Cygnus’ other SNR

26th July 2017

Sh2-91 60x60The Veil Nebula’s glorious tangle of gas and dust is arguably the most spectacular supernova remnant in our night skies, and one would be forgiven for thinking that after exploring its magnificent beauty, the few very faint filaments of the other SNR in Cygnus – the vast G 65.3+5.7 – must surely pale in comparison.

But not so.

Less impressive as the thin, faint, wispy Sharpless 2-91, 2-94 and 2-96 may be compared to the sheer opulence of the Veil

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The Little Fox

25th July 2017

Bat eared foxThe Kalahari has been my finest site for observing the little fox, Vulpecula. Not only because of the Bortle Black skies, or because of the amazingly transparent and steady skies… but because my favourite little carnivore, the enchanting bat-eared fox, lives in the Kalahari and last night while I was exploring Vulpecula a pair of them (they are monogamous animals) were communicating out in the dark with their typically soft contact calls, whines and chirps; although now and then one

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The Veil Nebula

23rd July 2017

Veil Nebula HubbleI am dumbfounded when I look at supernova remnants. Dumbfounded that I am actually seeing with my own eyes the tattered remains of a massive star that ended its life in a cataclysmic explosion and is seeding the universe with the stuff of life. Dumbfounded that I live because stars died… and indeed, dumfounded at one of the finest achievements of 20th-century astrophysics – working out that we are each a walking, talking galaxy of fossil stardust. And above all,

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