Thursday, February 12, 2009

Penumbral eclipse was evident - when weather, longitude were right

You could do it like in Turkey where they arranged lunar watching parties on the evening of Feb. 9th to celebrate the eclipse after it was over - but it surely was more fun much farther East when the penumbral lunar eclipse could actually be seen and was pretty obvious: Here are good pictures from Oz and more, reports from the Philippines (with pictures), Australia and India (another and another report). The eclipse was also used for a StarPeace event on the Indian-Pakistan border; when the full Moon rose in Europe, the eclipse was over, of course. Here is that moonrise with an omega effect, i.e. an inferior mirage. • Yet more great pictures of the annular solar eclipse from Indonesia have become available - and here you can download a perfect view of the 2nd contact (by the same photographer) with a few Baily's Beads! • While here a connection between the Israeli elections and total eclipses is made ...

In other news comet Lulin is hard to observe right now because of the waning Moon nearby, but when it peaks around 5th mag., it'll be in the dark again (and visible in the full 2nd half of the night): pictures of Feb. 11 and Feb. 9 (processed) and visual observations up to Feb. 7; also discussion of Lulin's plasma tail. The NASA talk about an in principle poisonous gas in Lulins coma has led to some unfortunate headlines, also in Germany (where this tabloid headline says "green poison comet races by Earth" ...). The comet's appearance has also been linked to the IYA. • Feb. 3 images of 116P and 29P.

• Here now an amateur detection of Saturn's E ring (some of the ring gaps have new names, by the way) and the moon Calypso, an observation of Dione in eclipse under the rings and a Titan transit on Feb. 8. • One may also wonder why Venus is so bright. • There is a Nova in the LMC. • The debris from the big satellite collision on Feb. 10 (see the Cosmic Mirror #325 for many links) is detectable by radar echos. • What is 1999 RQ36 up to? (Not much for now.) • Also NASA's SkyView, 35 stunnung hi-res public domain astro pics and 101 breathtaking near-IR landscape pics of this planet - where it's happy Darwin Day (nice drawing) today!

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