February 2015: The Red Planet by Clyde Foster
This image of Mars, taken May 2014 only a few months after opposition, was captured from a suburban back yard in Centurion, near Pretoria. It captures the area
where Curisoity rover is operating in Gale crater. Image is centred on the
Elysium region. Morning Vapour clouds visible close to the North polar
cap(NPC) on the terminator(left). Vapour cloud also visble over Olympus Mons
almost on the bright rim(upper right).
January 2015: Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) by Kos Coronaios
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is currently passing near the constellation Orion, and is a naked eye object (for those in dark skies). This image was supplied by Kos Coronaios
December 2014: Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) by Leslie Rose
As December begins, Orion returns to the evening Sky. Leslie Rose captured this image of the Horsehead Nebula in Orion (and a few other familiar objects as well).
November 2014: Emission Nebula M8 in Sagittarius by Andre Potgieter
We’ve featured the Lagoon nebula before, only a few months back, but this recent submission by Andre Potgieter is enough of a step up from the previous image that I’ve decided it’s worth showing off. The Lagoon Nebula, the 8th entry in Charles Messier’s famous catalogue of deep sky objects, is a vast cloud of molecular hydrogen in the constellation Sagittarius. It’s pink glow shines from molecules excited by intense ultraviolet radiation from the hot young stars, freshly formed within its depths.
October 2014: The Helix, NGC 7293, in Aquarius by Andre Potgieter
This image of the Helix Nebula was submitted by Andre Potgieter. The Helix is a planetary nebula, although that description is misleading. Planetary nebulae are large shells of hot gas ejected from the surfaces of old stars, and have nothing to do with planets. The name comes from the superficial resemblance, in a small telescope, to one of the outer gas giant planets.
August 2014: M8 - The Lagoon Nebula by Allen Versfeld
This image of the Lagoon Nebula was taken by Allen Versfeld under a moderately dark sky just West of Centurion, Gauteng. The Lagoon is an emission nebula, in the constellation Sagittarius.