Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lost in the Night Sky

Imagine being able to go zooming around the universe, exploring galaxies at will and taking a close-up look at any features that caught your eye! Perhaps you've always wanted to see the Pleiades in better detail, or get a clearer look at the Garnet Star. Whatever you wish to examine is laid out before you in the Photopic Sky Survey, an ambitious effort by Nick Risinger.

According to the website, "The Photopic Sky Survey is a 5,000 megapixel photograph of the entire night sky stitched together from 37,440 exposures." As a result of an entire year of Nick's dedication and creativity, we have an unprecedented opportunity to wander among the stars at last.

Images used by permission, copyright Nick Risinger, (As always, when you find something you like on the Internet, consider making a donation to support quality content online!)

For various reasons (overcast, fire haze, etc.) I've been missing the night sky of late, and my opportunities for astro-posts have been limited. Failing regular observation, I lose track and get rusty—where is every[stellar]body? Refresh your memory at this site, and you'll see things you never could before!

So where in the galaxy is the photo above? With Alnitak and Alnilam in the upper right, this is a zoomed image of Orion's belt and sword, showing the large red Horsehead Nebula near Alnitak. If you don't know the names of the other nebulae here, check the link above for the labeled 360° version and go zooming!

What a way to compensate for a cloudy evening! Thanks, Nick!

A New Universe

I discovered SkySurvey because I finally ventured out on Twitter about May 15th, and this site was featured on @APOD, the Astronomy Photo of the Day, on May 20th. (See an index of all APOD's photos for more awe-inspiring sky-related images. Follow @APOD and the Twitterverse will deliver the mysteries of the cosmos daily!)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

BGR--At Home in Alaska

The latest edition (#40) of the Berry-Go-Round plant carnival is making itself quite at home in Sitka, Alaska, thanks to Matt's creative editing! He managed to tie each and every post, including FF's previous post on gillyflowers, to a Sitka relative. Pretty cool, Matt—and nice work all around!

Lots of great botanical reading is provided: from ferns to coralroots, caryophs to coffee, with a little peat and pussytoes for good measure! Go check it out... if you like what you read, please don't forget to leave encouraging comments. Next edition will be hosted at Plants are the Strangest People.