December 13th, 2006

XT10 telescope

Orion and wealth

M42Last night I took my beautiful X10 telescope out for a spin. The sky was so black and clear with the cold, the stars so bright, and the Moon was still sleeping beneath the horizon. Orion (both the constellation and my telescope's brand) was well-risen, his hips above the treeline when I looked east, and I felt the most powerful urge to gaze upon one of my favorite celestial objects in the night sky: 

The Orion Nebula, the Great Nebula, M42. I have a relatively new and wide-field eyepiece, a 25mm designed for high contrast, and it made the Trapezium (the little mini-constellation at the heart of the nebula, four stars orbiting one another) stand out like blue fire against the soft gray of the nebulosity. Of course, if I'd set up a color camera and taken a long exposure, I would have seen oranges and reds and greens as you so often see in photos of this fine object, but it looked more like this photo (albeit not nearly as detailed; this is a long exposure). Then I scanned around the sky a bit, just relaxing in the cosmos, returning once in a while to my old friend in Orion. A fine time.

Speaking of cool space-stuff, check out the amazing tsunami shockwave on the sun (today's Astrophoto of the Day).

Great story from Rollingstone.comCollapse )

Hope y'all're well. Back to grading!


EDIT: I apologize if you got the unedited version of this. I attempted to use the Rich Text LJ posting tool... which SUCKS. Didn't save any time and possibly messed up my friends' LJ views. Back to gool ol' basic HTML for me.