ahmad Jabakenji (ASU Lebanon, North Star Space Art); Data: NASA, ESA, CSA, JWST
Explanation: Where else might life exist? One of humanity's great outstanding questions, locating planets where extrasolar life might survive took a step forward in 2019 with the discovery of a significant amount of water vapor in the atmosphere of distant exoplanet K2-18b. The planet and its parent star, K2-18, lie about 124 light years away toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo). The exoplanet is significantly larger and more massive than our Earth, but orbits in the habitable zone of its home star. K2-18, although more red than our Sun, shines in K2-18b's sky with a brightness similar to the Sun in Earth's sky. The 2019 discovery of atmospheric water was made in data from three space telescopes: Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler, by noting the absorption of water-vapor colors when the planet moved in front of the star. Now in 2023, further observations by the Webb Space Telescope in infrared light have uncovered evidence of other life-indicating molecules -- including methane. The featured illustration imagines exoplanet K2-18b on the far right orbited by a moon (center), which together orbit a red dwarf star depicted on the lower left.
How the Website
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Observation - This section includes information on
coordinate systems, constellations, objects visible in the
night sky, and some images of the night sky of the
northern and southern hemispheres.
Science - This section includes information on some
of the basic science used in astronomy. There is information
on the variety of tools used (like telescopes) as well as
methods of using them. There is a mathematics primer,
introduction to some physical processes, formulas used in
astronomy, and information on computer use in Astronomy.
- As indicated, this section covers our Solar System (See Solar System App, Solar System Scope App) and everything in it. It covers the Sun, planets, their moons, asteroids, comets and exotic objects like TNO's and Kuiper Belt Objects.
Stars - This section covers stars in our own galaxy.
It covers the variety of stellar evolution paths. It also
covers supernova, black holes, and some of the radiative
processes in the interstellar medium.
- This section covers our galaxy as well as some of the
nearby galaxies in our own Local Group. It also covers
- This section covers other galaxies and galaxies clusters.
It also covers the big bang, relativity and dark matter.
- This section covers the relatively new field in astronomy
- the possibility of life in our Solar System and the
Universe. There is also information on some of the projects
dealing with this - like SETI.
- This section covers the study of planets known to exist
around other stars. It covers both amateur and professional
involvement and shows you how you can get involved with the
search as well.
This section covers the fastest growing hobby of
astrophotography. This section offers information and tips
on photography and also features and Image Gallery.
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