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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! ....


....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!....

....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!  

....

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

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....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!  

....

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!  

  ....

....STAR STRUCK CHATTING WITH OUR STAR GUIDE. 5 minute interview with Iñaki .. STAR STRUCK! CHARLA CON EL GUÍA STAR. Entrevista de 5 minutos con Iñaki....

.... Iñaki is the latest member of the team at StarsbyNight. Inaki's storytelling, knowledge and charisma capture the  audience as he enlightens the night with his  light shows and unusual locations to tell us all about the night sky. Come and join him in Spanish on Sunday nights, or in English on Tueday nights.

Tell me, what is the difference between an Astronomer and a Star Guide?

An astronomer is a person who is dedicated to the science and physics of his profession. Imagine! This is not me! I have a basic knowledge of Astronomy and recognise the different places in the night sky. Simply, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with people, in a friendly and fun way. My passion is my job and I love it! 

What started your interest in the night sky?

From a young age I liked to stop and observe the stars, but the first time I began to understand the constellations and how to orientate myself by the stars was whilst I was on a survival course in the wild.

Where are you from?

I was born in Benicasim, a small village on the east coast of Spain, just above Valencia.

What attracted you to Fuerteventura?

I was in Nicaragua, when a friend told me that Fuerteventura had good waves for surf and good wind for kiting. I checked online and discovered that the island is also a Starlight Reserve!! In a few days I had bought my plane ticket and I am here!

What can you see in Fuerteventura in the sky?

The great thing about Fuerteventura is the clear skies and if you move away from the urbans centres where there is little light pollution than you can enjoy the starry skies that are not easy to find anymore! 

Where else/other countries have you been teaching people about the night?

I created my own way of communicating to the people about the stars above in Andalusia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras.

Have you gone anywhere unusual?

I have visited some 30 countries till now; Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, different islands in the Indian Ocean and Central and North America….many beautiful places, always travelling with my rucksac, but unusual? My travels are quite normal for a person who is accustomed to travel, we are all on planet Earth. I would like one day to see planet Earth from Space. hahaha. 

What are constellations?

The sky is divided into 88 parts and each of these parts forms a group of stars that we call constellations. The oldest civilsations named these constealltions after an animal or person (some need more imagination than others), to make it easier for the people to remember them. They are also a great point of reference for astrnomers of all epcos, even today.  

Imagine that I ask you where is Madrid. Well, the answer will be in Europe, and in Spain more specifically.

Now, if the question is where is the Galaxy M31, also known as Andromeda. Well you must look to the part of the sky where you will find the Adromeda constealtion and M31 is specifically situated close to the star Andromeda. Like this all astrnomers know the place in the sky that they are looking for.

How many constellations are there?

There are 88 different constellations between the northern and southern hemisphere.  In the northern hemisphere, the most common visible are the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. These constealtions are visible throughout the whole year. The Ursa Major is very easy to recognize as it’s stars are very bright, compared to Ursa Minor that has less bright stars, however, it does have our main star, Polaris, the polar star that always shows the north. 

Do you need a telescope to see the night sky?

No, the only thing necessary is that we learn and enjoy the night sky with our eyes. Other tools, like telescopes and binoculars help us to observe deeper space objects that we find further away or less bright. But to start with this view is more than sufficient.

Any funny stories that you can tell us?

I remember when travelling with my equipment that I have created to share astronomical information, a briefcase with strange lights. I would always cause a stir at the airports, with security thinking I had some kind of bomb. It always ended well with a little display of how my materials work capturing the interest of everyone around.  In the Dominican Republic I even bumped in to one such “observer”.  It was my briefcase that he remembered! We  become good friends. 

Thanks Iñaki

.. 

Iñaki es el último miembro del equipo de StarsbyNight. Iñaki de la narración, el conocimiento y carisma capturar a la audiencia mientras se ilumina la noche con sus espectáculos de luz y lugares inusuales para contarnos todo sobre el cielo nocturno.  Venir y unirse a él en español domingos por la noche o en Inglés martes por la noche.  

¿Dime cuál es la diferencia entre una guía de astronomía estrella?

Un astrónomo es una persona que se dedica a la ciencia o física de forma profesional…imagino! Yo no soy nada de eso,tengo conocimientos básicos sobre astronomía y reconozco los diferentes lugares en el cielo nocturno. Simplemente disfruto compartiendo mis conocimientos con la gente común de una forma agradable y divertida así que mi pasión se ha convertido en mi trabajo, y me encanta!

¿Lo que comenzó su interés en el cielo nocturno?

Desde pequeño me ha gustado pararme a observar las estrellas pero la primera vez que comencé a entender sobre las constelaciones fue durante un curso de supervivencia en la naturaleza, ahí nos enseñaron a orientarnos por las estrellas. 

¿De donde eres?

He nacido en Benicasim, un pequeño pueblo en la costa este de España, justo por encima de Valencia.

¿Lo que atrajo a Fuertenventura?

Estaba en Nicaragua y un chico al que conocí me dijo que en Fuerteventura había buenas olas para surfear y buen viento para hacer kite, luego miré en internet y vi que era una reserva Starlight. En pocos días compré el billete de avión y aquí estoy. 

Qué se puede ver en Fuerteventura en el cielo?

Lo bueno que tiene Fuerteventura son sus cielos despejados y si te alejas un poco de los centros urbanos la poca contaminación lumínica te deja disfrutas de unos cielos estrellados que no es fácil de encontrarlos.

¿En qué otro / otros países lleva enseñando a la gente acerca de la noche?

He realizado actividades de observación de estrellas en Andalucía, República Dominicana, Nicaragua y Honduras. 

¿Ha ido a cualquier lugar inusual?

He visitado unos 30 países hasta ahora. He visitado Asia, Africa, Europa, el Caribe, diferentes islas en el océano Índico, Centro américa y norte america…muchos lugares bonitos, siempre viajando con mi mochila pero…inusual? Bastante usuales para una persona que está acostumbrada a viajar, eso sí, todos ellos dentro del planeta tierra, me encantaría un día poder ver la tierra desde el espacio, jajaja. 

 ¿Cuáles son las constelaciones?

El cielo está dividido en 88 partes y cada una de esas partes la forma una agrupación de estrellas a la que llamamos constelación. Las antiguas civilizaciones les han dado la forma de algún objeto o persona, (eso sí, con mucha imaginación) característica así es más fácil para la gente de recordarla. Y sirve a los astrónomos para saber dónde mirar en el cielo. 

Imaginen que os pregunto donde está Madrid. Pues la respuesta sería en el continente Europeo y en España más concretamente. 

Ahora si os pregunto dónde está la galaxia M 31 (también conocida como galaxia de Andrómeda). Pues debéis mirar al lado del cielo donde se encuentra la constelación de Andrómeda y más concretamente cerca de la estrella μ Andromedae. Así los astrónomos saben a que lugar del cielo deben observar para encontrar el objeto en concreto.

¿Cuántas constelaciones?

En el cielo existen 88 constelaciones diferentes entre el hemisferio norte y el hemisferio sur.  En el hemisferio norte es posible que la más común sea la de la Osa Mayor y la Osa Menor. Son constelaciones que podemos ver a lo largo de todo el año. La Osa Mayor es muy fácil de reconocer ya que todas sus estrellas son muy brillantes y las estrellas de la Osa Menor son menos brillantes pero su estrella principal es Polaris, la estrella polar, que siempre nos señalará el norte. 

¿Necesita un telescopio para ver el cielo nocturno?

Nada de eso, lo único que necesitamos para aprender y disfrutar el cielo nocturno son nuestros ojos. Otras herramientas como telescopios o prismáticos nos ayudarán a ver objetos que se encuentran más lejos o son menos brillantes. Pero para comenzar con nuestra vista es más que suficiente.

¿Alguna historia divertida que nos pueden decir?

Pues recuerdo que cuando viajaba con mi material para divulgar información sobre astronomía tenía un maletín con unas luces un poco peculiar. Y en los aeropuertos siempre me paraban pensando que era una bomba o algo raro, siempre tenía que hacerles una pequeña exposición sobre la actividad y la gente de aduana terminaban muy interesados. Incluso una vez, en República Dominicana, coincidí en un restaurante dos meses después de pasar por el aeropuerto con un hombre que me reconoció tras verme en el aeropuerto haciendo la exposición en la aduana. El hombre me dijo, ¿tu viajas con un maletín muy raro verdad? Nos hicimos buenos amigos. 

Gracias Iñaki.

....

BUYING A TELESCOPE

I wrote this article in 2012 when StarsbyNight was just a passionate project that Karen (founder of SBN) would brainstorm with me on how to make her passion into a reality. We were both uber excited and it was a massive learning curve, even in buying equipment. After the years have passed we know a lot more and technology and equipment and brands  are evolving but the theory and idea behind buying your first telescope still apply. 

I just want to add , just like buying a new camera lens, that the most important characteristic of a telescope is its aperture — the diameter of its light-gathering lens or mirror, often called the objective. Look for the telescope's specifications near its focuser, at the front of the tube, or on the box. The aperture's diameter (D) will be expressed either in millimeters.  Your telescope should have at least 2.8 inches (70 mm) aperture — and preferably more.

The little bit I know about buying a telescope - 21/12/2012

Let me start by saying I am no expert. My experience in the past is selling and using photographic equipment in a professional capacity. I wanted to buy a telescope. After doing a lot of research I found its really similar to buying a camera. My colleagues are in the process of buying a high end telescope for our clients to view the night sky here in Fuerteventura, but I would like one so I can learn at home in the meantime. Sure I can use the fancy one they will buy, but I’m occasional user, I have more of an amateur interest rather than a professional one.

Questions I used to always ask my customers in photography. ‘What is the main purpose for?’ ‘In what conditions?” ‘How often would you use it? ‘Is it for you? ” ‘what previous experience do you/or other person have?”  “What do you really want to do with a it?” ‘how much money do you want to spend?”

I’ve done a lot of research. What I used to find often with cameras is people have too much money, buy the latest thing that has all the bells and whistles and never use it to its full capacity and it sits in the corner of the room gathering dust and just looking pretty. It appears its the same with telescopes. I also asked an ex colleague who worked for a company who specialized in astronomy gear and he said the same. He said. “ If someone wanted to spend under £200 I would probably recommend a good pair of binoculars that last a lifetime. Often what happens is the  kind of telescope people think they want and what they really need are two different things.”

I was told do not even consider a telescope that advertises it power on the box (300x, 500x,650x, 725x).  Avoid telescopes that are advertised by their magnification — especially implausibly high powers like 600×. For most purposes, a telescope's maximum useful magnification is 50 times its aperture in inches (or twice its aperture in millimeters).  Even the best telescopes are limited to about 50x-75x per inch (25.4mm) of aperture. The big number with a ‘x’ after it, I was told  is actually a  marketing ploy and high-powered scopes tend to have fixed eyepieces. What you want is a removable eyepiece. Also even though these type of telescopes appear attractive advertised with a high number, all this means is the high magnification the light is gathered and spread over a larger area making it fuzzy and faint.  You should look for the magnification in the eyepiece. You calculate a telescope's maximum useful magnification by multiplying the size of the lens or mirror in inches by 50.  I was also told that alower power/magnification in the telescope tends to provide a better viewing experience.

Start with binoculars. If you don’t have much money and don’t want to spend over the £200 mark you may be happier with a very good pair of binos. Even for travel its actually quite a good idea to have a back up anyways of about 10x50, 7x50 for a more general use or an 8x56 or a 9x63 for something a bit more ‘astro’ and its less heavier, but can be slightly expensive. Buy something you can use, not something you will get frustrated with . If it rattles when you shake it, try a different pair of binos. Good telescopes will be expensive regardless of the type. Cheap binoculars are much, much more useful than cheap telescopes and  good binoculars can last you forever.

What you can see with a pair of binoculars look at this link: http://www.lightandmatter.com/binosky/binosky.html

binocular basics: http://www.chuckhawks.com/binocular_basics.htm

Should I get a refractor or a reflector telescope?

Now I had to get some help to explain this from another website as I couldn’t think of the any other way to explain it but share someone else’s informationhttp://www.astronomyforbeginners.com/equipment/telescope.php:

Reflector

Reflectors have one open end and a curved mirror at the back. Light is reflected and focused by this mirror onto a secondary mirror, which reflects it up into the eyepiece. Refractors are generally cheaper per inch of aperture and are in general better for the beginner on a budget, but aren't very good for ground observing, as the image is upside-down.

Refractor

refractor1.jpg

A refractor has a lens at the front which refracts light from the stars and focuses it at the eyepiece (often by means of a 45° mirror-in which case the image is reversed left-to-right). The image is the right way up meaning that these are better suited if you want to do ground observing as well. If the optics are good, then refractors can form better images, but are usually more expensive per inch of aperture.

Reflector telescopes have one optical surface (less mirrors) and tend to be cheaper and have no chormatic abberration. The mirror in this type of telescope may need recoating after years of use but if you are a beginner like me and will not use it outside on a rough surface (and tend to use it on your balcony like me) and not have much money then these type are a quick fix to look at the sky.

Refracting telescopes the light bends from one medium to another. A refractor uses two lenses. At one end, is the larger lens is called the objective. On the other end is the lens you look through, called the ocular or eyepiece. Also an advantage of a refractor is that by default they have a totally clear aperture and are low maintenance. A disadvantage is that some telescope lens/glass pieces will give off  chormatic aberrations. The only way I can describe it with my experience is light fringing around a subject like you get where you take a photo with a cheap lens on a sunny day sometimes the object has a faint fuzz around it, also kind of like a lens flare.  Inexpensive refractors have problems with false color, but they are often more compact and therefore better for traveling. Also, refractors tend to give more pleasing views when used in the daylight. Most reflectors tend to be very large by comparison, but will have better light gathering capability.  I was also told that whether buying either telescope look out for2.4 inch (60mm) and 3.1 inch(80mm) refractors and 4.5 inch and 6 inch reflectors are popular for most amateurs. Your new scope should have at least 1 eyepiece, and often 2 or 3. An eyepiece is rated by millimeters (mm), with smaller numbers indicating higher magnification. A 25mm eyepiece is common and appropriate for most beginners.While a higher magnification eyepiece may provide more details, it may be harder to keep an object in view, unless you are using a motorized mount. They also require the scope to gather more light to provide a clearer image.

A lower power eyepiece makes it easier to find objects and keep them in view. Lower magnification eyepieces require less light, so viewing dimmer objects is easier.

Remember the view through a telescope with not be exact to what you see in astrophotography on the internet or magazines. Planets will be tinier and some not in fantastic colours .

I started getting lost looking at all the brands. It seemed for over the £200 mark, the Meade does a introductory good telescope for anything over the £350 you are looking at more advanced Meade, Newtonians, Dobinsonians and Stellarvuemodels.  Lower cost options can include Maksutov-Cassegrains and “long” achromatic refractors.  Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (SCT) can also offer pleasing views of the planets.

I recommend trying before buying. Observe through as many telescopes as you can, and ask as many questions as you can think of. Ask about setup time, maintenance and accessories.

This is a great list of things to help you set up your basic kit: http://www.astronomy.com/Equipment/How-To.aspx

To me it really is buying an extension of my camera equipment. Learning about glass wear, apertures and brands from various websites, magazines and asking professionals has helped me. Hopefully it won't just sit in the corner of my room.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional but someone who is interested. Within our team we have a professional astronomer but I write this article out of pure interest and passion for a subject am learning about.

 

 


  

.... OCTOBER 2016 NIGHT SKY.. El año 2016 DE OCTUBRE DE CIELO NOCTURNO ....

Listen to the master.jpg

....Entering October, the Milky Way in Sagittarius appears more and more vertical, till it is swallowed by the southern horizon. At the same time, another arm of our galaxy, the Perseus's, shines more and more in the North-East, introducing the most typical constellations of the Autumn, as Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Perseus himself. This area is very rich in Deep-Sky objects, such as Andromeda's galaxy, the Double Cluster or the E.T. cluster; a good telescope will help us in discovering them quite easily.

Among the planets, both Mars and Saturn are setting down early, saying good-by till the next year. On the other hand, the Moon accompanies us during the first part of the month. The view she offers through a telescope is by far the most amazing we can see of a celestial body: in spite of the 400.000 Km of distance which separate us, her craters and mountains, her seas and their accidents emerge and offer us an unforgettable view.

Clear skies to everybody!  

..

Con la llegada de octubre, la Vía Láctea de Sagitario va poniéndose cada vez más vertical, hasta hundirse poco a poco tragada por el horizonte sur. En cambio, otro brazo de nuestra galaxia, él de Perseo, va adquiriendo cada vez más protagonismo, arrastrando las constelaciones más típicas de otoño, como Cassiopea, Pégaso y el mismo Perseo. Esta zona es muy rica en objetos de Cielo Profundo, como la galaxia de Andrómeda, el Cúmulo Doble o el cúmulo de ET, que un buen telescopio nos puede descubrir con facilidad.

Entre los planetas, tanto Marte como Saturno desaparecen cada día más pronto en el horizonte oeste, saludándonos ya hasta el año que viene. En cambio, la Luna nos acompaña durante la primera parte del mes. El espectáculo que nos ofrece por medio de un buen telescopio es el más detallado que podemos admirar en otro cuerpo celeste: a pesar de los 400.000 kilómetros de distancia que nos separan, los cráteres y las montañas, los mares y los accidentes de su superficie sobresalen delante de nuestros ojos y no dejan indiferente a ningún observador.

¡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/