Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Yesterday, a radio storm happened on Jupiter. Astronomers have known since 1954 that the giant planet sometimes produces powerful bursts of shortwave static. Thomas Ashcraft recorded such a burst on April 24th using his amateur radio telescope in New Mexico. Click to hear the crackling "swooshes" that filled his observatory during the 2 hour storm:

"It was one of the better storms of the year so far," says Ashcraft. "In the audio specimen you can hear the emissions on two of my shortwave radios. One radio is tuned to 21.1 MHz and the other at 18.9 MHz." (Plug stereo headphones into your computer; they will separate the two frequencies into left and right ears.)
Radio storms on Jupiter come from natural radio lasers in the giant planet's magnetosphere. Electrical currents flowing between Jupiter's upper atmosphere and the volcanic moon Io can boost these emissions to power levels easily detected by ham radio antennas on Earth.

Jupiter's outbursts could become more intense in the weeks ahead. Why? Because the distance between Jupiter and Earth is shrinking to a minimum on May 10th. "As Jupiter passes closer to Earth in our orbits, the periodic Io-induced radio storms should get stronger," notes Ashcraft.
To learn more about radio storms on Jupiter, and how you can observe them yourself, visit NASA's RadioJove web site.

HUBBLE'S JUPITER AND THE SHRINKING GREAT RED SPOT Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, OPAL Program, STScI; Processing: Karol Masztalerz

What will become of Jupiter's Great Red Spot? Gas giant Jupiter is the solar system's largest world with about 320 times the mass of planet Earth. Jupiter is home to one of the largest and longest lasting storm systems known, the Great Red Spot (GRS), visible to the left. The GRS is so large it could swallow Earth, although it has been shrinking. Comparison with historical notes indicate that the storm spans only about one third of the surface area it had 150 years ago. NASA's Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program has been monitoring the storm more recently using the Hubble Space Telescope. The featured Hubble OPAL image shows Jupiter as it appeared in 2016, processed in a way that makes red hues appear quite vibrant. Modern GRS data indicate that the storm continues to constrict its surface area, but is also becoming slightly taller, vertically. No one knows the future of the GRS, including the possibility that if the shrinking trend continues, the GRS might one day even do what smaller spots on Jupiter have done -- disappear completely.

WEST OF THE WINTER CONSTELLATIONS Taken by Piotr Wieczorek on April 7, 2018 @ Rogalin, Poland

Syriusz, Orion & Plejads
Nikon 24mm

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MILKYWAYS RISING Taken by Mohammad Soltani on April 21, 2018 @ Daran, Esfahan, Iran

Few days ago some where on my way to Daran (Esfahan, Iran) I decided to take some photos from milky way. After some shots I was intrested to take a photo with my own gesture!

ZODIACAL LIGHTS Taken by Chirag Upreti on March 19, 2018 @ Big Bend National Park, USA

The ethereal zodiacal light, crescent moonset and the Milky Way seen over the rock canyon called The Window that cuts through the Chisos Mountains rim in Big Bend National Park. Facing West, this view offers a site for spectacular sunsets and moonsets with the silhouettes of the classic v-shaped Window between towering mountain walls. Being a true dark sky the Zodiacal lights were truly beautiful to witness.

Sony A7RIII, 15mm, f/2.8 8 sec at ISO 10,000