Monday, November 1, 2010

Comet Hartley still huge, tail more prominent, three days before the encounter

All that's been said about the difficult viewing conditions for 103P/Hartley (2) despite its fine overall brightness still holds true two weeks later, now that the Moon is gone and it's observable again high in dark skies after midnight (in the N hemisphere): The comet - information collections here, here, here, here and here (esp. on the space mission) - is as hard as ever when the sky isn't great, also observed here and here. Selected pictures of today (note the growing tail; also a wide view with a nebula), Oct. 30, Oct. 26, Oct. 23, Oct. 22 (more, more), Oct. 20 (no tracking!), Oct. 19 (also an Oct. 13 ... 19 collage), Oct. 18 (near Eps Aur; more, more), Oct. 17 (more and esp. deep), Oct. 16 (more, processed) and Oct. 15 (animation). Also an Oct. 12 drawing (context), an Oct. 8 super-wide view (context, more) and a September Subaru image and development sequence (small and medium).

In other small-bodies news there was a bright sungrazing comet (more, more, earlier, LASCO C3 video and still, plus the context). • Some strange is happening with comet Tempel 2 (context), there is a new comet Hill, and PanSTARRs has found its 1st comet. • The rules to be a "discoverer" have changed again, and there is a new place for comet observations. • Fine bolide videos here and here - and the possibility of meteors from comet Mellish. • The close passage of minor planet 2003 UV11 (more, mehr & mehr) was documented e.g. here, here, hier and hier (more), with earlier observations here and here (more).

In other news interesting views of Venus on Oct. 31 near inferior conjunction (also its sky track; more), a lot of Saturn moon events in 2009/10 and - older - adaptive optics views of Uranus and esp. Neptune with the Hale telescope. • Sunspot 1117 was substantial, an old butterfly diagram has been reconstructed, new insights into aurora physics, the solar storm watch in action and ways to observe the Sun. • The 1st Irish supernova, the results of the U Sco campaign, the ISS on the Moon, a great timelapse collection and a huge all-sky with the gegenschein et al. (an earlier such view). • Finally there isn't anything special expected in November (mehr), so we rather look forward to the meteor showers and other highlights (mehr) of 2011.

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