Friday, June 17, 2011

Deep total lunar eclipse enjoyed from Oceania to Europe

Tons of reports and gorgeous pictures have already come in from many countries, stretching in longitude from Portugal to New Caledonia: There the lunar eclipse of June 15/16 began at dawn while in western Europe it ended at dusk; only in western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and parts of Africa the complete show could be enjoyed. One way to beat geometry was to follow the eclipse via webcasts of which the one arranged by SLOOH and Google delivered best. This page links to numerous images and reports and fine galleries can be found here, here, here, here = here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Selected pictures from New Caledonia, Australia (gorgeous wide-angle view; more, more, more, more, more and more), South Korea, India (more, more and more), Armenia, Iran (more), Turkey (more), Croatia, Rhodos, Greece (more, more, more and more), Italy (more), Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Austria (continued; more, more, more and more) and the UK (no luck).

In Germany the eclipse was right 'on the edge' and visibility of totality depended strongly on your location, let alone the weather conditions. Some reports and image impressions from near Donauwörth (story), Ulm, Irschenberg, Weikersheim (scroll down), Münster, Freising, Leonding, Wasserkuppe, Munich, Vogtland, Plochingen, near Heidelberg, Bonn (little to see; story), Finsterwalde (no pictures) and Stuttgart (nothing; more). Some stories about the eclipse can be found here, here, here, hier and hier (alt.). There were also plans to use the LRO for temperature measurements at high resolution during the eclipse, and a paper just came out on the impact of the Kasatochi eruption on the Moon's illumination during the August 2008 lunar eclipse. Finally a moderately funny German satire about the eclipse and complete nonsense, also here and here ...• Nice pictures of the preceding solar eclipse in Lapland - and a paper on the TSE 10 years ago in Zambia.

In other solar system news another mutual event of Haumea & Namaka was observed and tweeted live from La Palma - the dip was shallower than expected and the live-tweeting of science made news of its own. • There is a new orbit for comet PANSTARRS (scroll down) which would improve visibility even more; since the IfA and the Pan-STARRS project are talking, the comet's got some press here, here, here, here and here. Let's just wait for the orbital calculations to stabilize; meanwhile C/2009 P1 (Garradd) could be fun.

Regarding the Sun, a prediction of low solar activity in cycles 24 and esp. 25 - immediately attacked, BTW - has caused a lot of reporting, e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, hier, hier, hier and here. • Other solar news addressed the impact of minima (alt.) and solar waves (related paper & story) and ropes; also Proba 2 saw the June 7 eruption (that had no effects on Earth whatsoever) and STEREO the farside of the Sun, plus a long and a short story on solar activity in general.

In deep space the supernova 2011dh in M 51 has brightened to about 12.7 mag.! A picture of June 7 and a paper and another one and a report and another one on the progenitor. • Finally a possible nebula discovery by an amateur astronomer - and NLCs during the lunar eclipse spotted in Austria of all places.

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