March 16, 2008

Turkish Delight

Perhaps the most recognized city in modern day Turkey is Istanbul (aka Constantinople) which lies in northwestern Turkey. Best known for being the capital of the eastern Roman empire, the 2000+ year-old city is rich in history thanks to a visible presence by the ancient Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires during the past two millenia.

TWAN member Tunc Tezel's panoramic photo involving the 22-hr old moon across the shores of Istanbul beautifully captures the cultural legacy left behind by these three cultures in a most dramatic fashion and which was showcased on NASA's AstroPhoto of the Day (click here) website.

Congrats to Tunc for this dramatic panorama!

February 22, 2008

TWAN and IYA 2009

The latest edition of the CAP Journal (click here), a publication of the International Astronomical Union, contains not one but two wonderful surprises. Babak Tafreshi's photo of Orion rising above the Alborz Mountains in northern Iran (click here) graced the front cover of the magazine. The photo is a prelude to a five-page article within the magazine co-authored by Babak and Mike Simmons and which describes TWAN's goals and objectives while simultaneously announcing its designation as an IYA 2009 Special Project.
Congratulations are due for this exceptional collaboration with the IYA/IAU whose common goal of bringing the beauty of the overhead sky to everyone is a basic underlying principle and objective.

Colourful display

Our closest celestial neighbour has been charming humanity ever since man first became aware of his environment thanks to its variable brightness and apparent size as well as the daily metamorphosis in its appearance. This dynamic behaviour takes on a further dimension during a total lunar eclipse where colour comes into play as well.

Using an extended multi-hour exposure, TWAN member Stefan Seip captured with great virtuosity Luna's metamorphosis during a total lunar eclipse over the course of a few hours. His photo which appeared as NASA AstroPhoto of the Day on February 20, 2008 (click here) beautifully documents the change in apparent brightness and colour one observes during an eclipse including the minute and subtle changes in colouration during totality as well as the nonlinear motion of the moon across the sky.

Congrats Stefan for "one photo, a thousand words"!

February 16, 2008

Two eyes over Arizona

The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory sitting on Mount Graham, Arizona, is comprised of two mirrors with a diameter of 8.4 meters each and which has the ability to work in both the visual and infrared portions of the spectrum.

Amongst its impressive and ambitious list of objectives is the imaging of some of the 270+ exoplanets discovered so far orbitting far-away stars. Some initial "first-light" images helped reveal yet another companion dwarf galaxy to the Milky Way and which has been dubbed the Hercules Dwarf Galaxy.

Globe-trotter and TWAN member Stefan Seip recently visited Mount Graham and captured a dramatic photo of the overhead Milky Way from the immediate vicinity of the LBT. Stefan's widefield view of our galaxy was featured on NASA's AstroPhoto of the Day (click here) for February 16th, 2008.

Nice work Stefan!

Moonrise Over Vallentuna, Sweden

Take a frosty early evening with the eastern sky painted by the rays of the setting sun due west, add a rising full moon and a calm lake and you have an impressive and romantic scene. TWAN member P-M Hedén combined all of these elements for his "Moonrise Over Vallentuna" photo and which was featured as "Earth Photo of the Day" (click here) on the EPOD website for February 13, 2008.

Congrats P-M for this impressive composition!

February 2, 2008

Jupiter and Venus Over the Caspian Sea

The two brightest planets of our solar system put on an impressive conjunction during a brief period in late January and early February, 2008 lying less than a degree apart. TWAN member Babak Tafreshi's wonderful photo of this impressive conjunction over the shores of the Caspian Sea was featured on NASA's AstroPhoto of the Day (click here).

Many congratulations for this impressive capture!

January 27, 2008

Illusive Mercury at Elongation Over Spain

Perhaps the least observed planet is Mercury by virtue of the fact it never strays very much away from the Sun, thus making this planet a difficult object to observe. TWAN member Juan Carlos Casado's photo of fleeting Mercury during March/2000 is showcased today as NASA's AstroPhoto of the Day (click here). This difficult imaging project depicts the apparent motion of Mercury across the western horizon with the sun ten degrees below the horizon.

Congratulations for such a fine image of a difficult object!

January 19, 2008

A medieval castle under the starry night

Congratulations to TWAN member Per-Magnus Heden for his wonderful photo of a medieval castle under the clear and starry skies of his native Sweden presented as today's NASA AstroPhoto of the Day. The careful observer will note in P-M's photo the stunning Pleiades (M45) open star cluster as well as Comet 17P/Holmes which has graced northern skies the past few months.

January 4, 2008

Champs-Elysées .... and the night sky

Congratulations to TWAN member Laurent Laveder who was honored with the appearance of some of his latest work in a Canon exhibit and advertisement on the Champs-Elysées.

More specifically, some of Laurent's creative photos involving his two daughters and the rising moon were on display as a collage in support of Canon's digital equipment and which was used by Laurent to obtain his impressive photos. For a glimpse of the various sequences, click here.

To visit Laurent's gallery, click here.