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P/244 Scotti

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24/12/2011 - 17:57
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Comet C\2010S1 Linear

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24/12/2011 - 17:55
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Comet Lovejoy seen from Australia

Comet Lovejoy survived it’s encounter with the Sun, and is now putting on fine display in the southern hemisphere. This video was made by Australian amateur astronomer Colin Legg.

 

Comet Lovejoy (2011 W3) rising over Western Australia from Colin Legg on Vimeo.

The BAA’s Denis Buczynski writes:

The ground based discovery of this Kreutz group sungrazer by Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy on 2011 November 27 has been followed closely by comet enthusiasts around the world as it headed towards perihelion passage on December 16. The spectacular views of the comet arrived at our computer screens via a medley of solar monitoring spacecraft. The comet survived its perihelion passage and has now begun its retreat from the Sun. There were some predictions, by comet experts, that the comet would disintegrate, as had been the case with many other sungrazers. Astonishing images were received showing the comet being disrupted during its close approach to the solar surface, losing it tail in the process. However the comet then appeared to brighten and another tail emerged from the brilliant cometary head. The link below will allow the reader to follow the development of the comet via the space imagery.

http://remanzacco.blogspot.com

As the solar elongation grew the possibility of seeing a daylight comet increased. A comparison with the brilliant sungrazer C/1965 S1 Ikeya-Seki seen in daylight in 1965 is being made. The following link shows that daylight imaging has been achieved (extreme care must be taken during this type of imaging) with remarkably simple equipment and techniques:

http://www.astrosurf.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/032557.html

Observers in the southern hemisphere are now beginning to see the comet rising in the early morning dawn sky. What the future developments are for this remarkable comet will be seen in images and observations made during the next few weeks. The link below shows a video of the comet and moon rising from a dark sky site in Western Australia made by Colin Legg .

http://vimeo.com/34007626

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Comet C\2010G2 Hill

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18/12/2011 - 22:53
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M1 - The Crab Nebula - by Paul Downing

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Paul Downing
Time of observation
18/12/2011 - 15:45
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This image of Messier 1 was taken in Spain on 28th November 2011 by BAA member Paul Downing using a C14 and SBIG ST10-XME CCD camera. The image is an LRGB of 50:40:40:40 minutes.

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Comet C\2010G2 Hill

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Time of observation
17/12/2011 - 16:03
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Comet C\2010S1 Linear

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Time of observation
17/12/2011 - 16:02
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Geminid meteor shower nearing peak

The Geminid meteor shower is now underway, with peak activity expected during Wednesday, 14th December.  Unfortunately, weather forecasts indicate very variable observing conditions across the British Isles and Northern Europe, so it is important to have a good geographical spread of observers to ensure adequate coverage. The waning gibbous Moon will also be rather obtrusive, so observers are advised to direct their gaze away from the Moon, or to hide the Moon behind an obstruction such as the wall of a house.

The Geminids are currently the most active of the regular annual showers, with rates outstripping those of the Perseids for a 24-hour interval centred on their 14-15 December maximum – a real treat for observers prepared to brave the cold, damp and windy weather.

This year, Geminid activity is expected to peak at about 14h on Wednesday, December 14th, when the peak Geminid Zenithal Hourly Rate may reach 140 m/h – sadly during daylight hours for observers across Europe. The maximum is broad, however, and it is important to have a spread of observers making observations throughout the nights of 13th/14th December and on 14th/15th December to ensure adequate coverage of the shower maximum.  In addition, observations by BAA members in North America and the Far East will be welcomed by the Meteor Section to improve coverage of the period of peak shower activity.

The Geminid radiant (at RA 07h 32m  Dec +33o, just north of Castor) rises early on and reaches a respectable altitude well before midnight, so observers who are unable to stay up late can still contribute very useful watches. On the evening of Wednesday 14th December there is the added bonus of an increased proportional abundance of bright events after maximum; past observations show that bright Geminids become more numerous some hours after the rates have peaked, a consequence of particle-sorting in the meteor stream.

Geminid meteors enter the atmosphere at a relatively slow 35 km/sec, and thanks to their robust (presumably rocky/asteroidal as opposed to dusty/cometary) nature tend to last longer than most in luminous flight. Unlike swift Perseid or Orionid meteors, which last only a couple of tenths of a second, Geminids may be visible for a second or longer, sometimes appearing to fragment into a train of ‘blobs’. Their relatively low speed and the abundance of bright events makes the Geminids a prime target for imaging.

For further information, or copies of report forms, observing notes, and details of how to carry out group meteor watches, please visit the BAA Meteor Section website at http://britastro.org/meteor

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Some pictures of the total lunar eclipse

A good number of people were successful in witnessing the final phases of the total lunar eclipse from the UK. Here are a few taken by members of the BAA.

 

 

 

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Lunar Eclipse from West Suffolk by Martin Mobberley

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Martin Mobberley
Time of observation
12/12/2011 - 13:21
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This was the best image we received of the recent lunar eclipse. Thank you Martin! Image details are on the image.
Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.

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