Monday, October 20, 2008

Orionids perform well, despite Moon interference

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.


adolfo said...

This moderate fast Geminid meteors slice through Earth’s atmosphere at some 35 kilometers – or 22 miles – per second. These meteors originated in a mysterious object called 3200 Phaethon, which looks like a cross between an asteroid and a burned-out comet.
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Daniel Fischer said...

Only that this blog entry deals solely with the current Orionids and the Leonids, both originating in comets!