Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Druckm├╝llerized corona of 1 August published!

The first two results from a long-running project by Czech mathematician (and amateur astronomer) Miloslav Druckm├╝ller regarding the total solar eclipse of 2008 - that the last two posts dealt with - have been published today! This particular kind of image processing which Miloslav (and his daughter!) developped from first principles of signal analysis is widely regarded as bringing out all the structure that the eye can see in the corona and more in just one image in which the extremely high dynamic range of the solar atmosphere is eliminated and fine - but real - structure enhanced mightily. One of the images shows the corona in all its glory with enormous detail and background stars down to 11th mag., the other presents the true colors of the corona with highly amplified saturation. More results (based on images obtained in Mongolia) will appear here in the future, and observers in other locations have also contributed data so that subtle changes in the corona over many minutes may have been documented. Another large collection of links to reports from the 2008 TSE - and the PLE two weeks later; this is how yours truly and numerous others saw it - will follow.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lots more exotic views and images of the 2008 total solar eclipse ...

... have come in over the past seven days, so here's a new collection of links, as big as the initial one. The most unusual view is certainly this video from the edge of the totality zone, shot near Hami in China. We also have new corona composites here and here and a video of the Moon shadow from GEO orbit.Additional material covers partiality in H-Alpha, impressions from Svalbard, strange physics and collections of further stories & links, esp. this one (German version).

In other news the Perseids peak tomorrow, making the coming night and the one from Aug. 12/13 the best to watch - after midnight, when the Moon has set. It's not quite clear what to expect: The CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 1464 contains some inconclusive thoughts about Swift-Tuttle's dust trail form 1479 which may - or may not - cause some action at 5:30 UTC on Aug. 12 and other possible rate enhancements. So: Watch the skies - or the visual data quicklook where the rate is already going up steadily. No part of the Perseids was a nice New Mexico fireball of Aug. 4, by the way.

• Comet-wise there are Boattini images of Aug. 10, Aug. 3 and Aug. 2, Lulin images of Aug. 2 (animation), July 29 and July 24 and D'Arrest images of Aug. 3 and July 25. • There is a call for observations of Eta Carinae which has started a new spectroscopic event which returns every 5½ years - a piece of evidence for a binary system.

• The famous Hanny's Voorwerp story, all over the news, has now even produced Yale and Oxford Press Releases - rarely do amateur astronomical chance discoveries have such an impact on pro astrophysics. • There are more ISS images of July 30, 27, 25 and 24 (more), Stardust@Home hasn't found an interstellar particle yet, and the HST celebrates 100,000 orbits.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Total solar eclipse observed well from Asia, sea and air

As with the previous total solar eclipse in 2006 the view was clear along much of the track of totality during the TSE of 1 August 2008 - from places in the Arctic sea (with dismal weather stats) through Russia, Mongolia and China where the eclipse was even visible a few degrees above horizon in its central region. And there were even two eclipse flights, originating in Germany and Canada.

Three days later the web is full with early impressions and detailled reports - and it became clear that the corona's shape had been predicted very well several days ahead, as a comparision with a first composite by Lüthen (explained here) shows.

There are now picture galleries by SpaceWeather, S&T, LA Times, Welt, Chicago Tribune, Tagesschau and even the Huffington Post - and radioastronomical amateur observations of the partial phase. Individual links follow, sorted by region along the track.General coverage of the eclipse (covering its impact in several places) was provided by Sky & Tel., LA Times, MSNBC, BBC, CNN, AP, IB Times, Bild (with Reuters video, also here), Sat1, N24 (with other video), T-Online, DPA, News and in this video. And there was even an unusual view from space, explained here.