Thursday, November 13, 2008

This evening: the full moon occults the Pleiades

The Pleiades occultation tonight will be tough to observe because the Moon is full and its glare will outshine the stars of the cluster. • The occultation of Neptune a week ago seems to have been lost to clouds, at least in the U.K.

In other news Activity region #1008 remains on the solar disk - here's yet another attempt to forecast future activity. • A new meteor monitoring system with two video cameras + fisheye lenses + automated software is now active. shower analysis. • Meanwhile questions have arisen whether the 2008 Taurids were really exceptional: Visual observations do not confirm more fireballs than usual, video data may support the idea. • Comet McNaught on Nov. 9 and on Nov. 3 at Messier 10, plus Cardinal animations. • A long review of the apparent fate of comet Boethin.

• Possible changes on Eris are making some headlines. • Right after the next total solar eclipse in Shanghai next July there will be a comet conference (followed immediately by another one in Rio in August). Here are yet another story on the last TSE (and eclipse observations from the air in general) and related links. • A review of current - and mostly free - planetarium software (which I wouldn't call "virtual telescopes"). • And a 30 minute TV feature on light pollution.

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