A major fireball on 17 January at 19:08 UTC was seen widely over Northern Central Europe, with reports from Sweden, the Netherland, Germany and Poland so far - and as with the Canadian fireball last year, there is at least one detailled video available (alt. source and stills) as are all-sky images (alt. source). Here are early blog reports from the U.S. and Germany (more, earlier, more); notes in observers' forums in Germany are here and here and media stories here and here. • The Earth flyby of the NExT spacecraft has been observed by some.
Comets in the News include 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann which now shows peculiar features in its coma (another report & picture and a Jan. 9 view), 144P/Kushida seen here Jan. 16 and Jan. 14 (also a widefield view with finder chart), C/2006 OF2 on Jan. 14, 67P on Jan. 16 and C/2007 N3 (Lulin) for which we have a growing gallery, info pages and stories here, here, here and here and sparse new observations of Jan. 17 (picture), Jan. 15 and Jan. 12 - but with the Moon about the leave the morning sky, the first good viewing window is opening soon! • Behind all his comets: Meet Boattini - the man!
In other news an amateur has succeeded in detecting Saturn's moon Helene with a 10" telescope, thanks to the near-edge-on rings and recorded his third mutual event of two moons. An Saturn collection from the Philippines contains a video of a Titan transit, and other nice Saturn views are from Jan. 11 (again and with moons) and Jan. 6, with more here. • A nice false-color pic of Venus on Jan. 13 can be found here by scrolling down - and amateurs are invited (follow the links to info in English) to share their Venus views with the Venux Express scientists
• Some constellations: Venus & Uranus on Jan. 17, Venus & the Moon in an Indian panorama on Dec. 31 and the very young Moon - after a dramatic sunset - on Dec. 29 (so under perfect conditions it could be found even from Germany that day already). • Preparations for the annular eclipse on Jan.26 are underway in Indonesia and South Africa where it will be partial but pictures from around the Indian Ocean will be aggregated. Also a very late report from the last total solar eclipse, the Sun on Jan. 9 and more pictures of the large full moon here, here and here, plus the view on Jan. 12 and with the ISS in front of it!
• As the light curve shows, Mira its now past its maximum. • Did an astrophotographer detect a bow shock next to the Veil Nebula? • Some impressive atmospheric optics phenomena were apparently due to the extremely cold conditions in Europe lately. • Marvellous pictures of the Earth from space in high resolution - and a similarly amazing detailled amateur image of a space shuttle orbiter in orbit. • And finally a clip from S. Colbert where he makes numerous astrophysically correct jokes about the Andromeda Galaxy, based on these news from the recent AAS Conference which had had quite a media impact ...