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VISITEN TAMBIÉN LO ÚLTIMO EN TURISMO ASTRÓNOMICO NACIONAL :
EL NUEVO GRAN OBSERVATORIO SOLAR DE CHILE (GOSCh)



□□□ CONSULTEN AQUI LAS PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES EN ASTRONOMÍA

IMAGEN ASTRONÓMICA DEL DÍA


□□□ ...Y DE PASO ECHEN UN VISTAZO A LA IMAGEN ASTRONÓMICA DEL DÍA :




Click here to link to the original site "Astronomy Picture of the Day".


Cliquer ici pour accéder à la version française "Image Astronomique du Jour".


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January 26th : a rare flyby witnessed

On that evening a mid-size asteroid labelled 2004 BL86 approached at some 1,200,000 km from Earth, that is roughly 3 times the distance to the Moon. Such events are (fortunately) extremely rare, and they use to provide a nice spectacle to advanced stargazers.
And indeed it was amazing : not only the asteroid was bright enough to be seen with medium to large telescopes (although a deeply detailed chart was necessary to correctly identify it...) but its motion throurough the stars can be appreciated in real time !


On the above picture, taken in Cancer (not far from the star cluster M44) we can see the short trail left by the object, corresponding to a displacement of over 3 arcmin. performed in 90 seconds only ! That corresponds to covering the apparent size of the Moon in less than 15 minutes...

Photo: Cristian Valenzuela (Observatorio del Pangue) - January, 26th, 2015
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, exp: 90 sec.

Planets at Dusk

When arriving at the observatory our visitors are currently granted with a nice view of planets Venus and Mercury, shining together after sunset, unusually close each other.
The pìcture below captures this scene: Venus is the bright spot at upper left corner, with Mercury standing below, slightly fainter. Both planets are facing the dark silhouettes of the many domes of the Cerro Tololo International Observatory (lower right).

Photo: Cristian Valenzuela (Observatorio del Pangue) - January, 12th, 2015
Camera: Canon EOS 60D

2015 welcomes stargazers with a nice comet

We said it before and we say it again : bright, naked-eye comets are quite rare. That's why we particularely appreciate the visit of the comet Lovejoy (2014-Q2) and its long path throrough the southern skies.

On the picture below we can appreciate the extense, nearly spherical coma surrounding the brighter nucleus, and we can even notice the typical greenish hue that, as usual, reveals the presence of abundant diatomic carbon (C2).

On the December 21st evening, Lovejoy crossed very close to the distant galaxy NGC2188 (Columba). The following picture captures this encounter, with the elongated, irregularely shaped galaxy visible at far left, embedded in the end of the faint and extremely long straight tail of the comet.
Note that, because this is a long exposure shot, the comet compact nucleus forms a short trail, as it moved among the star field.

Lovejoy will offer an amazing view to stargazers from mid January, when the Moon leaves the scene and allows to enjoy dark starry skies. You may really try to see it then, as it is likely that you'll not witness its next pass, expected in some 8,000 years...

Photo: Cristian Valenzuela (Observatorio del Pangue) - December 2014
Camera: Canon EOS 60D at prime focus of Meade 16" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope

December 30th : Unidentifyed Flying Object witnessed from the observatory

...although it didn't remain unidentifyed for long...

On that evening our group enjoyed viewing this bright, strange artifact moving relatively fast across the western sky, and surrounded by fainter, symmetrical diffuse patches of light.

Because of its position, motion, and aspect through the telescope (well rendered in the image below) we soon suspected it might be some space launch from China, and that appeared to be correct : on that particular time of the night the chinese Long March 3A rocket successfully placed into a geostationary orbit a sophisticated meteorological satellite.

Definitely astronomers are not good UFOs viewers, maybe that's because they use to "identify" what they see...

Photo: Cristian Valenzuela (Observatorio del Pangue) - December 30th, 2014
Camera: Canon EOS 60D