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....JULY 2018 NIGHT SKY.. JULIO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....This Summer season, which is just beginning, is revealed as the great epoch of the planets. Although Venus is setting down earlier and earlier after sunset towards the West, Jupiter, in the constellation of Libra, is very high in the sky when the night arrives. This is the best season to observe him through a telescope: he will reveal the clouds of his high atmosphere, with their darker bands and the Great Red Spot, as well as his 4 major satellites, eternally dancing around him.

From the East, in Sagittarius, a yellow dot indicates the presence of Saturn, who leaves everybody without words while admiring his rings, and it is not rare that some of his more than 60 satellites are visible too. And Mars is now approaching Saturn coming from the Eastern constellation of Capricorn, in his apparent retrograde movement. The rovers Opportunity and Curiosity, have been exploring his surface for many years, and are helping us to understand his mysteries, such as the presence of water below his surface or the presence of methane in his atmosphere.

The Moon will also accompany us in the second part of July. Her mountains, her seas and her craters shine closely through a telescope, fascinating everyone who would contemplate them.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

 

Este verano que está empezando se anuncia como la gran temporada de los planetas. Si ben Venus se pone cada vez más pronto en el Oeste poco después del ocaso, Júpiter, en la constelación de Libra, está muy alto en el cielo a la caída de la noche. Es la época mejor para observarlo con el telescopio: nos revelará las nubes de la alta atmósfera, con sus bandas oscuras y la Gran Mancha Roja, así como sus 4 satélites mayores, puntos brillantes que danzan eternamente a su alrededor.

Desde el Este, en Sagitario, brilla la luz amarillenta de Saturno, que deja a todo el mundo sin palabra al admirar sus anillos, y no es infrecuente que se vean también algunos de sus más de 60 satélites. Marte, en cambio, se va acercando a Saturno desde Capricornio, en su aparente movimiento retrógrado. Las sondas Opportunity y Curiosity, que están explorando su superficie desde varios años, nos están ayudando a desvelar poco a poco sus misterios, como la presencia de agua bajo la superficie o de metano en la atmósfera.

Y también la Luna nos acompaña en la segunda parte del mes. Sus montañas, sus mares y su cráteres brillan a través del telescopio, dejando fascinados a quienes los contemplen.

¡Cielos despejados para todos! ....


 

....JUNE 2018 NIGHT SKY.. JUNIO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....In the beginning of June, when the night comes in we can admire the 2 brightest planets of the Solar System at the same time in the opposite sides of the sky: Venus, towards the Sunset, and Jupiter towards the Sunrise, higher and higher each night. In the next hours, Mars and Saturn are already appearing from the East, announcing the great season of the planets of this summer.

For our visitors from northern countries, the southern sky in June will be a big surprise: Fuerteventura's latitude allows us to admire the wonderful constellation of Centaurus in all its beauty, with its remarkable guests, such as the globular cluster Omega Centauri; it is the only one faintly visible with naked eyes, in spite of the incredible distance of 17 thousand’s light-years, a beautiful explosion of light through a telescope.

For the Moon lovers, the best days of June are in the second half of the month, with the First Quarter on day 21st. Her carters, her seas and her long ranges of mountains, visible with rich detail with a telescope, are always fascinating children of all ages.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

A principios de Junio, a primeras horas de la noche, podemos admirar los dos planetas más brillantes del Sistema Solar en las extremidades opuesta del cielo: Venus hacia donde se pone el Sol y Júpiter hacia donde se levanta, ganando altura cada noche. En las horas siguientes, ya van apareciendo también Saturno y Marte, anunciando la gran temporada de planetas que nos espera este verano.

Para los que nos visitan desde el continente, la zona Sur del cielo de este mes va a ser todo un descubrimiento: la latitud de Fuerteventura permite admirar la constelación del Centauro en toda su plenitud, con sus admirables huéspedes, como el maravilloso cúmulo llamado Omega Centauri; es el único de su género que se atisbe a simple vista, a pesar de la descomunal distancia de 17 mil años luz, todo un resplandor de luz a través de un telescopio.

Para los apasionados de la Luna, la época mejor de junio es la segunda parte del mes, con el Cuarto Creciente el día 21. Sus cráteres, sus mares y sus largas cadenas de montañas, visibles con todo lujo de detalle desde un telescopio, dejan siempre fascinados tanto a los niños como a los mayores

¡Cielos despejados para todos!....

 

 

 

....MAY 2018 NIGHT SKY.. MAYO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....From the first hours of the night, the May sky is dominated by 2 brilliant objects: the planet Venus toward the West and the planet Jupiter towards the East. For the lovers of the telescopic observation, the second one, the giant of the Solar System who crosses the constellation of Libra, is more interesting, with his 4 satellites visible as brilliant dots rapidly moving around his equator. If the night is clear, it is not difficult to distinguish also the dark bands of the outer atmosphere of the planet, which hide storms of incredible size, bigger that our Earth. More to the South, the beautiful constellations of Centaurus and Southern Cross are peeping out of the horizon of Fuerteventura: we should not miss the opportunity to admire our neighbor star Alfa Centauri nor the fantastic cluster called Omega Centauri, both visible with naked eyes, but revealing their secrets only through a telescope.

May starts with the Moon just after the full phase, which will be present back by the end of the month. In order to enjoy the observation in her best days, we recommend to wait for the waxing phase, after day 20th in this month.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

Desde las primeras horas de la noche, el cielo de Mayo está dominado por dos brillantes luceros: el planeta Venus hacia el Oeste y el planeta Júpiter hacia el Este. Para los apasionados de la observación telescópica, es más interesante este segundo objeto, el gigante del Sistema Solar que cruza la constelación de Libra, con sus 4 satélites visibles como puntitos luminosos en rápido movimiento alrededor de su ecuador. Si la noche es clara, no es difícil tampoco distinguir las bandas oscuras de la atmósfera superior del planeta, que esconden tormentas de tamaño colosal, más grandes que nuestra Tierra.  Mirando en el cielo más al Sur, las bonitas constelaciones de la Cruz del Sur y del Centauro se asoman al horizonte de Fuerteventura: no debemos perder la oportunidad de admirar nuestra estrella vecina Alfa Centauri ni el maravilloso cúmulo llamado Omega Centauri, ambos visibles a simple vista, pero cuyos secretos sólo están al alcance de un telescopio.

La Luna empieza Mayo justo después de la fase de plenitud, que vuelve también en la última semana. Para disfrutar mejor de su observación, es recomendable esperar a la fase creciente, que este mes se da pasado el día 20.

¡Cielos despejados para todos!....

....APRIL 2018 NIGHT SKY.. ABRIL 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....In April, Spring is back in plentitude: the daylight saving is now in progress and the days are longer, as well as the sweeter temperatures that invite us to enjoy the night sky. The great constellations of the winter, such as Orion and Taurus, are still high in the night sky, but they set down earlier and earlier towards the West, leaving the protagonism in the South to the big ship Argo, which carried the hero Jason and his crew in the known Greek myth. This huge constellation of ancient origin, now divided into 4 parts, is marked by the brilliant star Canopus, the second brightest of the sky, not visible from continental Europe. 

In the zodiacal zone, together with Leo high in the East, the nice Virgo brings back the myths related to Spring and the goddess Ceres, ancient patron of agriculture. In the following constellation, Libra, we find the king of the planets, Jupiter, who is finally back and fascinates us with his satellites and dark bands that a good telescope is able to reveal.

And, of course, the Moon is faithfully shining in the first days of April in her full phase, which will repeat by the end of the month. But if you love her, we recommend to observe her around the First Quarter, at the beginning of the last week. 

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

En Abril ya estamos de lleno en la primavera: ya ha entrado el horario de verano y los días se alargan, al mismo tiempo que las temperaturas más suaves invitan a disfrutar del cielo nocturno. Las grandes constelaciones de la estación invernal, como Orión o Tauro, siguen altas en el cielo, pero se ponen cada día más pronto en el Oeste, dejando el protagonismo en el Sur al navío Argo, que transportó el héroe Jasón y a sus compañeros en el famoso mito griego. Esta gran constelación de orígenes muy antiguos, ahora dividida en 4 partes, alberga a la brillante estrella Canopo, la segunda más luminosa del cielo, no visible desde la Europa continental.

En la zona zodiacal, con el León ya alto en el Este, la hermosa Virgo nos trae de vuelta los mitos griegos relacionados con la primavera y la diosa Ceres, antigua patrona de la agricultura. 

En la constelación que la sigue, Libra, ya se asoma el rey de los planetas, Júpiter, que nos fascina con sus satélites y sus bandas, que un buen telescopio pone a nuestro alcance.

Y la Luna no falta a su cita mensual, empezando abril con la fase de plenitud, que vuelve también en la última semana. Pero para observarla con más detalles, es recomendable la fase creciente, que este mes corresponde a la última semana.

¡Cielos despejados para todos!....

....MARCH 2018 NIGHT SKY.. MARZO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....March takes us back to Spring time: the days are now longer and the temperature is higher, inviting us to enjoy the firmament. The Winter constellations are still very high in the evening sky; this is the case of Orion and the Great Dog towards the South, while in the zodiacal region Gemini and Taurus dominate the zenith. From the East, Leo is now rising and announcing the great season of the galaxies that we shall enjoy over the next months. Among the most interesting telescopic objects of the month, besides the wonderful nebula M42 in Orion, is an amazing star nursery located in the sword of the mythical sky hunter, a special protagonism is acquired by the many open clusters, as M35 in Gemini and M41 in the Great Dog.

Whilst still awaiting the return of the big planets, the most admired object of the night sky, the Moon, will not miss the date. This month starts with the Full phase, which will come back also by the end of the month. The most favorable moment to admire her craters, her seas and her mountains, with a telescope, reaching us from hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, is the Crescent phase, which in March takes place in the last weeks.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

Marzo es el mes que nos trae de vuelta a la primavera: los días se hacen más largos y la temperatura es menos rígida, invitando a la contemplación del Firmamento. Las constelaciones del inverno siguen muy altas en el cielo vespertino, destacando Orión y el Can Mayor hacia el Sur, mientras que en la zona zodiacal Gémini y Tauro siguen dominando el cielo del cenit. Ya desde el Este se asoma Leo, anunciando la llegada de la gran temporada de las galaxias que nos espera en los meses venideros. Entre los objetos más interesantes para la observación con telescopio, además de la preciosa Nebulosa M42 en Orión, fulgurante criadero de estrellas localizado en la espada del mítico cazador celeste, hay que destacar lo múltiples cúmulos abiertos, como M35 en Gémini o M41 en el Can Mayor.
Para admirar los grandes planetas habrá que esperar todavía un tiempo, pero no va a faltar a la cita el objeto más admirado de todos: la Luna. El mes empieza con la fase de plenitud, que vuelve también en la última semana. El momento más favorable para disfrutar de sus cráteres, sus mares y sus montañas, que el telescopio nos permite alcanzar desde cientos de miles de kilómetros, es la fase creciente, que en marzo se da en la última decena.

¡Cielos despejados para todos! ....

....FEBRUARY 2018 NIGHT SKY.. FEBRERO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....February is possibly the most interesting month for the observation of the Winter night sky from the Canary Islands. With the constellation of Orion very high in the first hours of the night, it is possible to admire one of the most popular and most photographed objects of the Deep Sky, the nebula M42, a fantastic star nursery found in the sword of the mythical sky hunter. This same area is very rich of telescopic targets, such as the close Gemini and Taurus, starting from the many open clusters, one of the big views of this season, or other more exotic, such as the Crab nebula, famous remnant of a supernova explosion registered some 1000 years ago. 

While we are waiting for the big planets to be back at accessible hours, for the lovers of the Solar System the Moon is present as all months; her full phase is in the first days and then will come back in the final week. Her craters, her seas and her mountains, which a telescope allows us to admire from hundreds of thousands of kilometers, will always be a fascinating view for all people.

Clear skies to everybody!  .. 

El mes de febrero es posiblemente el más interesante para la observación del cielo del invierno desde las Islas Canarias. Con la constelación de Orión ya bien alta en las primeras horas de la noche, es posible admirar uno de los objetos más llamativos y más fotografiados del Cielo Profundo, como es la Nebulosa M42, admirable criadero de estrellas localizado en la espada del mítico cazador celeste. Esta zona, así como las cercanas de Gémini y de Tauro, es muy rica en objetivos telescópicos, destacando los numerosos cúmulos abiertos, gran atractivo del cielo de esta estación, y otros más exóticos, como la Nebulosa del Cangrejo, famoso remanente de una explosión de supernova registrada hace casi mil años.
A la espera de que los grandes planetas vuelvan a ser observables en las primeras horas de la noche, para los amantes del Sistema Solar como cada mes está presente el objetivo más llamativo de todos, es decir la Luna, en fase de plenitud en los primeros días de mes y que vuelve a brillar en la última semana. Sus cráteres, sus mares y sus montañas, que el telescopio nos permite admirar desde cientos de miles de kilómetros, no dejan indiferente a nadie.

¡Cielos despejados para todos! ....

...JANUARY 2018 NIGHT SKY.. ENERO 2018 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....The New Year starts with the Full Moon, a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a night walk along the beach during the Christmas holidays. However, in order to enjoy the Winter sky in all its beauty, we have to wait a few days more, when the most typical constellations of the epoch will acquire all their protagonism. 

The mythical hunter Orion, with his fantastic star nursery M42, is no doubt the most popular and easy-to-recognize, but we should not forget to admire the 2 animals accompanying him: the Great Dog and his very brilliant star Sirius, and the Small Dog with his aster Procyon.

In the Eastern Zodiacal zone, it's easy to locate the big triangle of Taurus, high in the night sky, with its yellowish star Aldebaran marking the eye of the bull, as well as Gemini with their twin stars Castor and Pollux, reminding us of the adventures of  these mythical twins. Not far from there, we can find the interesting constellation of Auriga, crossed by the Milky Way and rich in wonderful open clusters, among the most fantastic of the season.

Clear skies and .. Happy New Year to everybody!  ..

Este año 2018 empieza con la Luna llena, una magnifica ocasión para disfrutar de un paseo nocturno por la playa en estos días navideños. Pero, para apreciar al cielo invernal en todo su esplendor, habrá que esperar unos días, cuando las constelaciones más típicas de la temporada adquieran el protagonismo.

El mítico cazador Orión, con su fantástico criadero de estrellas M42, es sin duda la más llamativa y popular, pero no olvidemos de admirar a los perros que le acompañan: el Can Mayor y su brillantísima estrella Sirio, y el Can Menor con su astro Proción. 

En la zona zodiacal del Este, destaca el gran triángulo de Tauro, ya bien alto en el cielo nocturno, con la amarillenta Aldebarán marcando el ojo del toro, así como Gémini con sus brillantes astros 'gemelos' Castor y Pólux, que nos recuerdan las hazañas de estos mitológicos mellizos. No muy lejos está el llamativo pentágono de constelación de Auriga, atravesado por la Vía Láctea y rico en cúmulos abiertos de gran belleza, entre los más bonitos de esta época.

¡Cielos despejados y .. Próspero Año Nuevo para todos! ....

....DECEMBER 2017 NIGHT SKY.. DECEMBRE 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....The Moon, reaching her full phase on day 3rd, enlightens the first nights of December, inviting unforgettable walks through the dunes or along the shoreline of the sea; however, if you would like to enjoy the best observing moments of our satellite - with her incredible craters and mountains - it is recommendable to wait for the next cycle, beginning in the last week of this month.

An important date around the middle of December uses to be the maximum of the Geminids, the most reliable shooting star shower of the last years. With up to 120 meteors per hour expected during the nights of the 13th and 14th. A good suggestion is to dedicate a few hours to the observation of this fantastic phenomenon from a dark spot, if the meteorology is favorable. A beautiful opportunity to admire also some typical winter constellations which are rising from the eastern horizon, as the unmistakable Orion, rich in celestial treasures such as its famous nebula - the closest star nursery - or the brilliant Gemini, with its fantastic open cluster.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

La Luna, que llega a su plenitud el día 3, ilumina las primera noches de diciembre, invitando a inolvidables paseos por las dunas o a orillas del mar; en cambio, para gozar de los mejores momentos de observación de nuestro satélite -con su increíbles cráteres y montañas- es recomendable esperar hasta la siguiente fase creciente, que se da en la última semana del mes.

Un cita importante a mediados de diciembre es sin duda la fecha del máximo de las Gemínidas, la lluvia de estrellas más fiable en estos últimos años. Con hasta 120 meteoros por hora en las noches del 13 y del 14, vale la pena sin duda dedicar algunas horas a la observación de este fantástico fenómeno celeste desde un sitio oscuro, esperando que la meteorología acompañe. Aprovecharemos de paso para admirar las constelaciones del invierno que ya se alzan desde el horizonte Este, como el inconfundible Orión, rico en tesoros celestes como su famosa nebulosa -el más cercano criadero de estrellas- o el brillante Gémini, con su riquísimo cúmulo abierto. 

¡Cielos despejados para todo! ....

 

....NOVEMBER 2017 NIGHT SKY.. NOVEMBRE 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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Being already over the Daylight Saving time, November allows us to enjoy the night sky without  sacrificing our sleeping hours. In the first week of this month, the Moon is the protagonist with her full phase on the 4th day. Even with the naked eyes, we can distinguish darker areas (the 'seas') surrounded by clearer and whiter ones. A telescope can reveal ranges of mountains crossing her surface, craters of all sizes, islands in the middle of the seas and many other details that leave us astonished. A wonderful sight that nobody should miss!

As the big planets are not visible in this epoch, in the Autumn sky the beautiful constellations raising from the East draw our attention, being preceded by the bright cluster of the Pleyades. The Greek mythology tells us these seven sisters asked to be transformed into stars in order to escape from the giant Orion. In the Milky Way area nearby, Auriga (the 'big-driver') proposes his far but bright open cluster, as well as Taurus showing us his treasures, such as the Hyades, surrounding the brilliant yellowish star Aldebaran, marking the bull's eye.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

Con la vuelta al horario de invierno, el mes de noviembre nos permite disfrutar  del cielo nocturno sin renunciar al sueño. En las primera semana del mes, la protagonista es la la Luna, que alcanza la fase de plenitud el día 4. Ya a simple vista se nota que en su superficie hay zonas más oscuras (los 'mares') y otras más claras y brillantes. El telescopio nos revela las cadenas de montañas que la surcan, así como cráteres de todos los tamaños, islas en el medio de los mares y un sinfín de detalles que nos dejan boquiabiertos. Un espectáculo que nadie debería perderse.

Ante la ausencia de los grandes planetas, en el cielo del otoño llaman la atención las bonitas constelaciones que están apareciendo en el horizonte Este, anunciadas por el brillante cúmulo de la Pléiades. La mitología griega cuenta que estas siete hermanas pidieron ser transformadas en estrellas para escapar al gigante Orión. En la cercana zona de la Vía Láctea, Auriga (el 'Cochero') nos trae sus bonitos y lejanos cúmulos abiertos, así como Tauro, que no quiere ser menos, nos propone tesoros como las Híades, que hacen de corona a la inconfundible estrella amarillenta Aldebaran, que marca el ojo del Toro.

¡Cielos despejados para todo! ....

 

....OCTOBER 2017 NIGHT SKY..OCTOBRE 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO....

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....With the arrival of October, Autumn is already in progress, bringing longer nights and usually very low winds, all good news for the lover of the night sky. As happened most times this year, this month too starts with the Moon close to the full phase, a good moment to observe her surface with incredible detail  through a good telescope. At the same time, towards the south, a brilliant yellowish dot in the constellation of Ophiuchus reminds us that we are still in time to admire one of the highlights of our Solar System, the fabulous planet Saturn, whose rings are now in the best position in years.

Moreover, the Milky Way is still dominating the sky, in the nights without the Moon, more and more vertical in Sagittarius, revealing us some of her most hidden joys, as the Lagoon Nebula, a wonderful star nursery, whose light shines faint due to the enormous distance, or the brilliant Butterfly Cluster, much closer to our Blue Planet.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

Con la llegada de octubre, el otoño ya ha empezado, trayendo noches más larga y a menudo sin viento, y estas son sin duda buenas noticias para los apasionados del cielo nocturno. Como de costumbre, el mes empieza con la Luna cerca de la fase de plenitud, un buen momento para observar los increíbles  detalles de su superficie con un buen telescopio. Mientras, hacia el sur, el brillante punto amarillento en la constelación del Serpentario nos recuerda que todavía estamos a tiempo de admirar una de las maravillas del Sistema Solar, el fabuloso planeta Saturno, cuyo anillos se encuentran en la mejor posición de observación de la década.

Por su parte, la Vía Láctea seguirá dominando el cielo en las noches sin Luna, cada vez más vertical en Sagitario, revelándonos a través del telescopio algunas de sus hoyas más escondidas, como la nebulosa Laguna, fantástico criadero de estrellas, cuya luz nos parece muy débil por la distancia, o bien el más brillante cúmulo de la Mariposa, más cercano a nuestro planeta azul..

¡Cielos despejados para todo! ....

....SEPTEMBER 2017 NIGHT SKY.. SEPTEMBRE 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO ....

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....The last Summer month presents a night sky dominated more and more by the Milky Way, towards the South, between the wonderful constellations of Sagittarius and Scorpius. The most brilliant area, corresponding to the kernel of our galaxy, is located in Sagittarius arm, which seems to come out from the ominous constellation and is possibly the most important of all, extending itself to the North till the constellation of the Eagle. In the zenith, crossing the Swan and Cassiopeia, another brilliant arm, Perseus arm, completes the milky arch crossing the whole summer sky.

In the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Snake master, Saturn is drawing our attention with his yellowish light. His rings are in the best position for the observation from our Earth, a memorable view that only a telescope can reveal to us.

The Moon is in the full phase on day 6th, so the first decade of September is not apt for the observation of Deep Sky objects, but is the best moment to visit her craters, seas and peaks, which, in spite of the big distance, a telescope shows us with plenty of detail: an enchanting view which leaves people of all ages astonished!

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

 

El último mes del verano nos presenta un cielo nocturno dominado cada vez más por la Vía Láctea hacia el Sur, entre las magníficas constelaciones de Sagitario y Escorpio. Su zona más brillante, correspondiente al núcleo de nuestra galaxia, se encuentra en el brazo de Sagitario, que parece salir de la homónima constelación y es posiblemente el más importante de todos, prologándose hacia el Norte hasta la constelación del Águila. En el cenit, cruzando el Cisne y Cassiopea, otro brazo brillante, el de Perseo, completa el arco lechoso que cruza todo el cielo del verano.

En la constelación del Serpentario, Saturno atrae la atención con su brillo amarillento. Sus anillos están en la mejor posición para su observación desde la Tierra, un espectáculo memorable que sólo un telescopio nos permite apreciar.

La Luna presenta la fase de plenitud el día 6, así que la primera decena del mes no es adecuada para la observación del Cielo Profundo, pero sí a visitar los cráteres, los mares y los picos de nuestro satélite, que a pesar de la distancia, nos revela con un telescopio infinidad de detalles de su superficie, un espectáculo que no deja de asombrar a los observadores de todas las edades.

¡Cielos despejados para todo! ....

 

....JUNE 2017 NIGHT SKY.. JUNIO 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO ....

.... With the solstice of June 21th, a new summer begins, a very promising epoch for the observation of the night sky. The firmament is dominated this year by the brilliant planet Jupiter, which through a telescope reveals the secrets of his atmosphere and the tireless dance of his satellites. The most typical constellations of this period, are the Lion and the Virgin, already very high when the night comes in, leaving the East for the beautiful view of Scorpio, so rich in astronomical treasures, or the mythical Hercules, with his fantastic cluster M13.

The Moon accompanies us in the first part of the month. A telescope can easily reveal her mountains and carters, her seas and highlands. Do not miss this incredible view which can fascinate everyone.

Clear skies to everybody!  .. Con el solsticio de junio, que este año cae el día 21, empieza el verano, época muy adecuada para la observación del cielo nocturno. El firmamento está dominado por el brillante planeta Júpiter, que al telescopio nos desvela los rasgos de su atmósfera y el baile incansable de sus satélites. Las constelaciones más típicas de este período, como el León o Virgo, ya están bien altas cuando aparece la noche, dejando el paso en el Este al maravilloso Escorpión, tan rico en tesoros astronómicos, o al mítico Hércules, con su fantástico cúmulo M13.

La Luna nos acompaña en la primera parte del mes. El telescopio nos desvela sus montañas y sus cráteres, sus mares y sus Tierras Altas. No se pierdan este espectáculo tan asombroso que no deja indiferente a nadie.

¡Cielos despejados para todo! ....

....MAY 2017 NIGHT SKY.. MAYO 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO ....

....With the arrival of May, we are in the heart of Spring, with kinder temperatures, that invite us to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. Many constellations, which accompanied us in the last half of the year, are now saying goodbye till the next Winter, while from the East the ones which mark the new season are appearing: the faint and weak crab Cancer, the powerful Lion and the terrible monster Hydra, witnesses of the challenges of the mythical hero Hercules, as well as the beautiful Virgin, related to the calendar of the agricultural activities.

In this area, a brilliant yellow object draws strongly our attention: it is the planet Jupiter, the mighty King of the Ecliptic, the giant of the Solar System, whose atmospheric bands, actual storms of incredible size, such as his 4 main satellites, can be admired through a small telescope.

As in the previous months, the Moon is the protagonist of the first part of the month. Nobody remains indifferent when looking at her mountains, craters, seas or highlands. It is difficult to believe we are able to distinguish so many details of her surface, in spite of the enormous distance which separates her from our Earth.

Clear skies to everybody!  ..

Con el mes de mayo, ya ha llegado el corazón de la primavera, trayéndonos  temperaturas más suaves que invitan a disfrutar del cielo nocturno. Mientras vamos despidiendo  las constelaciones que nos acompañaron en el invierno, desde el Este se levantan las que marcan la nueva estación: el pequeño y débil cangrejo Cáncer, el majestuoso León y el terrible monstruo Hydra, testigos de las empresas del mítico héroe Hércules, así como la bonita Virgo, protagonista del calendario de  las actividades agrícolas.

En esta zona, nos llama prepotentemente la atención un objeto amarillento muy brillante: es el planeta Júpiter, el majestuoso Rey de la Eclíptica, el gigante del Sistema Solar, cuyas bandas atmosféricas, autenticas tormentas de dimensiones descomunales, así como sus 4 satélites principales, pueden ser admirados por medio de un pequeño telescopio.

Como en los meses anteriores, la Luna es la protagonista de la primera parte del mes. Nadie permanece indiferente a la visión de sus montañas y sus cráteres, sus mares y sus Tierras Altas. Resulta difícil de creer como lleguemos a ver tantos detalles de su superficie, a pesar de la enorme distancia que nos separa.

¡Cielos despejados para todo!

....

 

....MARCH 2017 NIGHT SKY.. MARZO 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO ....

....As occurs every year, March is taking us into Spring. The nights are getting shorter day by day, until on the 20th, the date of the Equinox in 2017, the duration of the day is the same as the night, becoming longer in the following 6 months.

In the beginning of March the typical constellations of winter, such as Orion, the Great Dog and Gemini, are still very high in the night sky, allowing us to admire their precious treasures, like the fascinating Orion Nebula, the closest nursery of stars, the multiple system of Sigma, in the same area, or the glorious cluster M35, in the Twins. But from the East new and interesting objects are now appearing, such as the Lion and the Big Dipper -which in the last months had disappeared from our skies- messengers of the great galaxies’ season of the next months.

The planet Jupiter is finally back, appearing earlier every day towards the East horizon, balancing the protagonism of Venus, setting down early in the West. His satellites, dark bands and clear zones offer us, through a telescope a beautiful view we should not miss the opportunity to admire.

As we are already accustomed to this year, the Moon is the protagonist of the first part of the month. Nobody remains indifferent when looking at her mountains, craters, seas or highlands: in spite of the enormous distance, these details are clearly visible and really impressive.

Clear skies to everybody!

..Como todos los años, el mes de marzo nos trae la primavera: las noches se van haciendo cada día más cortas, hasta que el día 20, fecha del equinoccio de primavera en este 2017, la duración del día iguala a la de la noche, para después superarla en los 6 meses siguientes.

A principios de marzo, las constelaciones más populares del invierno, como Orión, el Can Mayor y Gémini, siguen bien altas en el cielo vespertino, permitiéndonos seguir contemplando sus más preciados tesoros, como la fascinante Nebulosa de Orión, el más próximo criadero de estrellas, el sistema múltiple de Sigma, en la misma área, o el glorioso cúmulo M35, en los Gemelos.

Pero en el Este ya van apareciendo nuevos e interesantes asterismos, tal como el León y la Osa Mayor -que durante unos meses había desaparecido de nuestro cielo- mensajeros de la gran temporada de galaxias que nos espera a partir de un mes.

También el planeta Júpiter vuelve a  aparecer en el horizonte Este, quitando el protagonismo a Venus, que se pone temprano en el Oeste. Sus satélites, sus bandas y sus zonas claras nos ofrecen a través del telescopio un espectáculo maravilloso, que no debemos perder la ocasión de admirar.

Como va siendo costumbre en este año, la Luna es la protagonista de la primera parte del mes. Nadie permanece indiferente a la visión de sus montañas y sus cráteres, sus mares y sus Tierras Altas: sus impresionantes detalles nos dejan asombrados, a pesar de la enorme distancia que nos separa.

¡Cielos despejados para todo!

....

....FEBRAURY 2017 NIGHT SKY..FEBRERO 2017 CIELO NOCTURNO

....The long February nights offer us the opportunity to admire the winter sky in its best moment. The most typical constellations of this epoch of the year, Orion and Gemini, are already high in the sky in the first hours of the night, showing us their precious treasures. A good telescope allows us to go deeper into their secrets, such as the Orion Nebula (M42), a wonderful star nursery located at about 1500 light-years from us, or the rich Gemini cluster, not far from the bright multiple-star system of Castor. On the other side of the sky, it is still possible to admire the Andromeda galaxy, a very big but blurry object due to the incredible distance of more than 2 million light-years from our Earth.

After sunset, the planets Mars and Venus shine bright to the West in the early hours, while Jupiter starts crossing the sky from the East after midnight.

The Moon is the big protagonist of the sky in the first part of February. We should not miss the opportunity to admire her with a number of magnifications: she will reveal her big seas with their islands, her long chains of mountains and her enormous and deep craters. In spite of the distance of some 250.000 miles, the Moon shows us incredible details of her surface through our telescopes.

Clear skies to everybody!   
..

Las largas noches de febrero nos ofrecen la ocasión de admirar el cielo del invierno en todo su esplendor. Las constelaciones más características de esta época, como Orión y Gémini, ya se encuentran muy altas en las primeras horas de la noche, enseñándonos sus preciados tesoros. Un buen telescopio nos permite escudriñar sus secretos, como la Nebulosa de Orión (M42), fantástico criadero de estrellas a unos 1500 años luz de nosotros, o el riquísimo cúmulo de Gémini(M35), no lejos de la brillante estrella múltiple Cástor. También al otro lado del cielo es posible admirar a la galaxia de Andrómeda (M31), que se nos presenta como un objeto magnífico pero débil y borroso, debido a la increíble distancia de más de 2 millones de años luz desde la Tierra.

Después del ocaso, los planetas Marte y Venus siguen resistiéndose a ponerse en el Oeste, mientras que en la parte opuesta del cielo Júpiter se levanta pasada la medianoche.

La Luna es la gran protagonista de la primera parte del cielo de febrero. No debemos perdernos la oportunidad de observarla con unos cuantos aumentos: nos desvelará los  misterios de sus mares y sus islas, sus cordilleras de montañas y sus enormes y profundos cráteres. A pesar de los 400.000 Km que nos separan, la Luna nunca deja de sorprendernos por la cantidad de detalles que podemos apreciar con nuestros telescopios.

¡Cielos despejados para todos!  

....

CONVERSATION WITH ANDY, CARLY AND MARISA

I had a great email conversation with photography enthusiast Andy Bailey the other week that i had to share his questions with our resident photographer Carly Higgins and here were our  answers: 

MARISA AND ANDY

I sell a lot of full spectrum cameras to astrophotographers but I have never been able to use one here in the uk due to light pollution. 

1) would I need to use a full spectrum camera or would a unmodified one be ok?

2) where is the closest point to corralejo where I could capture the Milky Way.  Could I achieve this in a single image or would I need to stack several shots?

3) I understand that at around 28mm I could use a maximum exposure of around 30 seconds. Does that sound right?

Could you advise what settings you would use?

I have various compact, bridge and dslr camera to choose from but would like to carry something practical and as cheap as possible. 

Hi Andy

You don't have to use a full spectrum camera. Most of our photos are taken with dslr's. As a collective we own full frame Canon body's and 3/4sensor bodies. Our previous photographer and the founder are Nikon lovers. As you can see from our website: www.starsbynight.es and Instagram account: instagram.com/starsbynightfv/ you can still produce amazing photos with basic equipment. 

We are very lucky in Fuerteventura that you don't have to go too far out to see the milky way or to see stars at night. We do observations just 5mins away from the RIU hotel near the dunes which is about 10min drive from the centre of Corralejo. You won't really see the Milky way in April. From July onwards we have a good view but September/October are the best months to see it with with the naked eye. Yes, you can take a photo of this in a single image. 

As for your 28mm lens... well that depends if its a full frame, APSC or Micro4/3  camera, what fstop of your lens ( this will change the light qualities depending on what sensor size you have)? What iso? as a general rule and depending on what you are shooting - be it milky way or stars in general, or light/star trails  you would be looking at anything from minimum of 20sec-30secs for a night photo ( depending on what you are photographing). 

If you are specifically looking at taking night time photos i  would recommend bringing a dslr with the widest and brightest lens you have. If this is not what you have then a good start would be something with a lens that is f4 and/or brighter (f2.8, f2, f1.8, f1.2 - are nice to play with). Yet you can still take a good quality photo with even a standard 18-55 kit lens if its only milky way that you want to shoot. 

 

CARLY AND ANDY

"Have you ever tried using a Ricoh theta S fir astrophography"

No I have never tried 360 degree photography

"The Milky Way is the object that I wanted to try and capture. I have several apps on my phone to help track it. I guess planets and nebulas would potential need longer exposures and equatorial mount. " 

You can capture images of the planets (looking like stars) using only a DSLR and actually as some are very bright you don't need a long exposure, but If you are looking to take more deep space images yes you would need a very long exposure so an equatorial mount or tracker of some kind would be essential.

"This is the style of photo I'd like to achieve. Astroscape!  Is the following a series of images (foreground / background) or still just the one?"( see above picture for reference)

This is all one image in camera, where possible I prefer to do this and reduce processing time

"If it's easy to explain how would you achieve the above image? "

This image is just a single exposure of 15s at f/2.8 and ISO 2000 and would be very easy for even a beginner to take, its the kind of image we will learn to take on workshops. It was a beautiful clear night and the milky way was clearly visible to the naked eye. There is of course a little post processing in Photoshop

"Finally one last question, assuming there was a clear sky with no foreground subject like the windmill, how would you advise achieving the image of the Milky Way like it is in the image above (assuming I was using an APS C with kit lens)"

You would need to use your widest angle lens to get as much of the sky in as possible, if you have a kit lens I am guessing something like 18-55mm which on a crop sensor is equivalent to 27mm on full frame - not massive wide but definitely workable. You also want to use the lowest aperture possible f/2.8 or below if you have it. Using the 500 hundred rule (something else we teach on the workshop) you can workout how long an exposure (shutter speed) you can have without starting to get star trails. For 27mm I would recommend no more than 18 seconds. You will then need to adjust your ISO to get a properly exposed image balancing it against the other 2 elements of the exposure triangle Aperture and Shutter Speed. It would be really great to have you attend a workshop as I can demonstrate exactly how to capture and image like this and work with you to get exactly what you want.

To note: content has been edited slightly to remove places and dates. 

who is Andy Bailey: INFRAREADYUK & BESTGHOSTHUNTING

 

.... JANUARY 2017 NIGHT SKY.. El año 2017 DE ENERO DE CIELO NOCTURNO....

IMG_9119 crop.jpg

....Winter is the season when our Earth passes at the closest distance from the Sun, but curiously enough the temperatures are the lowest in the year. This is due to the inclination of the axis of our planet, that in the northern hemisphere makes our star appear to be lower on the horizon and the days are shorter. On the other hand, as the nights are longer and the ecliptic is higher, reaching quite the zenith in our latitudes, this is the best season for the observation of the night sky.

Also its precious constellations, as Gemini, Taurus and Auriga, together with the ones which remind us of the myth of the giant hunter – Orion, his dogs and animals - show us their fantastic treasures.

Winter is the epoch of the great star clusters, such as the Pleiades and the Hyades, visible with naked eyes, or the far open clusters hidden in Auriga, Gemini or the Big Dog, as M35, M36 and M41, beautiful targets for our telescopes.

In the first part of January we can enjoy the Moon, which can show us, with different magnifications her impressive craters, her abrupt mountains, her broad seas scattered by isolated peaks, such as Montes Tenerife, a tribute to the first observatory located on a high mountain on the island nearby us.

¡Clear skies to everybody!   ..

 

El invierno es la estación en la que la Tierra se encuentra más cerca del Sol, pero curiosamente las temperaturas son las más bajas del año. Esto se debe a la inclinación el eje terrestre, que hace que en el hemisferio norte nuestra estrella se levante menos sobre el horizonte y los días sean más cortos. En cambio, las noches más largas y la posición más elevada de la eclíptica, que en nuestras latitudes alcanza casi el cenit, hacen del invierno la estación más propicia para la observación del cielo nocturno.

También sus preciosas constelaciones, como Gémini, Tauro y Auriga, así como aquellas que están relacionadas con el mito del gigante cazador, es decir Orión, sus perros y sus animales, nos enseñan sus brillantes tesoros.

El invierno es la época de los grandes racimos estelares, como las Pléyades y las Híades, visibles a simple vista, así como los lejanos cúmulos abiertos escondidos en Auriga, Gémini o el Can Mayor, tales como M35, M36 o M41, fantásticos objetos al alcance de nuestros telescopios.

En la primera mitad del enero podremos admirar también a la Luna, que con unos cuantos aumentos nos desvela sus impresionantes cráteres, sus agudas montañas, sus amplios mares salpicados por islas remotas, como los Montes Tenerife, así bautizados en homenaje al primer observatorio de alta montaña de la historia, el que alberga nuestra vecina occidental.

¡Cielos despejados para todos!  

....

The star of Bethlehem and the Three Kings

The celebration of Christmas prompts many people to recount the biblical story of three wise men guided to the birthplace of Jesus Christ by a bright object in the sky. There have been numerous possible scientific explanations of what the Star of Bethlehem may have been. 

It must be remembered that the Chaldeans who occupied Mesopotamia 2,000 years ago were assiduous observers of the night sky and were very familiar with the motions of the sun, moon and planets. The three kings were religious scholars known as the Magi - revered Babylonian astronomers and astrologists. They studied the stars and planets, interpreting the meaning behind cosmic events. Anything very unusual was considered an omen, so the star must have been both rare and visually spectacular, and if something very rare took place in the sky, the ancient skywatchers would have noticed it immediately.

After countless reading of articles i’ve summarised a few to ponder over:

  • One of those proposed possibilities played out in the night sky this year on August the 27th; an exceedingly close encounter between the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter which appears to almost touch. Venus-Jupiter encounter is one of those rare events, and something similar appeared in the sky more than 20 centuries ago. A rare apparition. The biblical account of the story of the Star of Bethlehem calls for not one, but two "stars." One to be seen at the start of the Magi's journey, while the other appearing to them upon their arrival in Bethlehem.  Interestingly, in August of 3 B.C., Venus and Jupiter were prominent in the predawn eastern sky, and on Aug. 12 they came within just 9 arc minutes (0.15 degrees) of each other as seen from the Middle East. Incidentally, this sign would have been seen by men "in the east," explaining the phrase in the Book of Matthew.  Ten months later, Venus and Jupiter got together again for an even more spectacular encore on June 17, 2 B.C., when at sundown from Babylonia they were separated by just 4 arc minutes of each other, about 35 degrees above the western horizon. As the sky grew dark, the two brightest planets drew closer to each other until finally at 9:15 p.m. local time they drew to within 36 arc seconds (0.01 degree) equal to the mean apparent width of Jupiter as seen through a telescope, at an altitude of 15 degrees above the horizon. To most people, the two planets must have appeared to coalesce into a single "star" somewhat brighter than Venus alone. The fact that Jupiter and Venus had such a close conjunction at this time in history has led some people theorize that it could be an explanation for the Star of Bethlehem. 
  • The other theory is that the star of Bethlehem was probably not a star at all, and that it was more than one single event.  Astronomer-astrologers reported omens to the king; these were anything unusual - perhaps the moon moving in front of a planet, or a lunar eclipse. Their job was to interpret the meaning of these phenomena. There was also an elite class of diviners who created nativity charts. They recorded the positions of the planets, the Sun, the Moon and other astronomical data at the time of a child's birth, in order to make predictions about that person's life.  Some believe that the wise men from the East, or the "Magi" of the nativity, were astrologers from Mesopotamia, and that the star rising in the east was the horoscope that predicted the birth of a king. If so, they were reading a nativity chart in reverse; they had the prediction and sought to find the child who had been born at that precise moment.

 

  • Best explanation for this series of events is something known as a triple conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn - with the two planets coming close together in the sky three times over a short period. This happens when] you get an alignment between the Sun, the Earth, Jupiter and Saturn.  Tim O'Brien, associate director of Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, suggests this would have looked striking. "It's remarkable how much your attention is drawn when two very bright objects come together in the sky," he explains.And once the planets lined up in their orbits, Earth would "overtake" the others, meaning that Jupiter and Saturn would appear to change direction in the night sky. "You would [only] get a triple conjunction like this about every 900 years," he says, so for astronomers in Babylon 2,000 years ago, it would have been a signal of something very significant."A triple conjunction of this kind ticks all the boxes."

 

  • Another explanation is a very bright comet.  While certainly spectacular and ethereal in appearance, comets are essentially "big, dirty snowballs" flying through space.  When they come close to the Sun, this ice melts - solar wind blows this material out into space, so you get a tail of matter coming off the comet,this tail, which points away from the Sun, is one of the things that has made the comet idea popular.  The most timely record was of a bright comet appearing in the constellation of Capricorn in 5BC, which was recorded by astronomers in China.

 

  • A less likely, but more famous candidate was Halley's comet, which was visible around 12BC.Those who favour this theory point out that the 5BC comet would have been in the southern sky as seen from Jerusalem, with the head of the comet close to the horizon and the tail is pointing vertically upward.

 

  • Another theory is that the star was light from the birth of a new star, or nova. There are records - again from astronomers in the Far East - of a new star in the small, northern constellation of Aquila in 4BC. People who like this theory say this new star would have been [positioned] directly over Jerusalem.  Dr Robert Cockcroft, manager of the McCallion Planetarium at McMaster University in Ontario says a nova is "a good candidate" for the star of Bethlehem.

 

From all us to you at StarsByNight, hope you have a fabulous holiday period!

 

 

 

 

Scale of the Universe

A fantastic interaction that shows you how small we are and how big out there is. Quick fun.  By moving the scroll bar across the bottom, you can explore, while clicking on different items will bring up the descriptive information. Created by Cary and Michael Huang. If you want to play with the interaction click on this link: http://scaleofuniverse.com/

.... NOVEMBER 2016 NIGHT SKY.. El año 2016 DE NOVIEMBRE DE CIELO NOCTURNO....

.... At the beginning of November, the Milky Way is not as bright, but is still offering us a beautiful picture in the first hours of the night, towards the South-East. Planet Mars is easy to recognize after sunset due to its reddish colour, crossing the Zodiac between Sagittarius and Capricorn in the South.

On the other side of the Milky Way, Perseus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda appear higher and higher every night from the North-Eastern horizon, telling us their troubled but happy-ended history. A telescope discovers in this area beautiful and fascinating objects, such as the Andromeda galaxy, the Double Cluster of Perseus, ET the extraterrestrial or the binary star Almach.

The Moon will not miss her date with her admirers, being the best days to watch her from the 5th to the 12th, just before its Full phase of the 14th. Don't miss the opportunity to observe her craters and mountains with a good telescope and under the guide of an expert: nobody will remain indifferent when looking at this incredible view.

Clear skies to everybody! 

..

En el mes de noviembre, la Vía Láctea pierde protagonismo, aunque nos ofrece todavía un interesante espectáculo a primeras horas de la noche hacia el suroeste. El planeta Marte sigue siendo fácil de reconocer después del ocaso debido a su color rojizo, mientras va cruzando la zona zodiacal entre Sagitario y Capricornio cerca del horizonte Sur. Al lado opuesto de la Vía Láctea, Perseo, Cassiopea y Andrómeda se levantan cada vez más desde el Noreste, contándonos su atormentada historia con final feliz. El telescopio nos descubre en esta zona objetos tan bonitos y fascinantes como la galaxia de Andrómeda, el Cúmulo Doble de Perseo, ET el extraterrestre o la estrella binaria Almach.

Y la Luna tampoco faltará a la cita este mes, siendo los días mejores para admirarlas entre el 5 y el 12, antes del plenilunio del 14. No se pierdan la oportunidad de observarla y descubrir sus cráteres y sus montañas con la ayuda de un experto y de un buen telescopio: nadie se quedará indiferente antes este espectáculo.

¡Cielos despejados para todos!  

  ....