Sunday, July 1, 2012

Amazing changes on Jupiter - and its occultation by the Moon for Europe - sky highlights of July

This month - which began one second late because the length of day had changed too much (more, more and more) has little to offer except planetwise right at dawn: on the one hand Venus is still in the Hyades for a good week (a great view of June 28), and Jupiter is a bit higher. Where it will be occulted by the Moon in the wee hours of July 15 for central and southern Europe, ahead of a triple conjunction with Aldebaran. (Also recent pictures of Jupiter & Venus on June 27, Moon & Venus on June 18, the crescent Venus on June 2-4, Saturn on June 18 and a rotating Mars from March images.) The most interesting news about Jupiter, however, are dramatic changes in the NEB (earlier), seen best in this montage and pictures from June 30 (more), June 26, June 24, June 19 (NIR; other wavelenghts), June 17, June 13 and June 4-9.

More pictures, reports & videos about recent rare events that merit being linked to: from the Transit of Venus here, here, here, here (more), here, here, here, here, here, here, here (page 95 = PDF pg. 5), here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here (more), here and here - and a 1-hour talk (2012 results from 0:29; context). • From the lunar eclipse a timelapse. • And from the solar eclipse pictures from Texas and Nevada, videos from Xiamen (with the chromosphere), Bryce Canyon and Mt. Fuji, a professional video from Arizona - and a commercial using a weird fake eclipse. • Also from the Sun the disk today, prominences on June 29, nothing on June 22, the disk on June 19 with departing AR 1504 and May pictures (more). • Plus another possible mechanism for corona heating (more, more and more), Earth B field FX and a solar science rocket launch.

Elsewhere in the Universe comet PanSTARRS on June 26, 500 pics of 6000 comets (so far), collected amateur discovery stories, TNO Salacia, a movie of NEO 2012 KT42 (more and more), Arecibo observations to size NEO 2012 LZ1 (more and more), the AG45 story again and rapid response ideas. • An old crater in Greenland (more and more) and new meteor showers. • Another Nova in Sgr faded quickly (more, more and more) as did Nova Oph, one of many novae around. • Also a call for observing an unusual occultation and a paper on amateurs & variable stars.

The noctilucent clouds have been active recently, see both from the ground and from orbit: a "real-time" gallery and selected pictures & reports from the nights June 26/27 (more, more and more), June 25/26 (more), June 24/25 (more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more and more), June 19/20, June 18 and June 17. • There have also been some aurorae after a flare while a U.S. show on June 25 was more difficult to explain. Pictures of June 19, June 18 (more and more) and June 17 (more); also from Scandinavia last winter and from the last 3 years.

And finally a very cool night sky picture (at -70°C) taken by Alex Kumar at Dome C in Antarctica. • A neat solstice demonstration from India and overly crazy star trails. • The Herschel project. • And the ISS & Tiangong in one shot (more), Tiangong 1 & Shenzhou 9 transiting the Sun, ~30 satellites in one image and things rockets put in the sky ...

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