According to photometric measurements by G. Muler the inner coma of comet 7P has brightened by several magnitudes in recent days - but don't panic yet: It's still only at 14 to 15 (instead of 17 to 18), and there is no independent confirmation yet. • Meanwhile Boattini could read 3.9 mag. soon, if the current brightening trend holds. The Southern hemisphere is heavily favored now.
In other news here are fuzzy color images of Jupiter this morning and more methane-band images of May 7 (scroll down), clearly showing the trio of (red) storms. Also: Mars in the Beehive cluster (later). • A grant will enable further Pluto occultation observations. • Now is the time to see the ISS and image it, be it trailing or in high and even higher resolution. For comparision, here are some ISS flyover movies from 2006, 2007 and 2008 (more) plus a clip from a documentary on how such imaging is done. (The claim that these folks are unique is rubbish, of course.)
• Alert #1: On German TV there will be a show on amateurs in science on Sunday, including two amateur astronomers (a UFO investigator and comet hunter D. Levy) - the ARD-Mediathek may carry the program live or have it for download afterwards. • Alert #2: Here are links several sources for timely Phoenix information during and after its EDL on Sunday/Monday (forgetting another good one by Spaceflight Now); a consolidated timeline of anticipated events can be found here, where also some live-blogging is planned!