Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pretty good star occultation by asteroid for the U.S. - and to be webcast!

A rare eclipse of a star visible - in principle - in binoculars by a double asteroid, (90) Antiope, will be visible in Western parts of the U.S. and central Canada in the night 18/19 July: The eclipse of the star LQ Aquarii will last up to 30 seconds in a 125-mile-wide path from the San Francisco Bay area to Boise and W. Montana, then crossing the border (and into bright dawn), and a few who happen to be in the right place might see two eclipses, one by each component of the Antiope pair. Anyone in the path can help accurately measure the size and shape of the objects by making simple observations of the eclipse , though, and the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) seeks as many observations of the eclipse as possible. The Moon will be nearby and bright, making the 6.7-mag. star hard to see with small optics - but if you aren't there, don't have clear skies or suitable optics, don't worry: The event will be webcast plus recorded with a lot of cameras!

In other solar system stories meteorites & the law, the NEO 2002 NY40 - many saw rushing thru the sky - as a bolide source, and bolide stories from New Zealand and Brazil. • While comet Garradd is not in outburst, it's still worth observing, as pictures of July 10, July 9, July 8 and July 7 - by M. J├Ąger - show. • News comets C/2011 N1 and N2, the big sungrazer was also seen in front of the Sun (enhanced), but why is unclear - and Hartley 2 had a dust trail! • The June lunar eclipse in a wide-angle time-lapse movie from Tajikistan and pictures from Namibia, Israel and Italy; also the umbra study gets mentioned. • One fish-eye picture with a lot of planets on July 9 - and Jupiter close-ups of July 16 (another one) and July 11.

From the Sun thoughts about flares on 7 June 2011 and 14 July 2000 (still a science topic!), also new ways to measure magnetism around the Sun. • The light curve of SN 2011 dh in M 51 so far (and pictures of July 12 and July 9), the unusual brightness of Del Sco and the light curve of Eps Aur. • More nice NLC displays over the U.K. on July 14, Germany and the U.K. (more, more, more, more, more, more, more and more) and elsewhere on July 10, from the U.K. on July 7/8 (and stream: more, more and more), from Sweden on July 5 and Ireland on July 2. • A meteor camera recorded sprites. • And for the last time the ISS w/shuttle in front of the Sun (more), also a windy video and report about another transit, a glory seen from a camera on the launching shuttle - and a report on amateur astronomers imaging the launch.

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