Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day
Image Credit: federico2006
Location: Carezza al lago (Bolzano)
From 2001: In honor of the 11th birthday of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, and by popular demand, the Hubble team has released this new image of the Horsehead nebula, taken by its Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), designed and built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Last year, 5,000 online voters, including students, teachers, and professional and amateur astronomers, chose the nebula as an astronomical target for Hubble to observe.
APOD: Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka
Image Credit & Copyright: Sergi Verdugo Martínez
Explanation: Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (left to right) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion’s well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula near Alnitak at the lower left. The famous Orion Nebula itself lies off the bottom of this colorful star field. Recorded last December with a modified digital SLR camera and small telescope, the well-planned, two frame mosaic spans about 4 degrees on the sky.