In other news there were two sunspot groups on the disk simultaneously, something not seen in a long time! A close-up of one of the groups on Sep. 26 (when also a big prominence was seen) and reports from Sep. 23 (more), Sep. 22 and Sep. 21. • Sun-related also a comparision of H-alpha telescopes (but is it fair?) and new insights about the solar cycle and a current surge of cosmic rays due to the low activity level (more, more and more). • In the comet world we have the first discovery by the La Sagra Sky Survey, comet 217P over M 42 (also an AAPOD) and one day later, Garradd with a long tail (by F. Kugel), the case of Pigott-LINEAR-Kowalski and Christensen. • Big bolides have been reported e.g. from Argentina, Canada and Namibia, numerous new weak meteor showers have been recognized; we have a new PHA - and the discoverer of 2008 TC3 has now a piece of "his" asteroid after it turned into a meteorite shower over Sudan! There will be a conference on the subject right there, in December - including further meteorite searching!
• Here is a long report about a possible detection of Io's atmosphere by an amateur during a mutual event; also "normal" event reports of Sep. 26 (also as a dramatic video!) and Sep. 9. Plus fine Jupiter images from September and also July - the latter taken at Pic du Midi with 1 meter. • There's now another Galaxy Zoom concentrating on the center region (also reported here) - plus a direct comparision of the two full-sky mosaics discussed 2 weeks ago: Mellinger's has higher resolution becuase Brunier's is actually oversampled. (There's also a another mosaic of only the Lagoon Nebula.) • A short-lived rocket experiment created a glowing cloud in the U.S. sky, causing some news coverage (see also here, here and here). • Also a remarkable amateur picture of the HTV (see also here and here) - and amateur satellite watchers found out what a secret satellite is probably good for. • Sky highlights in October 2009 mostly deal with constellations of the planets.
- Oct. 6 morning: Largest elongation of Mercury with 18° (best morning apparition of the year for the Northern hemisphere; best view should be from Oct. 6 to 15)
- Oct. 8 morning: Mercury just 0.3° SW of Saturn (which just emerges from the Sun's glare); Mercury 5 times brighter.
- Oct. 10 morning: Venus, Saturn and Mercury close together
- Oct. 12 morning: Moon close to Mars
- Oct. 13 morning: Venus 0.6° W of Saturn (and 100 times brighter) - and the opposition loop of Jupiter ends
- Oct. 16 morning: Mars, Saturn, Venus, Mercury and the Moon form a nice constellation
- Oct. 21 late afternoon: The Moon occults Antares for Europe