Friday, April 4, 2008

Amateur telescope follows fading GRB afterglow within minutes

This time it was no sensation like GRB 080319B, but the gamma-ray burst on March 30 was interesting for another reason: an amateur-run observatory followed the decaying afterglow (here's a movie - big file!) of the burst with high time resolution.

In other news an amateur with a small scope has succeeded in detecting the parallax, proper motion and orbit of 61 Cygni, the famous star for which Bessel measured the first-ever stellar parallax. • A planet-hunting telescope had accidentally recorded the beginning outburst of Holmes (note: the date given in the release is one day late) almost from the beginning. While 22P/Kopff may be undergoing an outburst right now and C/2007 W1 (Boattini) is brightening faster than expected. • Atmospherical science from airplanes bring two recent cases: a dramatic polarization effect and a real mystery.

Soon after the ATV docked to the ISS, an amateur already caught the station with its attachment with high resolution. While the two were still separate, another group had caught the ATV itself with some detail. • From the NAM in Belfast not only several bloggers blog like crazy (including twitter reports like this rather funny one), the ROG also has stories (one more). • And here are HCM-7 reports of days 2, 3 and 4.

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