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....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!  

....

100000 STARS CHROME WORKSHOP EXPERIMENT

We love this. Fantastic idea!

Called 100,000 stars  this is a fully-immersive 3D plot of (in fact) 119,617 stars. This is an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood created for the Google Chrome web browser/App. It shows the real location of nearby stars. Zooming in reveals 87 individually identified stars and our solar system. The galaxy view is an artist's rendition.

According to Aaron Koblin's blog posting to announce the project, "Visualizing the exact location of every star in the galaxy is a problem of, well, galactic proportions. With over 200 billion stars, capturing every detail of the Milky Way currently defies scientists and laptops alike. However, using imagery and data from a range of sources, including NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), we were recently able to take one small step in that direction by plotting the location of the stars closest to our sun.

"The result is a new Chrome Experiment called 100,000 Stars that visualizes the stellar neighborhood. Using your mouse or trackpad, you can zoom in and out to explore our galaxy. Zooming in reveals the names of the most prominent stars close to our sun - click each name to learn more about it and see a digital rendition."

Koblin concludes, "As you explore this experiment, we hope you share our wonder for how large the galaxy really is. It's incredible to think that this mist of 100,000 measurable stars is a tiny fraction of the sextillions of stars in the broader universe." Author: Google Data Arts Team Sources: Programmed by some space enthusiasts at Google. Galaxy images provided by Wikipedia and ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5m/R.Gendler and A. Hornstrup. Star renderings derived from Wikipedia Sun images courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams. Star data provided by: HYG Database, by Astronomy Nexus Gliese/Jahreiß Catalog, by Dr. Wilhelm Gliese and Dr. Hartmut Jahreiss Bright Star Catalog (5th edition), by Dr. E. Dorrit Hoffleit and Dr. Wayne H. Warren Jr, and the Department of Astronomy at Yale University HIPPARCOS Catalog (3rd Edition) by the European Space Agency.

Click on this link and you can play with the real thing:

http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/