Mars is now in opposition and very bright (as stories here, here and here explain): nice pictures from Feb. 2, Feb. 1, Jan. 30, Jan. 29, Jan. 26/27 (pairwise forming great stereo views, esp. 1+2, 3+4 and 4+5), Jan. 26 (more, more, more, more, more and more), Jan. 23 (more), Jan. 21 and Jan. 5; fresh planet images ago appear in this new gallery. • Pictures of the brightest-of-the-year-full Moon/Mars constellation of Jan. 30 from the Philippines, India (story) and Germany. • Students have recovered a Mars "companion", and asteroid on an horse-shoe orbit. • And a report about a grazing occultation of Antares by the Moon on Jan. 11.
Further reports on the annular eclipse of Jan. 15 have come in, which was a StarPeace event: from Uganda, Kenya, the Maldives (also pictures from Thulagiri and a report and more pictures from Club Faru), India's Varkala (a report and chemical pictures by yours truly and a great beads/chromosphere sequence, as an animation and picture series [use right arrow to forward] and another report with pictures from the S.P.A.C.E. expedition) and South tip (more), Myanmar (more and more) and China, plus impressions from the partial zone from Tanzania, Chennai and Coimbatore in India and Indonesia. Plus the view from space by the Proba 2 satellite, also shown here, here and here. And a German paper on an eclipse chaser. • Some coming attractions, based on this, this, this, this and these pages, among others:
- Feb. 9: PHA 2009 UN3 comes moderately close to Earth and should reach 12th mag.
- Feb. 10 or somewhat later: an evening visibility of Venus begins, lasting til the end of September
- Feb. 13: exoplanet XO-3b will transit its parent star, and a campaign - including a webcast of the event! - is planned
- Feb. 14: Pluto occults a moderately bright star, 11th mag. in the visible, brighter in the (infra-)red, for Europe - a rare event!
- Feb. 16/17: conjunction of Venus and Jupiter (evening visibility ending; conjunction on the 28th), about ½° apart in the morning UTC
- Feb. 18: asteroid (4) Vesta in opposition at 6.1 mag. - naked-eye in dark places
- Feb. 21: the Moon close to the Pleiades