The enclosure of the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) at Paranal

This very short video shows a time-lapse sequence of the enclosure that contains the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. The domes of VISTA (right) and the VLT (left) are also visible on the horizon.

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Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
Price: $249.95

One Year of NEOWISE Asteroid/Comet Observations

After being dormant, NEOWISE restarted in Dec. 2013.
This video shows the progression of NASA’s NEOWISE survey in the year since its restart. Each dot represents an asteroid or comet that the mission observed. Green dots represent near-Earth objects (asteroids and comets that come within 1.3 astronomical units of the sun; one astronomical unit is Earth’s distance from the sun). Yellow squares represent comets. Gray dots represent all other asteroids, which are mostly in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are shown.

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Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope
Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope
Old Price: $69.95
Price: $54.43

Andromeda Galaxy

Hubble continues to give us beautiful images. This time it is the Andromeda Galaxy.
This short video pans over NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Andromeda galaxy, otherwise known as M31.
The new Hubble image of the galaxy is the biggest and sharpest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disc stretching across over 40 000 light-years.

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Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope
Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope
Old Price: $69.95
Price: $54.43

New Horizons Spacecraft Begins First Stages of Pluto Encounter

The fastest spacecraft when it was launched, New Horizons lifted off in January 2006. It awoke from its final hibernation period last month after a voyage of more than 3 billion miles, and will soon pass close to Pluto, inside the orbits of its five known moons. In preparation for the close encounter, the mission’s science, engineering and spacecraft operations teams configured the piano-sized probe for distant observations of the Pluto system that start Sunday, Jan. 25 with a long-range photo shoot.
The images captured by New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) will give mission scientists a continually improving look at the dynamics of Pluto’s moons. The images also will play a critical role in navigating the spacecraft as it covers the remaining 135 million miles (220 million kilometers) to Pluto.
Timeline of the approach and departure phases of the New Horizons Pluto encounter
Timeline of the approach and departure phases — surrounding close approach on July 14, 2015 — of the New Horizons Pluto encounter.
“We’ve completed the longest journey any spacecraft has flown from Earth to reach its primary target, and we are ready to begin exploring,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
LORRI will take hundreds of pictures of Pluto over the next few months to refine current estimates of the distance between the spacecraft and the dwarf planet. Though the Pluto system will resemble little more than bright dots in the camera’s view until May, mission navigators will use the data to design course-correction maneuvers to aim the spacecraft toward its target point this summer. The first such maneuver could occur as early as March.

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Celestron-31042-AstroMaster-Reflector-Telescope

Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
Price: $249.95