Eagle Nebula – 29th July 2011

•July 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

An  interesting picture of the Eagle Nebula that we took today.

Latest On Comet Elenin

•July 29, 2011 • 39 Comments

The latest calculations on Elenin’s orbit shows that Elenin will pass Earth on October 16th at a distance of  34.9 million km , or 91 times further away than our Moon.

For anyone still worried that Elenin is going to be an issue for Earth as some websites are predicting with their doom and gloom theories, please refer to this article in Universe Today by Australian astronomer Ian Musgrave

http://www.universetoday.com/87619/worried-about-comet-elenin-faqs-from-ian-musgrave/

A Short Note on Earth’s Orbit

•July 7, 2011 • 7 Comments

The Earth is now at aphelion, its farthest point from the Sun for 2011.

 

To be precise we reached aphelion on July 4 with Earth at a distance of  1.01677 AU or 152,106,758 km from the Sun.

NGC 5866

•July 6, 2011 • 7 Comments

We have spent way too much time on Elenin and conspiracies and will return to our primary reason for this blog……. astronomy.

Our next post on Elenin will be when NASA begins showing images of elenin late July or early August.

The picture below is taken of NGC 5866and you can clearly see the dust running through this galaxy.

NGC 5866 6th July 2011 (Click to Enlarge)

Why Has NASA Not Taken Hubble Pictures of Comet Elenin

•July 5, 2011 • 26 Comments

We have had many people ask us why NASA has not taken pictures of Elenin with the hubble telescope. After all Hubble would take great pictures of the comet.

Well the answer is simple. The Hubble is not sitting around in orbit waiting for something to do. There is a queue a mile long from members of the scientific community who want to use Hubble and have to submit a scientific proposal  which is then reviewed and approved before time is booked for using the Hubble telescope.

As we mentioned in our last post, there is very little interest in comet Elenin by the scientific community. There are that many comets around that once you have seen one the rest of them pretty much look like each other.

There are some pretty important studies going on with the hubble and looking at a comet is pretty much way down the list of priorities.

Current Hubble missions for 5th July are :

-Study of Kuiper Belt Binaries to probe Early Solar System Evolution

– Study Dark Energy Associated with Supernovae and Clusters

– Study Dwarf Galaxies to Better Understand Galaxy Formation and Evolution

Perform Survey of a Complete Sample of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the Local Universe

Study  Stalled Preplanetary Nebulae

The list above is performed by the Hubble today….. tomorrow other scientific proposals that have been approved will be using the Hubble.

NASA has already booked 2 weeks of valuable time with the STEREO spacecraft-B to turn it around and take pictures of comet elenin which everyone with Internet access will be able to see.

Jul 31 - Aug 12	Behind: Spacecraft rolls to observe comet Elenin

Comet Elenin Becoming A Disappointment to Astronomers

•July 5, 2011 • 24 Comments

The size and brightness of comet elenin is becoming a disappointment to more astronomers who are now beginning to lose interest in the comet.  Sydneystargazers also predicted this a month or so ago that Elenin may end up a fizzer like the last visit of Halley’s comet. We will still document it here but don’t expect too much fuss about Elenin in the scientific community.

Comet Elenin is currently south of the ecliptic plane but will move north of the ecliptic plane on the 14th of September at a distance of 0.6 AU from Earth or 89,758,800 km ( 233 times further away than our Moon).

When comet Elenin passes Earth at it’s closest distance on October 16 it will be 0.03 AU or 4.5 million km north of the ecliptic plane.

According to the latest orbital data on Elenin updated 3 days ago, when comet elenin passes Earth not only will it be well above  the Earth’s orbit but it will also be  0.233 AU (34.8 million km away from Earth or 90 times further away than our Moon.

And since the comet will be north of the ecliptic plane, so will it’s tail. This most likely means we will not even see any meteor showers when Elenin passes.

For those who don’t know, the ecliptic plane  is the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

So to summarize…..

When it passes Earth October 16, comet Elenin will be well north of the ecliptic plane and 34.8 million km away.

Not exactly close since the minimum distance Venus gets to Earth every 1.5 years is 38 million km.

Data on Elenin suggests that the comet is only about 3 or 4km in size which makes it rather a small sized comet.  Hopefully it will be still visible in the sky later this year but it certainly is not going to live up to the expectations of it currently circulating around the Internet.

Comet Elenin 2nd July 2011

•July 2, 2011 • 5 Comments

Comet Elenin is no longer visible from our original observing location with the comet being just 17 degrees above the horizon.

We reserved time on a secondary telescope in a different country where the position of Elenin is a little higher in the sky….. however as you can see by the picture below we are getting a lot of interference from it’s low position to the horizon.

The picture below left shows a closer shot to comet elenin while the image below right is smaller but much each easier to see.

 

Elenin 2nd July (Click to Enlarge)

Some Quick Notes on Comet Elenin

•July 2, 2011 • 17 Comments

We will try and take another picture of comet elenin today. If weather or conditions do not allow the picture opportunity today, we will try again in the next few days.

We note that there are still conspiracy videos being added to the Internet almost daily about Elenin and one person still keeps on referring to Elenin as “the ELE dwarf star”. When will Terral03 learn that Elenin is just a comet.

Sydneystargazers would just like to remind people that these people who are littering the Internet with rubbish about Elenin have not provided any evidence to back up their claims……..  so their stories should be completely dismissed.

We are now seeing some people claiming that the Sun is now showing less sunspots because elenin is coming. All we can wonder is where are people coming up with this rubbish and what is their motive for spreading this misinformation about comet elenin.

We are mentioning this because on a daily basis we are still getting a large amount of emails from people concerned about what they are hearing about elenin.

Our message is simple…… do not believe the wild stories you are hearing. Just because a video is uploaded to YouTube does not make it fact.

Elenin is just another comet and if you have not seen a comet before in the sky then this will hopefully be a great opportunity for you to see one later this year.

Update:

We have added the following to answer a question left in this post about comet elenin and we thought this would be useful to other people

1. Elenin travels once around the sun every 11,000 years. When it reaches it’s furthest distance from the Sun, it’s speed is so slow that the gravity of the Sun becomes strong enough to begin pulling it back in towards the Sun again. The orbit of comet Elenin can be roughly estimated but is effected by the gravity of other planets that it passes along the way. However for that to happen the comet would have to be close enough to be effected by the planets gravitational field otherwise it’s orbit is not effected.

2. The Hill Sphere is a distance of 1.5 million km around Earth within which any object will be effected by gravity. The further from Earth the object within that range, the less the object is effected by gravity. Our Moon orbits is within the first 25% of the Earth’s Hill Sphere which is why the Moon constantly orbits us. On October 16, Elenin will reach it’s closest distance to Earth which is 34.98 million km from Earth. This is roughly 96 times further away than our moon.This means that Elenin is too far away from Earth to have it’s orbit effected in any way by Earth.

3. There has been wild speculation of aliens controlling the orbit of elenin. This is pure science fiction by people who keep on thinking that Elenin is a dwarf star or in fact Nibiru. When this story was first dreamed up , the story stated that the aliens would even land on the front lawn of the White House. You can tell this is just science fiction . After all, how do these people know that……did they receive an email from Elenin. As we have said before, stories like this are just that…stories…… which have unfortunately escalated thanks to sites like You Tube.

In 1910, Halley’s comet paqssed Earth at a distance of 24 million km. As we said above, Elenin will pass us at a distance of nearly 35 million km. This means that despite what some conspiracy sites say about Elenin being the closest comet to ever pass Earth….. that is incorrect. Halley’s comet still holds that record.

In case people have not seen it, below is the only known picture of Halley’s Comet when it passed in 1910. The streaks in the bottom left hand corner are caused by city lights.

To give you an idea how far away Halley was at that time and to give you an idea of what Elenin will look like in October 2011, the white object below Halley in the picture is not the Moon…. it is Venus. Of course you don’t see Venus this large with the naked eye and you would need to use a telescope.

Only Known Picture of Halley's Comet 1910

Based on our study of Comet Elenin, Sydneystargazers pretty much can make a prediction what Elenin will look like in our skies come October 2011.

We put together a photo (photoshop) with Venus and Elenin together to give you an idea of how the comet will look.

Our Picture of How What We Believe Elenin Will Look Like in October 2011 (Click to Enlarge)

So What Did Happen to Asteroid 2011MD?

•July 2, 2011 • 3 Comments

This is NOT asteroid 2011MD (Click to Enlarge)

Well 2011MD passed us at a distance of 12,000 km and as predicted did not pose a threat to us or even take out any of our satellites.

While it was true this was a close asteroid, as it was only 10 metres in size it would have burned up in our atmosphere had it entered our atmosphere.

We have seen a couple of videos out on the Net and we took a snapshot of these 2 videos and show them above left. These claim to be Asteroid 2011MD however this is not the case. The videos appear to be of the same object taken from 2 different time zones and appear to record the burning up of space junk or an old satellite in our atmosphere. Asteroid 2011MD did not enter our atmosphere nor did it burn up as these pictures suggest.

Below we have an actual picture of the asteroid.

This IS Asteroid 2011MD (Click to Enlarge)

 

Latest on Asteroid 2011MD

•June 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Our calculations still have the close flyby of Asteroid 2011 MD at a distance of 18550 km from Earth’s atmosphere.

We saw the other day a comment where someone suggested that if the calculations were wrong and the asteroid then entered our atmosphere that there would be a big disaster.

As we mentioned in our last post, this is only a 10 meter wide asteroid so if in the unlikely scenario it did enter our atmosphere, it would burn up in the atmosphere long before it had a chance to reach the ground.

 

The Close approach of Asteroid 2011 MD

•June 24, 2011 • 5 Comments

2011 MD is a small asteroid of about 5 to 10 metres which will pass us on June 27 UT time….

Yes this will be a close asteroid to Earth and we have heard that it will be around 12,000km from Earth when it passes.

We actually calculate it to be 18,000km based on the data for the asteroid yesterday.

Since geostationery satellites are in an orbit 36,000 km above Earth, you can tell that there is a small chance that one satellite may get in the way of the asteroid…or suffer a glancing blow.
But we don’t expect it to happen as we would have more chance of winning the lotteries than see an asteroid impact a satellite. The chance of a satellite being in the wrong place at the wrong time is very slim indeed.

As the asteroid approaches Earth it will be influenced by Earth’s gravity and sharply swing around Earth’s atmosphere and slingshot away from Earth ,

Now some people will worry about what happens if MD 2011 gets to close to us and enters our atmosphere.

Well the great thing about our atmosphere is that it is our shield from incoming space objects. Because MD 2011 is only 5 to 10 metres in size, it would burn up in our atmosphere in a brillaint fireball…… the color of the fireball depending on if the asteroid is made up of mostly metal or rock.

But at this stage, the asteroid is not expected to enter our atmosphere at all.

The closest asteroid to miss Earth was one back in February which was the size of an armchair and passed 5479 kn from Earth.

The M5 Galaxy

•June 24, 2011 • 2 Comments

The M5 Galaxy is always an interesting galaxy to look at.

M5 24th June (Click to Enlarge)

The Moon – 24th June

•June 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is a great shot of the Moon taken overnight.

(Click to Enlarge)

Today We will Try For Our Last Picture of Comet Elenin For The Next Few Months

•June 24, 2011 • 25 Comments

Sydneystargazers is a astronomy site which for the last few months has been taking pictures of Elenin to prove that it is a comet and not a brown dwarf as some on the Internet may want you to believe.

We have proved that Elenin is nothing more than a comet and will take one more picture opportunity of Elenin in a little while and make it the last shot of Elenin for the time being until the comet gets closer to the Sun later this year. When we start taking pictures of Elenin in a few months time we are hoping to have some great shots of this comet.

So after today we will be focusing on more important issues such as the brightening supernova in M51.

Update:

Below is the latest picture of elenin at position 10h 37m 24s +7° 18′ 22″

Elenin 24th June (Click to Enlarge)

Not The Two Suns of Earth…..

•June 22, 2011 • 3 Comments

In the last post we showed what some people have commonly referred to as the second sun which will be either :

a) Same size as the Sun

b)Smaller than the Sun

c)Larger than the Sun

Now we have seen all three mentioned as being a so called second sun………. but this is physically impossible to have a supposed object in three different sizes. We have actually seen over 50 different versions of what the 2nd sun looks like and majority of them were just flares from the camera lens….. but still being portrayed as the mythical Nibiru.

In our opinion all of the above are caused by either:

a) lens flare

b) Sundog

 

If you see a reflection on the water it is a bright sundog……..

The pictures below are of the same area as shown in the last post but from a different angle. Yet again the “2nd sun” moves in front of the hills.  Sundogs do this.

(Click to Enlarge)

Now to complicate things just a little more, in the last post you could see a third reflection of light  right of center which moved up the picture as the sun moved closer to the horizon. We looked at that and wondered what could be causing that .

In the pictures above, apart from being at a different angle, the picture was also taken higher above the water and further away from the jetty. In the last post, the picture was clearly taken closer to the water and closer to the jetty.

In the picture below which is a zoomed shot of the jetty, if you look at the area above the black  line and left of the vertical line, you will see what appears to be a reflection off a glass window in front of the camera.

We believe the picture in the last post  had been taken inside a building through a glass window directly in front of the camera looking down on the jetty while today’s picture is taken outside. The extra refection of light in the water from the last post was just a reflection off the glass window. Today there is no extra reflection…… just the reflections from the sun and the sundog.

So we have a combination of a setting Sun reflecting light on the water, a bright sundog reflecting light on the water, and a reflection off a pane of glass infront of the camera.

No mystical Second Sun …..

The Window Reflection (Click to Enlarge)

The Twin Suns of Earth…..

•June 20, 2011 • 8 Comments

Luke Skywalker contemplates his future and stares at the twin suns of Tattooine ….and at times under the right conditions we can stare at our twin suns as well…. even though we have only one Sun.

Our atmosphere is a strange thing at times. When someone asks you what time the sun rises or sets, you should ask them if they want the apparent sunrise or the actual sunrise. Due to atmospheric refraction, an apparent sunrise occurs shortly before the sun crosses above the horizon. This is because light from the sun is bent, or refracted, as it enters earth’s atmosphere. As a result, the apparent sunrise is earlier than the actual sunrise. And of course apparent sunset occurs slightly later than the actual sunset.
The bending of light in the atmosphere is changed by things such as air pressure and relative humidity and a number of other factors that change the way light appears through the atmosphere. It also changes depending on how close to the poles you are.

You can also get an effect shortly before the Sun sets where you see a green band along the top edge of the Sun. Not that this means the Sun is changing color to a nice shade of green…. it is simply a visual effect caused by how the atmosphere under certain conditions treats particular colors in the light spectrum. For instance, why is the sky blue during the day and transparent at night? You got it… the effect of light refraction through our atmosphere.

Now you can also get the double-sun effect and we have included a couple of examples below. Not only can the sun take on a twin, but you can also at times see double moons and double rainbows under the right conditions.

A double rainbow happens when sunlight is reflected through the drops of water twice, the first time to create the first rainbow and the second rainbow created with the second reflection coming at a different angle.

A double sun effect also occurs in particular conditions when the Sun is near the horizon and it too is caused by the effect of refaction. Also clouds can play a apart as the light reflects off the the cloud layers at a different angle.

And then of course we have a condition called the Phantom Sun where you see the three suns. Also light refraction but this time with the aid of ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

Unfortunately some groups have suggested the 2nd sun is Elenin. However they are wrong as we would have well and truly have known about it around the world if there was another object the size of our sun anywhere near us……  one minute we are orbiting one sun… the next we are orbiting the next one. Instant chaos and planets colliding with each other.

Of course a 2nd Sun would not just materialize out of nowhere…… we would have seen it approaching thousands of years ago. And Elenin is still just beyond the orbit of Mars and is certainly not a source of light like our Sun is or even large enough. At best Elenin is only 12km in diameter.

So there is no double sun ………Just visual tricks caused by light refraction….


The picture below is a good example of a sundog which appears as a colored patch of light to the left or right of the sun and at the same distance above the horizon as the sun when close to the horizon. You can even see the reflection of the sundog in the water as the sundog is bright enough…..and notice how far away it is from the suns reflection in the water…. in fact it appears twice.

Updated 21st June

As there has been discussion about the picture directly above, we decided to add another 2 pictures of the same shot.

Note the position of the “2nd Sun” in the sky in the left hand picture compared to where it is in the right hand picture. If that is a second Sun,the right hand picture is telling us it is closer to us than the mountains in the distance.

Perhaps a camera professional can explain this. By the way the last 2 pictures seem to have been taken on a different day from the first one as there are no clouds in the sky.

By the way, we have been accused of lying to you guys about this post ……

(Click to Enlarge)

As the picture below shows, even sundogs reflect off water.

2nd Update 21st June

We have had a few people leave comments saying that sydneystargazers are liars , that our pictures are fakes and that the brown dwarf actually exists.

Well all these people actually turned out to be just one person who was using fake email addresses to send the comments but sending them from the same IP address. Our friend from Indonesia did not think we could tell that all these emails were coming from the same computer.

We do not allow comments like that through, nor the images he supplied supposedly proving a brown dwarf. His only evidence was a negative image of a lens flare near the Sun. A negative image of a flare is not a brown dwarf.

Anyway we will not post rubbish like this and comments from this guy will now just be deleted.

It is sad that some people have become so caught up in the Elenin conspiracy they are faking who they are just to spread disinformation around the Internet and attack any site that disagrees with them. We get a lot of visitors coming from conspiracy sites which is ok but we will not permit our site to be used to spread false claims about Elenin.

Elenin is just a comet… there is no brown dwarf……….

 

When Elenin Passes Earth

•June 19, 2011 • 22 Comments

Comet Elenin will pass Earth on 16th October 2011 at it’s nearest distance of about 35 million km. This is based on the latest orbital data which was updated yesterday. So how far away is that?

Well if you were able to stand on comet Elenin on the 16th of October and turn around and look at the Earth, this is what you would see of Earth. And where is the Moon in the picture?  Well we are so far away from the Earth and the Moon that they are shown as a single dot of light in the image which shows exactly how far away a 4km to 12km chunk of rock called elenin is .

 

The View From Comet Elenin as it passes Earth 16th October

 

Comet Elenin – 18th June

•June 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We were fortunate to be able to take today’s picture of elenin a little earlier so there is less interference in the picture from the horizon.

Below is both a black and white as well as a color image of Elenin at position 10h 33m 20s +7° 41′ 17″

 

Elenin 18th June (Click to Enlarge)

We Answer The Question : Is Google Hiding A Brown Dwarf Star?

•June 17, 2011 • 5 Comments

Black Rectangle Hiding Something? (Click to Enlarge)

We have had a lot of emails come through asking our opinion on the one same question:     If the Brown Dwarf does not exist then why in Google Sky and other maps is there a huge black rectangle blocking out the stars  at position 5h 53m 27s -6 10′ 58 ?

One comment we found on the Internet was from a guy who was worried because first off he believed that the discoverer of comet elenin in December 2010 did not actually exist and secondly according to him Google had blocked out the image of Elenin 4 years ago …. meaning there was a conspiracy afoot.

And so the conspiracy grew because people then looked at 5h 53m 27s -6 10′ 58 for themselves and guessed someone was hiding something. After all why is there a black rectangle there? That is the problem with the Internet….. a thing like this can snowball because people will google another site and see someone else mention it…so it has to be true…. or is it true?

We have included the picture above left of the original rectangle at 5h 53m 27s -6 10′ 58  which has caused people to think Google, Nasa and many others are hiding a brown dwarf from us.

Now the truth of why there is a rectangle there.

To make up the imagery of the entire sky as seen in Google Sky and other skymaps , the sky panoarama is created by

Behind The Above's Black Rectangle (Click to Enlarge)

putting pieces of visual data together like a jigsaw puzzle. A fairly big project some years ago and unfortunately there are well over a hundred areas where you have bad data or even data missing all together. You will also see lines of various colors which are due to aircraft , satellites and meteorites which pass overhead as the image is being taken of that area of the sky.

To  get back to why that rectangle is there…… that is simply an area where data was completely missing and there is no information for what stars are in that block area of sky. So you get a black square or a rectangle depending on the block of data. This will be fixed up in the next release of the data.

As we said before, there are over a hundred issues in the map and it is easy to find them in Google sky. Just because an area has a black rectangle there does not mean that there is something being hidden.

You can also look at that area of sky using Aladin for example which will not have a black rectangle. The picture above right shows  the position 5h 53m 27s -6 10′ 58 and is what you would see behind the black rectangle as shown top left.

Below we have two examples of other things you can see in Google Sky. Below left you have a black square….. it’s position is shown in the bottom left of the picture. We can assure you this is not hiding a dwarf star either.

And below right, if you are to believe what you see in Google Sky, we seem to have a Borg Cube from Star Trek on it’s way to assimilate us. Resistance is futile……

As we like to repeat…… don’t look for what isn’t there……..  not everything is a conspiracy.

Another Black Rectangle (Click to Enlarge)

A Borg Cube From Star Trek? (Click to Enlarge)

Comet Elenin – 17th June

•June 17, 2011 • 40 Comments

In our previous picture of comet Elenin, we explained and highlighted anomolies in the picture which were caused by the comet being less than 25 degrees above the horizon. Seeing conditions near the horizon are always poor.

With this telescope, we are overriding the warnings that the comet is too low to the horizon and may effect the picture (which it had ) just so we can show you the lastest pictures of the comet.

We did have to laugh when we saw someone comment elsewhere on the Internet asking if the anomalies in our prior picture might be cloaked UFO motherships.

Well we have taken another picture of comet Elenin and the anomalies are still there with added issues caused by moonlight. We like to say again that people should try not to see something that is not there and that the shapes you are seeing in the picture are caused by the comet being too low to the horizon….. nothing more than that.

In the picture below, we have the black and white image of the color on the left with our processed picture of the comet in the middle. In the middle image, we have used an arrow to point to Elenin. The image below right is the starfield as shown in wikisky.org . The wikisky image is not “live” so you will see that comet Elenin is missing in the right hand image but visible in the left and middle image.

The picture below of Elenin is at 10h 32m 45s +7° 44′ 33″

We are attempting another picture of Elenin today with a different telescope….. however the weather is looking ominous so we may not be able to capture a second image today.

Elenin 17th June (Click to Enlarge)