Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bright sungrazing comet in SOHO's field of view right now!

It was discovered by an amateur Dec. 30 on STEREO images, but now it can be seen clearly in images from SOHO's LASCO C3 coronagraph: In the last hours the brightness of the - now saturated - comet has risen to zero or -1 mag. Somewhat more predictable events in January (see lists and articles here, here, here, here, hier, hier, hier und hier) includeThere are also a preview for the full year and a lot of links to reviews of the past one. (In other comet news a lot of great Halley pictures from 1985/6 have now been scanned and put online; from current comets we have C/2007 Q3 on Dec. 25 and 81P on Dec. 19).

In other news the ZHR profile of the Geminids of 2009 can be interpreted as a drawn out plateau of perhaps a double peak - in any case, most of the activity came many hours early! There is one famous picture (explained here), a composite shows 34 GEM in one view (more composites) - and an IMO spokesman on TV! • A bolide in China may have dropped meteorites - and the hunt is on again after an old fall in the U.S. • A star occultation by (599) Luisa was very well observed in Europe: reports here (ctd.) and here. • 2009 YE9 is the biggest KBO find in 5 years, among many hundreds.

• The partial lunar eclipse of 31 Dec. or 1 Jan. was a webcast-only event for many, but great pictures were possible e.g. in Athens, the Philippines, Mallorca, Malaysia, Spain, Dublin, Sri Lanka or Chennai (more previews here, here, hier, hier or here; some don't get it at all, though ...) • From the July 22 total solar eclipse a Japanese satellite view, Indian picture collections and a late trip report. • A stellar occultation by the Moon observed in India.

• Solar activity is finally rising, at least w.r.t. the number of non-spot-free days ... December brought something to see indeed, on the 19th, 18th (at sunset), 17th, 16th (more, more; earlier) and 15th (more, more and a movie until the 15th). • Also the "fingerprint" of the new cycle, how the low EUV flux cools the upper atmosphere, how the Sun is innocent in global warming (more) and 10 years of AcrimSat monitoring the solar 'constant'.

• Great hi-res views of Mars from Jan. 1, Dec. 29, Dec. 28, Dec. 27, Dec. 14 and Dec. 5. • Mercury, Jupiter and Moon constellations on Dec. 21 (more), Dec. 20 (more), Dec. 19 (all three from Oz), Dec. 18 and Dec. 17. • Jupiter & Neptune on Dec. 25 and Dec. 11. • Epsilon Aurigae images and reports of Dec. 19, Dec. 15 and Dec. 14 and a Delta Cephei lightcurve obtained with a simple digital camera. • Deep sky drawings from India. • An accidental green segment image. • A winter star party ... in Austria! • A Dark Sky Park in California. • And Indians going for Jovian radio emmissions.

1 comment:

Desh said...

Hello Daniel,

I head about your eclipse expedition from Universetoday, In fact it's coincident that we also went on an eclipse expedition to Jaffna, Northern Sri Lanka

It was really successful and we took great shots and elegant videos during the annular phase. In addition we discovered that we have accidentally spotted sunspots in the 1st Contact photo, Meantime we ran a blog dedicated tot he eclipse and also webcast the eclipse,

I'm really fascinated to have heard your story, traveling from Germany to south India chasing the eclipse down.

I have put our photos/ videos in my eclipse blog @ and willing forward to see yours as well,

Let me know what you think,

Cheers !!
Prasanna Deshapriya