Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pretty unusual stellar occultation by an asteroid highlight of November

Asteroids are always causing interest, be it a discovery in New Zealand or a very small one occulting a very bright star along a narrow strip (so far either negative or clouded-out reports have been received). A more promising and scientifically important event is coming up on the morning of Nov. 21, however, when (234) Barbara hits at 7.5 mag. star - and this asteroid is double and has been measured by optical interferometry. Chords from the occultation - visible in Florida and Europe - would provide a crucial test of this method and could actually deliver higher resolution. Other than that only the Leonids (with a max. ZHR between 150 and 200 according to the latest models) and a Jupiter/Moon conjunction on Nov. 23 seem to be important in November; other previews here, hier, hier, hier and/und hier.

In other news three comets in one picture (one undiscovered at the time), two comets in one view and LINEAR on Oct. 26 and Oct. 24. • Just for the record another impact hoax, this time in Latvia and obviously faked from the video alone (more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more and more links, more or less enlightened). • Detailed analysis of an Antares occultation by the Moon. • Mars inside Messier 44 (a preview and Mars close-up) plus a Moon/Jupiter conjunction from the Philippines. • The largest sunspot in ages on Oct. 30, Oct. 28 (more) and Oct. 26 (more). • Nova Sgr 2009 #4 (more). • A Bright Star Monitor at work. • The Mellinger mosaic has now a press release, copied e.g. here and here. • What an almost blind astronomer can do. • An ISS/Moon transit from Germany. • And a fullmoon rainbow in the headlines.

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