July 18th, 2014

The Ring Nebula this Weekend


The Ring Nebula (Messier 57, M57 or NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra. It is located south of the bright star Vega and lies about 40% of the distance from Sheliak star to Sulafat star of Lyra constellation,  making it an easy target for amateur astronomers to find.

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On Saturday, July 19, the moon will rise late, making this an ideal time to get your telescope on the backyard and hunt the Ring Nebula. Let the Star Walk app help you with this:

1.Open the app and tap Search icon on the lower left corner.

2. Type “M57″ or “Ring Nebula” in the search line and tap on the image of the nebula.

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3. Activate Star spotter by tilting your device and let Star Walk guide you to the colorful bubble.

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Nebula image credit: NASA, ESA, and C. Robert O’Dell (Vanderbilt University).

July 16th, 2014

Guess the Reef


The reef on the photo is located in the Coral Sea. Do you know its name? Share your guesses with #starwalk on Facebook and Twitter.

The right answer will be published next Wednesday, July 23.

July 11th, 2014

What is a Super Moon?

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 Full moon is coming on July 12, so we decided to find out whether it will be just a full moon or a super moon?

As seems to happen every year, the term “supermoon” has once again reared its (ugly?) head across ye ole Internet. Hey, it’s a teachable moment, a good time to look at where the term came from, and examine the wonderful and wacky motion of our Moon.

I’ll let you in on a small secret. Most astronomers, both of the professional and backyard variety, dislike the informal term “supermoon”. It arose in astrology circles over the past few decades, and like the term “Blue Moon” seems to have found new life on the Internet.  A better term from the annuals of astronomy for the near-coincidence of the closest approach of the Full Moon would be Perigee Full Moon. And if you really want to be archaic, Proxigean Moon is also acceptable.
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July 9th, 2014

Five Stars For This Stellar App

Our latest interview with some hints on what we’re up to by Julian Garcia of Cash for iPhones.

As the popular Coldplay song goes, “look at the stars, look how they shine for you” Though Chris Martin might’ve meant for the lyric to be part of a greater, emotional message, I’d like to take the line out of context and use it as a healthy reminder for everyone to stargaze every once in a while. On clear nights, the skies open up and provide us with a breathtaking perspective on how insignificant our personal problems are and how little we know about the universe we’re a smidge of. Of course, this isn’t to say that we have zero information on the heavenly bodies we ogle at.

“Welcome to the new age,” sings the band Imagine Dragons, as an age-old pastime has been coupled with new age technology brought to us by Managing Director of Vito Technologies, Murad Nazaraliev. Star Walk is a 2010 Apple Design Award winner with nine million users and counting. The stargazing app is an interactive astronomical guide that zeroes in on your position in real-time to provide extensive information for over 200,000 celestial bodies in the form of beautiful graphics and text. Using the Augmented Reality icon, you can add images from your camera to your sky view. Other features of the app include the Time Machine, which allows you to explore sky maps of yesteryear and even tomorrow; a calendar of celestial events; and of course, Night Mode.

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July 9th, 2014

Guess the Peninsula


The peninsula on the photo is located in North America. Do you know its name? Share your guesses with #starwalk on Facebook and Twitter.

We will publish  the right answer  next Wednesday, July 16.

Image Credit: KARI.

Upd: the right answer is Yucatan Peninsula.