Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Japanese amateur comet just a 10th magnitude fuzzball

Early visual estimates put it at barely brighter than 10th magnitude, and on pictures C/2009 E1 (Itagaki) is mainly a compact fuzzball: It's orbit will bring it into perihelion in early April, wo it won't get much brighter. • Meanwhile for Lulin an analysis of perspective effects, a collection of pictures by one photographer spanning a long time and recent images of March 15 next to the Eskimo nebula, March 13 with an open star cluster (another picture), March 12 and March 11). From earlier times also a March 2 video, a long exposure from Feb. 25 (discussed here) and a Feb. 21 movie. • Regarding the 2007 mega-outburst of Holmes, there is a new paper (also here in PDF) discussing IR data. • The "curious coma-tail" of C/2007 Q3 (Siding-Spring). • And 29P on March 9. • Several meteorites from the Jan. 17 "Baltic" fireball have been found on the Danish island of Lolland.

In other news Venus is already near inferior conjunction and closing in on the Sun, with the slender crescent good for near-IR imaging of the glowing night side or just for pretty pictures, e.g. on March 13 or March 9, one doesn't need much equipment for that. • Another transit of Titan has been observed on Saturn from Eastern Asia. • Some ideas what to do during a total solar eclipse - and the one from 30 years ago in an live broadcast by ABC or in the news from CBS. • The Top 10 galaxies from the new Galacxy Zoo. • Another GLOBE at Night is on; see all the links in the 1st § of this article for advice. • Observations of Iridium 33 & Kosmos 2251 (the debris has begun reentering the atmosphere). • And an ISS streak over Slooh on Tenerife, the full moon of March 11 and Discovery, and a hi-res picture of a lunar crater.

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