Spitzer’s Orion

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Image Credit: NASAJPL-Caltech

Spitzer’s Orion 

Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. Spanning about 40 light-years across the region, this infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope was constructed from data intended to monitor the brightness of the nebula’s young stars, many still surrounded by dusty, planet-forming disks. Orion’s young stars are only about 1 million years old, compared to the Sun’s age of 4.6 billion years. The region’s hottest stars are found in the Trapezium Cluster, the brightest cluster near picture centre. Launched into orbit around the Sun on August 25, 2003 Spitzer’s liquid helium coolant ran out in May 2009. The infrared space telescope continues to operate though, its mission scheduled to end on January 30, 2020. Recorded in 2010, this false colour view is from two channels that still remain sensitive to infrared light at Spitzer’s warmer operating temperatures.



Contents –

Spitzer’s Orion

Our next public meeting

Earth – A Rocky Planet


 Our next public meeting –

This Tuesday 10th September 2019

Our telescopes will be operating


On 10th September –

The Moon will be visible.

Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will be positioned in a straight line (like Orion’s Belt) from north-west to north, respectively.

The objects listed below are in order of brightness. The data for each listing is – Name / Type of Object / Apparent Magnitude (the brighter the object the lower the number) / Distance from Sun in Astronomical Units / Position in the Sky, on 10th September.


The Moon / moon / -11.9 / 1.0 AU / north

Jupiter / planet / -2.16 / 5.27 AU / north west

Saturn / planet / 0.37 / 10.0 AU / north west


At 7.30pm the on-screen presentation will be –

Earth – A Rocky Planet

Solar system with sun orbits and planets on dark blue background flat vector illustration

Solar system with sun orbits and planets on dark blue background flat vector illustration

happy earth

The first of a two-part documentary that examines EARTH –

a rocky planet, from core to the surface.



Our next public meeting then –

 Tuesday 10th September

Fergusson Park Observatory, Tilby Drive, Matua, Tauranga.


Viewing – both astronomical and on-screen

On-screen program at 7.30pm – Planet Earth


Admission to our meetings –

Door entry $5.

Members & children free.

Payment by cash only.

No EFTPOS facility available.


Annual subscriptions are due –

$30 each adult

or $40 each family

$10 students.

Payment on-line or

cash at meetings.

No EFTPOS facility available.


On-line payment is easy, to –


Bank account number

03 0435 0659752 00

Please indicate

“Subscription” and your name.

Once payment is received your nametag(s) will be available at subsequent meetings.


dish telescope

Telescope viewing possible only with zero or minimum cloud cover.


Happy skies everyone.



Kevin Patmore


Tauranga Astronomical Society



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Affliated With:


With funding support from:


Slooh Space Camera


NASA astronomy picture of the day