October 17, 2008

Zodiacal Light

Zodiacal Light
Originally uploaded by Computer Science Geek

Awesome picture! I've never heard of zodiacal light before today (I know, its embarrassing considering I run an astronomy blog) but I've been checking out some photo's and found these great ones from Computer Science Geek on Flickr. I definitely think this stuff is right up there with aurora and Milky Way photography is terms of coolness (way more important than scientific relevance!).

Zodiacal light is really cool. It basically is light from the Sun reflected back by interplantary dust. To produce this light, according to Wikipedia (which I will choose to trust this time), only a 1mm dust particle every 8 kilometers in space that is equally reflective as the moon can produce this effect.

Orionids Meteor Shower

I posted up some stuff about last year's Orionid meteor showers here and here.

The Orionid meteor shower comes from the Earth passing through the dust trail of quite possibly the most famous comet of all time, Haley's Comet. Pieces of debris, like ice, dust, or rock, enter Earth's atmosphere and become superheated causing a bright flash and streak as the material completely burns up. The larger and/or denser the material that enters the atmosphere, the longer the streak lasts before vanishing.

A meteor shower's radiant is the point at which all the meteors appear to originate from. For the Orionids, it is the left shoulder of Orion.

Grab a chair, find a dark spot, and hopefully see some good meteors. Unfortunately, a bright moon will be up from dusk to dawn, drowning out much of the Orionids. Don't let that dissuade you, there's still bound to be a few screamin' meteors that'll make it worth the wait.

Great X-Ray, Infrared, and Visible Light Composite

I grabbed this picture off of this week's SPACE PHOTOS from National Geographic. I think this is an absolutely gorgeous composite of the an irregular galaxy 210,000 light years away. I swear, sometimes astrophotos borderline on art!

I'm back... again!

Due to the fact my readership has continued to grow, even though I have not posted since late June, I've decided to continue this blog!

Look forward to near daily posts in the future. Sorry for the absence, I've been extremely busy with school and work.