European reports from the night Oct. 19/20 speak of a fine performance of the Orionid meteors in spite of lunar interference this year. The meteor rate already exceeds 40/hour (under assumed perfect viewing conditions), and the peak is expected only in the coming night. • Meanwhile a new analysis of the Leonids predicts a max. rate of 150 this year. • A detailled interview (ca. 10 min. MP3) on the Jodrell Bank meteor system, with more background here. • A few more details of the 2008 TC3 bolide observations by a secret satellite - and also more on the indirect webcam observation: Reference observations near fullmoon show nothing, so the airburst must have been much brighter, even from 700+ km away!
In other news a dwarf nova is in outburst for the 1st time since 1997, but only at 12 mag. • A supernova extinction record: 16 magnitudes! • The physics of the Deep Impact impact are still mysterious. • The discovery of comet Cardinal in Canada - which doesn't look like much - is spawning a press release ("only the second Canadian discovery of a comet, using a Canadian telescope, in nearly a decade") and news and blog coverage in the country. • Comet Tuttle is binary. • And the HST has observed Pallas, an asteroid of which one hears little.
• A big prominence was seen on the Sun where STEREO imaged another one on Sep. 29. • Analysis of a flash spectrum obtained during the Aug. 1 eclipse - about which some 40 pages appear in TOTALITY! #8. • The German parliament held a hearing on light pollution with mixed responses. • Unusual radio images of our Moon can be seen here (under "ALMA Project News" as Fig. 5) - for comparision, the Moon at many other wavelengths. • Metals have been detected in NLCs, a possible clue to their formation. • And one should go to Canada for the best aurora views.