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Night Sky above Lough Foyle, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland. | by MNM Photography 2014
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Night Sky above Lough Foyle, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland.

A view of the Night Sky above Lough Foyle. The most visible and recognisable stars are - Orion, Sirius, Procyon, and Pleiades - The Seven Sisters The planet Jupiter shines brightest at the top centre of the image.

 

Orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky. It was named after Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology. Its brightest stars are Rigel (Beta Orionis) and Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis), a blue-white and a red supergiant respectively. Many of the other brighter stars in the constellation are hot, blue supergiant stars. The three stars in the middle of the constellation form an asterism known as Orion's belt. The Orion Nebula is located south of Orion's belt.

 

Sirius - Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. With a visual apparent magnitude of −1.46, it is almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. The name "Sirius" is derived from the Ancient Greek: Σείριος Seirios ("glowing" or "scorcher"). The star has the Bayer designation Alpha Canis Majoris (α CMa). What the naked eye perceives as a single star is actually a binary star system, consisting of a white main-sequence star of spectral type A1V, termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA2, called Sirius B. The distance separating Sirius A from its companion varies between 8.2 and 31.5 AU.

 

Procyon (α CMi, α Canis Minoris, Alpha Canis Minoris; Br. pronunciation /ˈprəʊsɪən/) is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor. To the naked eye, it appears to be a single star, the eighth brightest in the night sky with a visual apparent magnitude of 0.34. It is actually a binary star system, consisting of a white main-sequence star of spectral type F5 IV–V, named Procyon A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DQZ, named Procyon B. The reason for its brightness is not its intrinsic luminosity but its relative closeness to the Sun; as determined by the European Space Agency Hipparcos astrometry satellite, it lies at a distance of just 11.46 light-years (3.51 parsecs), and is therefore one of our nearest stellar neighbours. Its closest neighbour is Luyten's Star, about 1.12 ly (0.34 pc) away, and the latter would appear as a visual magnitude 2.7 star in the night sky of a hypothetical planet orbiting Procyon.

 

In astronomy, the Pleiades (/ˈplaɪ.ədiːz/ or /ˈpliː.ədiːz/), or Seven Sisters (Messier object 45 or M45), is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster (hence the alternate name Maia Nebula after the star Maia), but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which the stars are currently passing. Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades was probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighbourhood

 

The planet Jupiter shines brightest at the top centre of the image.upiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth of that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian or outer planets. The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times, and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can reach an apparent magnitude of −2.94, bright enough to cast shadows, and making it on average the third-brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus. (Mars can briefly match Jupiter's brightness at certain points in its orbit.)

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Taken on March 23, 2014