| Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade. || || |
PROM ALERT: "A great display of prominences is underway," reports Gil Esquerdo of Tucson, Arizona, who photographed the scene on Feb. 11th using a Coronado SolarMax60. Where should you target your solar telescope? The giant flame-like shapes can be found all around the limb of the sun. In short, you can't miss.
more images: from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Erika Rix of Zanesville, Ohio;
SIGHTINGS: "No, this is not a flight of butterflies!" says Sylvain Weiller of Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France. "It is the International Space Station photographed last night through my 8-inch telescope, hand-guided."
Lining up and stacking all the winged creatures produces something quite wonderful, as shown in this view captured by Ralf Vandebergh on Feb. 10th when the ISS flew over his backyard observatory in the Netherlands. Vandebergh's photo reveals, among other things, "the backside of shuttle Atlantis. Shuttles docked to the ISS are not always easy to see because of the station's hard lights and dark shadows," he notes. But on this night "seeing was good."
more images: from David Campbell at the University of Herfordshire, Hatfield, UK; from Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands; from Jan Koeman of Middelburg, The Netherlands; from Pierre-Paul Feyte of Blaziert, Gascony, France; from Martin Mc kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland; from Colzani Enrico of the Sormano Astronomical Observatory, Sormano (Co) Italy; from Quintus Oostendorp of Vaassen, The Netherlands; from Eugene Miller of Brooklyn, NY.
SPIDERS AT WORK: "Yesterday -- it was a beautiful day in Holland -- I noticed that the surface of the fields seemed to be reflecting the light of the low sun," reports Jan Hemmer of Noordholland. "Looking more closely I discovered that spiders had been busy covering the grass with horizontal threads and that those seen perpendicular to the sunrays made a reflecting surface."
"The strands of web have produced a glitter path in the grass," explains atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Humans can do the same thing with vineyard wires and scratched windows. Wet branches and twigs produce rings of light. But the spider wins for it makes rainbows and mysterious bars of colors that we have yet to explain."