- A blog written by a perennial enthusiast

The Crab Nebula

Saturday 2 February 2019

In July 1054(AD), a bright new star appeared in the constellation of Taurus. We have records from China, Korea and Japan and from some Islamic scholars. The star was visible even in the daytime (if you knew where to look) for about 23 days before gradually fading from view. It was one of the brightest things in the night sky, but does not seem to have been recorded in Europe.

A New Theme

Sunday 20 January 2019

As you might notice, this web site has a new theme, even if it is similar to the one it had before. Why? I hit a problem with the first post of 2019. The post would not appear when I built the site. I looked at it but could not see anything wrong. I tried changing the year in the post back to 2018 and it appeared. I assumed that there was something wrong in the template code running the site which meant it would only work up to the end of 2018.

Great Carina Nebula

Monday 14 January 2019

This is probably the most spectacular nebula (cloud of gas and dust) in the night sky, but is too far south to be visible from the UK. Like the great Orion nebula (visible from here in the winter), this is easily visible with the naked eye, and glorious in any telescope. The Great Carina Nebula is a complex area of glowing gas and dark dust aprroximately 8,000 light years away from us in the direction of the constellation Carina.

Alnitak Region

Tuesday 11 December 2018

The constellation of Orion dominates winter skies in the Northern Hemisphere. The shape of Orion, the hunter, and the three stars of Orion’s belt, are familiar to anyone who looks around the night sky, but the naked eye has to track along Orion’s sword (hanging from the belt from the Northern Hemisphere) to have any hint of the glories this constellation reveals to any telescope. The faint, small, fuzzy patch is the famous Orion nebula, but there are many extraordinary nebulae here.

The Tarantula

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Not a large spider, but an astonishing area of the night sky. The image shows the area in the constellation Dorado (the Dolphin fish or Swordfish), around the Tarantula Nebula, a huge area of gas and dust where stars are being formed, which is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy outside our Milky Way, and closely associated with it. There are a lot of firsts for me in this image.

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