Sunday, February 1, 2009

More fascinating solar eclipse pics, stories - while February just has a penumbral lunar one

There has been a lot more coming in from the annular solar eclipse of 26 January or from its partial manifestation away from the narrow antumbral track - although the picture shown in this DLR press release does not show the latter but, as a comparision with this NASA image release reveals, the umbra of the 2006 total eclipse. A Google search for ISS images of the antumbra of 2009 came up empty, so it's not clear whether it was photographed at all. Back on the ground this collection at Bosscha Obs. has some of the best annularity views from Indonesia. There are also an interesting report from Indonesian TV (no annularity, though), some pictures and a video from Anyer, a report from Indonesia (followup) and another one. (These Indonesian stories brought back intense memories to this blogger who experienced his first total solar eclipse in this beautiful country 25½ years ago; reports from other 1983 trips are here, here, here, here and here. Sigh ...)

From partial zone we have yet another Manila sunset and partial phases from Thailand (also with a bird and at sunset, also here, and lots more pics), Sri Lanka and Mauritius. This eclipse was the first somewhat unusual sky event of the International Year of Astronomy and so the connection was made in South Africa (where some eclipse fashion was on display), Sri Lanka (more pictures) and Australia. Finally, here are 19 big and 66 small wire service pics - which showed up, uncredited, in many private websites ... Legally more sound, here are a big (German) review of the event and its new media impact plus a crappy German TV preview. All eyes are already on the next - total - eclipse (which will be a logistical nightmare for Japan), while still new videos of the last TSE turn up (the 2nd one is pretty funny; it happens at 1:04). February, meanwhile, will just serve us the least impressive of all eclipses, a penumbral lunar case. The month - some previews here, here, here, here and hier - will bring:
  • Feb. 9: Penumbral lunar eclipse, visible mainly in Asia and the Western U.S.

  • Feb. 16 til March 3 (in particular Feb. 19 til 28): Best viewing window for comet Lulin - brightest and no Moon.

  • Feb. 17: The Dawn spacecraft flies by Mars, will take some pictures for calibration purposes.

  • Feb. 17: Mars and Jupiter only 0.8° apart in the morning sky.

  • Feb. 19 or 20: Venus reaches largest brilliance, -4.6 to -4,8 mag.

  • Feb. 22 and 23: Moon close to Mars, Jupiter and Mercury.

  • Feb. 23/24: Lulin (moderately) close to Saturn.

  • Feb. 24: Mercury, Mars & Jupiter closest together, in a 4° circle at dawn.

  • Feb. 25: Ceres in opposition, should reach 6.9 mag.

  • Feb. 27: Closer Venus-Moon conjunction than in January.

  • Feb. 28: Lulin close to Regulus.
A good - but inconvenient - viewing window for comet Lulin (in the hours before dawn) is now underway, surely the best comet in February: The picture collections are growing and visual brightness estimates - still the best method for overall activity judgement - put it at ~6.5 in late January/Feb. 1st. Here are a visual observation of Feb. 1, a visual report by its discoverer and a mosaic of Jan. 31, a highly processed picture (from here), an animation and another discoverer's observation (his first visual ever) of Jan. 30, a drawing of Jan. 28, a visual obs. of Jan. 27, a picture and another one of Jan. 26, a picture & report of Jan. 24, a drawing and another one of Jan. 23 and a picture of Jan. 21. Meanwhile the science media have woken up, with more or less long articles here, here, here and here. • More comet pictures: 29P on Jan. 29, 28, 26, 25, 23 and 22, 144P on Jan. 26 and 25 (at the Hyades!), 67P on Jan. 29 and 25 and 116P (more), 17P, 19P and C/2006 OF2. • From the famous bolide of Jan. 17 little more has been heard.

Views of the Moon passing Venus have been widely appreciated (and caused some UFO alarm in Germany): the situation on Jan. 31 in Germany (more), on Jan. 30 in the U.S., Germany (more, still more, earlier, still earlier and in full daylight), from India (two more in the stream and another one) and Australia plus more and on Jan. 29 from Hawaii, Canada (more in the stream), the U.S. (more) and Germany (more), Norway and Italy in daylight. • An amateur photometrist has already detected dozens of exoplanets in transit. • R CrB has been below 14 mag. since November. • The Sun's still inactive but that's good in general. • Here are some fine ISS close-ups from the end of January. • A weird halo has been seen in the Czech Republic. • And true atmospheric optics aficionados see similar phenomena in the kitchen, too. :-)

1 comment:

henning.krause said...

Dear Daniel,

thanks for your hint. Our caption was incorrect. We will correct it asap. Sorry for inconvenience.

Best regards,
Henning Krause

DLR Communication Dept.