dark sky observatory

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Airglow waves. Do you you think our night sky is pitch black ? Have a look at this timelapse video. I captured it at Carnegie Las Campamas observatory. Those red waves are not clouds (!) - this is pretty intense airglow, which takes place in upper atmosphere. It’s very interesting to see how the waves move. While camera pans you will notice on the foreground both 6.5-m Magellan telescopes, as well as nicely setting Milky Way. I hope you’ll enjoy the view ! :) Music: “Airglow” by © Club 220

Aurora, Luna and comet.

Shortly after sunset, whose glow is still visible in the background, Ingólfur Bjargmundsson snapped this image of the Aurora Borealis and comet Panstarrs. The comet is visible as a smudge above the sunset and below the right hand streamer of glowing charged particles that channel the energy of the solar wind down towards the surface. Barring the stars all the light in this image derives from Sol.

This image is part of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London.

Loz

Image credit: Ingólfur Bjargmundsson

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yuribeletsky Airglow ocean. Majestic view at the colors of the night above Pacific ocean and Atacama desert in Chile. Have a look at this timelapse video. I captured it at Carnegie Las Campamas observatory. The red airglow waves totally dominated the night sky and you can see how they change over the period of few hours. It’s quite remarkable ! Have you seen anything like that ? I hope you’ll enjoy the view ! Music by © Czarek Zieliński. 

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Crystal clear night sky above Mauna kea Observatory, on the Big Island of Hawaii. One of the world’s best spots for astronomical observations, it is also the most sacred land for the native nation. At 4205m (13800ft) it is the highest point on the entire Pacific Ocean. In fact the dormant volcano is 10,200 meters tall when measured from base (in the ocean) to peak! While the peak is a popular destination for tourists sunrise to sunset, it is closed to visitors at night due to safety (high altitude hazards) and the disturbance of car lights on the telescopes. The stargazing fans and astro-tourists enjoy the night from the more temperate altitude of the visitor center at 3000m (9000ft). In fact we see more stars from this level compared to the peak due to increased oxygen level! In this #timelapse the Milky Way’s galactic core in Sagittarius sets above one of the twin Keck telescopes (each with a 10m mirror), operating a strong yellow laser for its adaptive optics system which removes the atmospheric turbulence from the image. On the right is the 8-meter Japanese Subaru telescope. In the second half of the video the moon rises in the sky. Follow me @babaktafreshi for more of the world’s starry nights. 

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La Palma in the Canary Islands, was one of the first places in the world to apply the Sky Law, which states - An unpolluted night sky that allows the enjoyment and contemplation of the firmament should be considered an inalienable right equivalent to all other socio-cultural and environmental rights. This law protects La Palma from all forms of light pollution and as a result of which, it boasts of truly dark skies, apt for astrophotography in all its forms.

In September of 2016, i spent two sleep deprived weeks on this beautiful island, whilst capturing over 20000 images. These, I have strung together in the timelapse - Heavens On Earth La Palma .

While i was editing the images i decided to make the music to accompany it as well ….

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This film was shot over 11 nights in March on La Palma, Canary Islands. La Palma is often called ‘Europes’ Hawaii’ as it has all the ingredients for a perfect night sky cocktail; altitude, dry air and a lack of light pollution. These elements when combined make for a stunning night sky. Because of it’s clean air and clear skies many of the worlds top observatories have facilities on top of the island.

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Night sky and a laser firing from an observatory over the cloud deck (Atacama desert I think) - the laser hits sodium ions in the high atmosphere and can be used by the observatory to focus, correcting for atmospheric effects.

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NASA’s SOFIA mission, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is literally a telescope stuck in the back of a 747 that flies at altitudes higher than typical commercial jets, above the tropopause (the altitude that clouds usually stop at. That gives them a view of the heavens not typically seen out the windows of planes. This video shakes a bit because it’s a handheld camera, but this is the view they get out the window. Despite a full moon, the Milky Way can be seen, in addition to light pollution below penetrating the clouds from a number of cities. Saturn and Mars can be seen at the upper right as the particularly bright dots, plus a lot of meteors. 

Hide the moon, the stars appear

I don’t know what last week’s eclipse (see http://on.fb.me/1jbMBmQ) was like for you, but I had a view of Luna not unlike this one from my balcony in rural France, albeit with a different backdrop, since this amazing shot was taken at the Las Campanas observatory in Chile’s Atacama desert. The two domes in the foreground house the twin Magellan telescopes, each boasting a 6.5 metre mirror. The red colour comes from reflected light of sunsets and rises, which have the blue wavelengths absorbed by their passage through the atmosphere and its contents of dust. The dim red green glow is the phenomenon known as airglow (see http://on.fb.me/1Mde3HA for an explanation).

Loz

Image credit: Yuri Beletsky via EPOD