Friday, October 31, 2008

Few highlights in November - thus the border days count as well

Today and in the following days there are some nice nice line-ups of planets and the Moon in the evening sky, but two of the November highlights, yet another Pleijades occultation and the Leonid meteors, are largely drowned in Moonlight. So, to spice up the list a little bit, Oct. 31 and Dec. 1 are included as well.
  • Oct. 31: Another close encounter with Enceladus for Cassini; the team is again blogging about the experience.

  • Nov. 6: The (first-quarter) Moon only 0.2° from Neptune in the evening (at least as seen from Germany).

  • Nov. 8: Orbit insertion for Chandrayaan 1 after a complicated trajectory to the Moon.

  • Nov. 13: The full Moon occults the Pleijades for Europe - that will be tough to watch, even with binoculars.

  • Nov. 17 (at 1:32 or 0:22 UTC) and perhaps also Nov. 18 (at 21:38 UTC): Two possibilities or just one for 100 Leonid meteors per hour and perhaps even more - but the waning gibbous Moon will interfere heavily.

  • Dec. 1: The Moon occults Venus, for Europe in the late early evening. And Jupiter will be just 2° away.
In other news a fireball as bright as the full Moon was imaged on Oct. 29 over Colorado and has been seen widely (more and more reports). • There is also talk about a moderately fresh impact crater in Alberta, CA. • There will be mutual events of Namaka and Haumea for several more years, thanks to the other moon of the dwarf planet. • Here are comet C/2008 A1 on Oct. 18 and 29P on Oct. 27. • A quickly varying white dwarf, HL Tau 76. • One can watch aurorae on the web - and still Kasatochi stuff in the atmosphere.

• Italian amateur astronomers have imaged Pluto's moon Charon with a 14" telescope. • A really long exposure with a pinhole camera. • The last tracked fragment of "blown-up" satellite USA 193 has reentered on Oct. 9. • There are new features for the World Wide Telescope. • A cool tool lets you rotate the closest stars. • And the activity of the Sun - which was particularly wild 5 years ago and is sometimes connecting with the Earth via FTEs - may be influencing the streamflow of S. America's Parana river, however that might work ...

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