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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Andromeda Galaxy

Video Transcript:

What’s Up for October? The Andromeda Galaxy!


Hello and welcome. I'm Jane Houston Jones at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. And every month this year we’ll be showcasing a great celestial view. This month it’s the Andromeda Galaxy!

When you look up at the October sky you’ll easily see solar system objects like Jupiter and the moon. You can also see stars, clumps and knots of nebulosity in our Milky Way Galaxy.

十月的星空,你能看到甚麼? 你可以輕易的看到月亮、木星,這些是我們太陽系的星體。你也以看到我們銀河系裡的一些星星、一團星團、或朦朧的星雲。

But did you know you can actually see another galaxy with your own eyes, even without a telescope? The Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant easily visible object in the sky, and it’s also the largest and closest spiral galaxy that we can see. It’s visible even under moderate light polluted skies as a misty patch. Through binoculars and telescopes more and more detail is revealed to the observer.


Astronomers have observed the Andromeda galaxy for over a thousand years. Persian astronomer Al-Sufi was the first to record and sketch his observations of what he called “the little cloud”. In 964 he published this observation and many others in his “Book of Fixed Stars”.

天文學家觀察仙女星系已經超過一千年,波斯的天文學家蘇菲 (Al-Sufi) 就是觀測紀錄並描繪這個他所謂「小雲 (the little cloud)」的第一人,天邊那朵「小雲」就收錄在他西元964年出版的「恆星之書 (Book of Fixed Stars)」中。

Since the 16th century many astronomers rediscovered the Andromeda Galaxy unaware of the earlier sightings. Simon Marius first viewed the galaxy through a telescope in 1612.

16世紀初,許多天文學家在不知早期已經有人觀察到仙女星系而重新發現了它。1612西門˙馬里烏斯 (Simon Marius) 成為透過望遠鏡看到仙女星系的第一人。

It is also known as M-31 on Charles Messier’s list of objects, although he was aware of some earlier sightings.

仙女星系後來經梅西爾 (Charles Messier) 再度觀測,並編列在梅西爾星表中,編號M-31

In 1887 the first photograph revealed the spiral structure of the Andromeda Galaxy, which was then known as a nebula. And in the early 20th century Edwin Hubble’s study of Andromeda nebula proved the nebula was not just a star cluster in our own Milky Way, but a separate galaxy.

1887年首張照片揭露星女星系的螺旋構造,當時叫它為「星雲」。到了20世紀早期,愛德溫˙哈伯 (Edwin Hubble) 發現這個「星雲」並不是我們銀河系的星團,而是另一個星系。

NASA's Swift satellite recently acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in ultraviolet wavelengths. Swift revealed about 20,000 ultraviolet sources in the Andromeda Galaxy, especially hot, young stars and dense star clusters.

美國太空總署的史威福觀測衛星 (Swift satellite) 最近拍到這個鄰近螺旋星系有史以來最高解析度的紫外線照片,顯示其中有2萬個紫外線光源,主要是炙熱的、年輕的星星以及高密度的星團。


In addition to the Andromeda Galaxy, you can still catch a great view of our Milky Way galaxy this month. Both are nearly overhead, but while distant Andromeda is seen as a fuzzy oval in the constellation Andromeda, the Milky Way spans the sky from east to overhead to the west. It’s a gorgeous site from a dark sky again this month.


Back to our solar system, Jupiter reigns as king of the planets in the western sky and Mars will rise before midnight by the end of the month, making it a late night pumpkin-colored treat on Halloween. 


You can learn all about NASA's missions at

That’s all for this month, I’m Jane Houston Jones.

Find this article at:

For more informations, please visit the following links:


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Planet Jupiter

Video Transcript:
What’s Up for September: Jupiter
Hello and welcome. I’m Jane Houston Jones at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

2009 is International Year of Astronomy. Each month this year we’ll be showcasing a great celestial object, and this month it’s the planet Jupiter. We’ll also be telling you about Juno, a mission to that giant planet, which launches in 2011.

Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky this month. Through a telescope you can see cloud bands on Jupiter. In July a small comet or icy body crashed into Jupiter’s southern polar area and left a black bruise. This new, dark feature was discovered by Anthony Wesley, an amateur astronomer in Australia. This spot captivated Jupiter observers for over a month while Jupiter’s atmosphere distorted its shape. And it finally dissipated. This amazing feature has been imaged and studied by amateur and professional astronomers around the world.

Jupiter also has four large satellites, three of which are larger than our own moon. These four moons were discovered by Galileo 400 years ago. You can see them yourself with a small telescope or even binoculars,and watch them move around the planet just as Galileo did!

NASA’s spacecraft named for Galileo ended its exploration of Jupiter six years ago. The next mission to Jupiter, called Juno, will launch in 2011. Juno will be the first solar-powered spacecraft to visit an outer planet and the first to have a polar orbit around an outer planet. This gives Juno a unique view of the planet, including the polar auroras – the northern and southern lights. It also lets the spacecraft get very close to Jupiter, while avoiding the planet’s dangerous radiation belts. Juno will look for important clues about Jupiter's formation by measuring how much water is there. It will also investigate the planet’s internal structure, searching for a central core, and will learn how and where inside the planet Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field is generated. The mission will look deeper into Jupiter than we’ve ever been able to before to see how the planet’s visible atmosphere
and features, like the famous Great Red Spot, are shaped by currents in Jupiter’s deep interior.

Jupiter rules the evening skies this month, so go out and take a look!

And Juno arrives at this king of the planets in 2016. There’s one other object in the evening sky this month worth mentioning. The asteroid Juno,one of the first four asteroids ever discovered, is bright enough to see with a pair of binoculars this month. All you have to know is where to look.

You can learn all about NASA’s missions at

That’s all for this month. I’m Jane Houston Jones.

Find this article at:

For more informations, please visit the following links:



今年(2009)七月,有一顆小彗星撞上木星的南極地區,留下一個黑色疤痕。七月20日,澳洲的業餘天文學家Anthony Wesley(安東尼˙衛斯理)發現這個新的黑斑,接下來的一個多月,木星大氣逐漸扭曲黑斑的形狀,終致消失。



這個任務將比以往更能深入了解木星的大氣及其構造,如大紅斑 ,其形狀如何受到深層內部的大氣流動影響。



Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Sun Was Walking His Dogs During Sunset!

These pictures were taken at about 5:30 on Sep. 3, 2007 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Sun was flanked by two sundogs.

Sundog, also called parhelion or mock sun, is an atmospheric optical phenomenon. It forms when sunlight is refracted by horizontally oriented hexagonal plate ice crystals with diameters larger than 30 micrometers.

The following links provide two more sundog pictures from NASA:
APOD: 2006 September 23 - Triple Sunrise
APOD: 1999 August 23 - Sundogs over the VLA

For more deeper information, please visit the following websites:
Sundogs: mock suns or parhelia
Sundogs (parhelia)





(Photos by author)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sunrise with Corona from Southern Central Mountains in Taiwan

A beautiful corona captured in February 'o3 by Edward Lin at Lidao, a small township in southern Central Mountain Range, Taiwan.

A corona forms as sunlight is diffracted by small particles, e.g. cloud droplets, small ice crystals. It is much smaller than 22 degrees halo.

照片拍攝於2003年2月,南橫利稻。「」是光線被高空中的微粒(如微小水滴或冰晶)繞射形成的現象,對太陽而言就叫日華,對月亮則是月華。「 華」比「」小許多,而且成因不同。

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Sun Halo Over Kaohsiung, Taiwan

These pictures were taken in Kaohsiung at noon on June 28, 2007.

Is it a circular rainbow? No. It's a sun halo. When sunlight passes through an ice crystal, it is refracted. It bends 22 degrees toward the observer from its original direction. The formation of a halo is different from that of a rainbow. A rainbow develops when sunlight enters a water droplet and is refracted and reflected. The sunlight bends about 140 degrees for primary rainbow and about 130 degrees for secondary rainbow from its original direction.

There are some pictures with brief explanations about sun halo from NASA:
1. APOD: 2006 April 11 - A Sun Halo over Utah
2. APOD: 2006 June 13 - Driving Toward a Sun Halo
3. APOD: 2002 January 14 - Sun Halo at Winter Solstice

Here is a wonderful website, Atmospheric Optics.



APOD: 2006 April 11 - A Sun Halo over Utah
APOD: 2006 June 13 - Driving Toward a Sun Halo
APOD: 2002 January 14 - Sun Halo at Winter Solstice

這個網站很棒,值得用力推薦,可惜沒有翻譯!Atmospheric Optics

Saturday, June 9, 2007

CPC Has Changed Its Name!

CPC Stands for Chinese Petroleum Corporation no more! Its name has changed from the abbreviation, CPC, to just a name CPC Corporation. In other words, CPC stands for nothing now, and is just a name but cannot pronounce.


「國石」--「國」家的「石」頭 終於搬掉了!中油終於只是一個名字,不再代表「中國石油」,不過不知「中」代表什麼?是象形字嗎?「口」代表地層?「l」代表穿過地層的鑽油井?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Owl Police Station

Do the polices stay up all night like the owls?