APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby APOD Robot » Tue May 17, 2011 4:06 am

Image A Starry Night of Iceland

Explanation: On some nights, the sky is the best show in town. On this night, the sky was not only the best show in town, but a composite image of the sky won an international competition for landscape astrophotography. The above winning image was taken two months ago over Jökulsárlón, the largest glacial lake in Iceland. The photographer combined six exposures to capture not only two green auroral rings, but their reflections off the serene lake. Visible in the distant background sky is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy, the Pleiades open clusters of stars, and the Andromeda galaxy. A powerful coronal mass ejection from the Sun caused auroras to be seen as far south as Wisconsin, USA. As the Sun progresses toward solar maximum in the next few years, many more spectacular images of aurora are expected.

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby Beyond » Tue May 17, 2011 4:44 am

Gee, NICE picture. Makes me think of Green Lantern.
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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby bactame » Tue May 17, 2011 5:53 am

My initial glance at this image gave me the impression it was about Ireland somehow.

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby lcunning@iinet.net.au » Tue May 17, 2011 5:58 am

thank you for such a fanatastic photo. Absolutely surreal....

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby nstahl » Tue May 17, 2011 10:49 am

It is beautiful. Kind of awe-inspiring.

Obtw the direct link from yesterday's APOD to today's is broken. It has an extra "0" in it.

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby biddie67 » Tue May 17, 2011 12:08 pm

Wow!! What an eerie green light! Is this really on Earth? Great job!!!!

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby JohnD » Tue May 17, 2011 12:50 pm

Is such an auroral circle centered on the Pole?
If so, gives a sense of how very far up the display is.

John

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby orin stepanek » Tue May 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Neat photo Stephane! 8-) What a beautiful green halo! :)
Orin

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby moonstruck » Tue May 17, 2011 1:03 pm

Beautiful picture Stephane.

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby neufer » Tue May 17, 2011 1:14 pm

JohnD wrote:
Is such an auroral circle centered on the Pole?

No.

The furthest away one can see the bottom of an aurora is about 10º latitude
and the Jökulsarlon lagoon is around 26º latitude away from the North Pole.

Someone at the North Pole cannot even observe any part of this auroral circle
Last edited by neufer on Tue May 17, 2011 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby bystander » Tue May 17, 2011 1:56 pm

APOD Robot wrote:On this night, the sky was not only the best show in town, but a composite image of the sky won an international competition for landscape astrophotography.

For other winners, viewtopic.php?f=29&t=23659
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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby BMAONE23 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:01 pm

It is a fantastic shot. The framing is perfect. Even with the Aurora framing the central band of the galaxy. Well placed and well done

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby neufer » Tue May 17, 2011 2:27 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
APOD Robot wrote:Image A Starry Night of Iceland

The above winning image was taken two months ago
over Jökulsárlón, the largest glacial lake in Iceland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6kuls%C3%A1rl%C3%B3n wrote:
<<The picturesque scene of the Jökulsarlon lagoon and the Breiomerkkujokull glacier have been part of the James Bond films A View to a Kill (1985) and Die Another Day (2002), as well as Batman Begins (2005). The popularity of the glaciers could be attributed to these blockbuster films, to Lara Croft's Tomb Raider. Choreographing the car chase scene, which is termed as the greatest movie car chase of all time, between a Jaguar and Aston Martin, a set that was created for the film at the location of the lagoon was a challenge to 'Action Unit' Director Vic Armstrong, of the Bond film Die Another Day.>>
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Iceland APOD

Postby JLewis98856 » Tue May 17, 2011 10:17 pm

I am fairly new to astronomy. I have some binoculars and a small refracting telescope (National Geographic model).
Can anyone give me a hint on today's APOD? Where are the Pleiades and where is the Andromeda Galaxy (roughly)?

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby biddie67 » Wed May 18, 2011 12:33 am

neufer wrote:
JohnD wrote:
Is such an auroral circle centered on the Pole?

No.

The furthest away one can see the bottom of an aurora is about 10º latitude
and the Jökulsarlon lagoon is around 26º latitude away from the North Pole.

Someone at the North Pole cannot even observe any part of this auroral circle


Neufer - I've been wondering all day about this visual window of "10º latitude" for being able to see the bottom of an aurora. Is it because the bottom of the aurora isn't that high in altitude?

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby neufer » Wed May 18, 2011 1:08 am

biddie67 wrote:
Neufer - I've been wondering all day about this visual window of "10º latitude" for being able to see the bottom of an aurora. Is it because the bottom of the aurora isn't that high in altitude?

Yes. Only about 100 kilometers.
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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby biddie67 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:19 am

Thanks.... but I'm having a hard time getting this - it isn't intuitive - I can see a plane that is much lower than 100 KM all the way to the apparent horizon which is a lot more than 10 degrees from vertical.
Last edited by biddie67 on Wed May 18, 2011 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby joesixpak » Wed May 18, 2011 2:39 am

Very much like sombrero galaxy. Yeah for sense of scale and perspective! :)

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby neufer » Wed May 18, 2011 10:33 am

biddie67 wrote:Thanks.... but I'm having a hard time getting this - it isn't intuitive - I can see a plane that is much lower than 100 KM all the way to the apparent horizon which is a lot more than 10 degrees from vertical.

10 degrees from vertical?

I'm talking about 10 degrees of latitude.

You cannot 'see' a plane that is 1 degree of latitude distant much less 10 degrees of latitude.
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Re: Iceland APOD

Postby Indigo_Sunrise » Wed May 18, 2011 10:50 am

JLewis98856 wrote:I am fairly new to astronomy. I have some binoculars and a small refracting telescope (National Geographic model).
Can anyone give me a hint on today's APOD? Where are the Pleiades and where is the Andromeda Galaxy (roughly)?


JLewis,
There are many websites that can help you find your way around the skies. Heavens above is one. Sky and Telescope also has a rather less detailed sky map application, (but sometimes uncluttered is better!) Both of these site require you to create an account. Those are the two (with the exception of "Starry Night" software installed on my own pc) that I use most frequently, but I'm sure the astro-gurus in this forum can point you in the direction of any non-account observing webpages that are out there. :D

Good luck, and of course - clear skies!

8-)
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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby biddie67 » Wed May 18, 2011 12:31 pm

Thanks again, Neufer - I understand now - I was confusing "degrees of an angle" with the use of the word "degree" in "degrees of latitude" on a curving Earth. A map with the latitude grid on it helped me.

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Re: APOD: A Starry Night of Iceland (2011 May 17)

Postby DavidLeodis » Wed May 18, 2011 1:16 pm

It's a great image. I am though confused about something. In the explanation it states "The photographer combined six exposures to capture not only two green auroral rings, but their reflections off the serene lake". There seems to me to be only one definite ring, so which is the second (unless it is the green glow over the horizon but that does not look like a ring to me) :?: Thanks for any help.

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Re: Iceland APOD

Postby BMAONE23 » Wed May 18, 2011 2:01 pm

JLewis98856 wrote:I am fairly new to astronomy. I have some binoculars and a small refracting telescope (National Geographic model).
Can anyone give me a hint on today's APOD? Where are the Pleiades and where is the Andromeda Galaxy (roughly)?

The Pleiades lies in the image on the left side inside the auroral circle and just above the left side of the lower acr portion. Look in the high res image where the green color turns to red and you will notice a tight grouping of blue stars.
Andromeda is located in the middle of the image just above the lower portion of the auroral arc.

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The "great geomagnetic storm" of September 2, 1859

Postby neufer » Wed May 18, 2011 2:12 pm

http://tinyurl.com/6cgsrrz wrote:
<<Delia Bacon [was] described by Emerson in 1857 as "with genius, but
mad". Born in a log cabin on the Ohio frontier, she endured precarious
health and grim poverty, eking out a living as a teacher - by all
accounts an inspiring one - of young women. She was a friend of
*Samuel Morse* , a writer of money-losing "closet dramas", and, in the
end, obsessed with proving that Bacon wrote Shakespeare, to the extent
of keeping a mad watch on his grave armed with disinterring tools
(but losing her nerve at the last minute). The story of the terrible
decline of this mind into obsessional madness is harrowing; finally,
in 1856, she produced the 600-page Philosophy of Shakespere's Plays
Unfolded and awaited her reviews and, she believed, her vindication.
Nobody read it. Delia Bacon was ultimately committed to an asylum,
first by the mayor of Stratford-on-Avon and after her return to
the United States by her brother to the Hartford Retreat,
an asylum in Connecticut, where she died on September 2, 1859.
Nathaniel Hawthorne noted after her death that
"no author ever hoped so confidently as she;
none ever failed more utterly.
">>
http://tinyurl.com/6yv4au wrote:
<<[Delia Bacon] had met *Samuel Morse* in New York while he was
teaching art at NYU. It was Morse who told her about Bacon's
ciphers that he had used during his diplomatic work. This little
fact sparked her idea that the Shakespeare plays were written
in a code to hide their political philosophies.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_%28astronomy%29 wrote:
<<The auroras that resulted from the "great geomagnetic storm" on September 2, 1859, is thought the most spectacular in recent recorded history. The September 2, 1859, storm was a result of the exceptionally intense Carrington-Hodgson white light solar flare on September 1, 1859, produced auroras so widespread and extraordinarily brilliant that they were seen and reported in published scientific measurements, ships' logs and newspapers throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia. It was reported by the New York Times that in Boston on Friday September 2, 1859, the aurora was "so brilliant that at about one o'clock ordinary print could be read by the light". One o'clock Boston time on Friday 2 September, would have been 6:00 GMT and the self-recording magnetograph at the Kew Observatory was recording the geomagnetic storm, which was then one hour old, at its full intensity. Between 1859 and 1862, Elias Loomis published a series of nine papers on the Great Auroral Exhibition of 1859 in the American Journal of Science where he collected world wide reports of the auroral event. The aurora is thought to have been produced by one of the most intense coronal mass ejections in history, very near the maximum intensity that the Sun is thought to be capable of producing. It is also notable for the fact that it is the first time where the phenomena of auroral activity and electricity were unambiguously linked. This insight was made possible not only due to scientific magnetometer measurements of the era but also as a result of a significant portion of the 125,000 miles of telegraph lines then in service being significantly disrupted for many hours throughout the storm. Some telegraph lines however seem to have been of the appropriate length and orientation to produce a sufficient geomagnetically induced current from the Electromagnetic field to allow for continued communication with the telegraph operators' power supplies switched off. The following conversation occurred between two operators of the American Telegraph Line between Boston and Portland, Maine, on the night of September 2, 1859, and reported in the Boston Traveler:
    ..................................................
    Boston operator (to Portland operator): "Please cut off your
    battery [power source] entirely for fifteen minutes."

    Portland operator: "Will do so. It is now disconnected."

    Boston: "Mine is disconnected, and we are working with
    the auroral current. How do you receive my writing?"

    Portland: "Better than with our batteries on.
    - Current comes and goes gradually."

    Boston: "My current is very strong at times, and we can work
    better without the batteries, as the aurora seems to neutralize and
    augment our batteries alternately, making current too strong at times
    for our relay magnets. Suppose we work without batteries
    while we are affected by this trouble."

    Portland: "Very well. Shall I go ahead with business?"

    Boston: "Yes. Go ahead."
    ..................................................
The conversation was carried on for around two hours using no battery power at all and working solely with the current induced by the aurora, and it was said that this was the first time on record that more than a word or two was transmitted in such manner. Such events led to the general conclusion that the effect of the Aurora on the electric telegraph is generally to increase or diminish the electric current generated in working the wires. Sometimes it entirely neutralizes them, so that, in effect, no fluid is discoverable in them . The aurora borealis seems to be composed of a mass of electric matter, resembling in every respect, that generated by the electric galvanic battery. The currents from it change coming on the wires, and then disappear: the mass of the aurora rolls from the horizon to the zenith.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: Iceland APOD

Postby rstevenson » Wed May 18, 2011 3:43 pm

JLewis98856 wrote:Can anyone give me a hint on today's APOD? Where are the Pleiades and where is the Andromeda Galaxy (roughly)?

And in pic form...

aurora_labelled.jpg

Rob
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