Some timelapse videos

I seem to be collecting these things today… sped up videos of various things to see in the sky.

First off, as the night draws in, a thin crescent Moon heads for the horizon in the west in this recent video:

Secondly, the Moon again, this time during the day as it passed in front of Venus as seen from some parts of the Earth. This daylight occultation was caught in South Africa in a series of images showing the crescent Venus reemerging from the body of the crescent Moon:

Deeper into the daytime and sundogs are making appearances either side of the Sun from a number of locations at the moment. Here’s a timelapse of one changing as the clouds blow through its area:

But of course, there are timelapse events happening in the world of research too, such as the latest image of supernova 1987A by Hubble, which has photographed the same supernova before. The reason? To see how such a thing modifies on the timescale of a human lifetime, giving some idea of the complexities involved in expanding nebulae and their interactions with external gas.

Of course sometimes it helps to vary sources of information to get even older data on an object with time. Researchers believe they have unearthed the oldest mention so far of Halley’s comet being visible in the skies. The observations, made by ancient Greeks in 466BC, predate the previous earliest accepted observation, by Chinese astronomers in 240BC, by three orbits. The Greeks write about a comet being visible in the west for around 75 days (simulations suggest up to 80 days of visibility of Halley’s comet, depending on atmospheric conditions, at this time) in the same year as a massive meteorite fell that then became a tourist attraction for half a millennia. The records, unlike the later Chinese ones, aren’t very detailed, and are second hand at best.

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