Sunday, October 26, 2008

Food for thought: weather statistics for the two 2010 solar eclipses out

They are probably the most eagerly awaited websites for the international eclipse chasing (and catching!) community: the detailled weather statitics and analyses Canadian meteorologist Jay Anderson prepares for all upcoming total and annular solar eclipses. Many a tour or expedition has been planned on the basis of these data and graphs - and it won't be different for 2010 when two intriguing eclipses will pass over the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the longest annular one until 3043 and a pretty long total one mainly hitting tiny remote islands. For ASE 2010 the wx stats along the track are stunning, with a deep minimum of cloudiness hardly ever seen in such graphs ... in Birma/Burma/Myanmar which promises up to 95% chances for clear skies! Now they claim to be prepared for visitors, others disagree, and the debate whether to go there has been going on for decades. Runners-up weatherwise (with 80% hope for clear skies) are SW China - and the coast of Kenya, touristically well advanced. For the TSE 2010 it's roughly 50:50 in the Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island, with Polynesia somewhat ahead at 55% clear skies (but hardly any solid ground, only remote atolls); South America - at sunset - has prospects far worse.

In other news it took a while for the Orionids profile to stabilize; now a peak of these meteors around midnight Oct. 20 with a ZHR just below 40 seems likely. How the Orionids fared night after night can be seen in reports of Oct. 20, Oct. 21, Oct. 22, Oct. 23, Oct. 24, Oct. 25 and Oct. 26. • Videos of a Canadian fireball are being hailed as rare. • There is a nice resource on 2008 TC3 and its impact, esp. an analysis of the astrometric effort and an attempt on periodicities in the lightcurve. Elsewhere TC3's discoverer speaks on what it all means. • There is an unusual list of all potentially hazardous asteroids - for all terrestrial planets. • Following TC3 there were more close calls, e.g. by 2008 US. • And 2008 TT26 came within 3.5 lunar distances: a preview, another and more pictures - and a very periodic light curve with a 7 hr period. • Oh, and there apparently another megacryometeor incident, making headlines.

• It's now one year since comet Holmes brightened dramatically - yet checking the technical literature, there has shockingly little science come out of this breathtaking sky event (which was easily visible to the naked eye), including only about 3 attempts to understand what happened. • Meanwhile the current outburst of 29P is winding down. • Plus Rosetta-target 67P on Oct. 21 and Oct. 20. • Amateur astronomers played a role in recovering XMM-Newton after comm trouble. • NASA explains how the ATV reentry was observed. • A paper describes MCAO hi-res NIR imaging of Jupiter. • A Spanish press release with nice galaxy images comes with a detailled explanation of the image processing. • And light pollution recently got a lot of press (here is the Nat'l Geographic package) - and has become a topic even in Hong Kong.


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cing said...

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