A Southern hemisphere astronomy bucket list

posted: 494 days ago, on Friday, 2016 Jan 15 at 03:00
tags: astronomy, constellations, deep sky, star charts, observing report, star party, space craft, stars, ISS, comets, meteors, asteroids, Milky Way, LMC/SMC, Sun, Moon, Earth, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, atmospheric phenomena, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, zodiacal light.

Category A: Earth and the solar system

  1. The Earth’s shadow
  2. A geostationary satellite
  3. A –8 mag. Iridium flare
  4. Structure in the International Space Station
  5. The zodiacal light & the gegenschein
  6. The green flash
  7. Sunrise over Copernicus
  8. A total solar eclipse & a total lunar eclipse
  9. A transit of Venus & a transit of Mercury
  10. Venus during the day
  11. All five naked-eye planets together in the sky
  12. Phobos & Deimos — the curious moons of Mars
  13. Pluto — the most famous & coolest dwarf planet
  14. Ceres — the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system
  15. A bright comet with a long tail

Category B: Stars and stellar systems

  1. The three brightest stars in the sky at the same time
  2. Sirius B — the first white dwarf star discovered, hiding in plain sight
  3. Proxima Centauri — the nearest star in the Universe to the solar system
  4. Trapezium — count the stars in the tiny cluster that make the Orion Nebula glow
  5. SN 1987A — the remaining glow of the brightest supernova since the invention of the telescope
  6. All 88 constellations, or all constellations visible from ZA

Category C: The deep-sky

  1. The Galactic Dark Horse and the centre of our Milky Way
  2. See a shadow cast by the Milky Way
  3. The Homunculus around eta Carinae — a glowing shell that originated in an explosion in the mid 19th century, around a unique supermassive star system
  4. Carina’s Smile (NGC 3199) — an arc of stellar matter ejected from the surface of a massive star before it explodes
  5. The Blue Planetary Nebula (NGC 3918) — a ghost of a dead star shining “a beautiful rich blue, between prussian blue and verditter green”
  6. The Hand Cluster (NGC 3114) — an “absolutely ravishing open cluster” in Carina
  7. The Pincushion Cluster (NGC 3532) — a “superb cluster … the most brilliant object of the kind”
  8. The two brightest globular clusters in the sky — omega Centauri (NGC 5139) & 47 Tucanae (NGC 104)
  9. The Coal Sack — the largest and nearest dark nebula
  10. The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) — a tiny dark cloud 1,500 light years away
  11. A planetary nebula inside a star cluster — NGC 2818 & NGC 2818A (in Pyxis) + Messier 46 & NGC 2438 (in Puppis)
  12. Barnard’s Loop (Orion Loop)
  13. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two galaxies interacting with our own Milky Way
  14. The Hamburger Galaxy (NGC 5128) — a giant elliptical galaxy colliding with a spiral galaxy
  15. The Southern Pinwheel (NGC 5236) — a face-on spiral
  16. The Fornax Propeller (NGC 1365) — a face-on barred spiral
  17. The Andromeda Galaxy (NGC 224, Messier 31)— a nearby spiral similar to our own
  18. The Crab Nebula pulsar — the neutron star in Messier 1
  19. 3C 273 — the nearest and brightest quasar

nothing more to see. please move along.