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Thursday, 5 January 2017

[BAA-ebulletin 00955] Reminder of the next BAA Meeting on Saturday 21st January 2017

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BAA electronic bulletin
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Happy New Year

I would like to remind you that the next meeting of the BAA will be on
Saturday January 21st 2017 in the new lecture room, Burlington House.

14:30    Dr Jeremy Shears BAA President - Welcome and OM, notices etc
14:50    Dr Andrew Pontzen - "Understanding galaxies and their diversity
using a biologically-inspired 'genetic modification' approach"
15:45   Tea
16:15    Alex Pratt – "Multi-year videography of the Quadrantids meteor
shower"
16:45    Sky Notes:  Mr Callum Potter
17:15    Bob Marriott - 'The BAA Instruments and Imaging Section'.
17:45    Close

Doors open at 14.00 and the meeting will start at 14.30 and is due to
finish by 18:00. Tea will be served in the library from 17:00

Hope to see you there

--
*Hazel Collett*
*Meetings Secretary For the British Astronomical Association*
*Burlington House*
*Piccadilly*
*London*
*W1J 0DU*
*Tel: 07944 751277*

*Registered Charity No. 210769*
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
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(c) 2017 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
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--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Sunday, 1 January 2017

[BAA-ebulletin 00954]

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BAA electronic bulletin
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The evening elongation of Venus, 2017
Venus was conspicuous in the evening sky throughout the Festive Season, but although many members look at the planet from time to time, not many observe it seriously. At present the planet is rapidly approaching dichotomy (50% phase). Visual measurements of the phase are of interest in maintaining continuity in our records of the time of apparent dichotomy; sharp unprocessed images adequately exposed to show the true terminator will also be valuable. Apparent dichotomy arrives a few days early at an evening elongation, and will occur in about a week's time. Greatest elongation occurs on January 12, after which Venus will draw in towards the Sun, and inferior conjunction will be reached on March 25.
During the early part of 2017, Venus will be observable upon a dark sky, and therefore we shall have a really good opportunity to look for any sign of the famous 'Ashen Light' (AL) glow from the planet's dark side. Positive and negative observations are requested, and checking for this phenomenon will be worthwhile once the phase has dropped to around 40% or less. Use of an occulting bar to hide the bright crescent is recommended. Well-exposed integrated light or visual waveband filter images will also be useful, but should be made with an infrared blocking filter. This opportunity to observe upon a dark evening sky comes but rarely in the eight year 'cycle' of ten successive elongations of the planet. In 1993, for example, several positive visual records of the AL were made by different BAA observers from February 14 till March 25, but eight years later in 2001 there were no satisfactory sightings. Back in 1953 there were many positive records by experienced observers such as R.M.Baum, M.B.B.Heath, P.A.Moore and C.Tombaugh.
Another useful type of observation will be to try to image the thermal emission from the dark side. Subtle details of the surface topography can be revealed by image enhancement, and generally the higher ground will have a lower albedo, due to the decrease in temperature with altitude. Recent evidence (Sky & Telescope, 2017 February, page 11) strongly suggests that Venus may still be volcanically active, and what are believed to be fresh lava flows over the summit of one large volcano showed enhanced temperatures during the ESA Venus Express mission. Therefore any albedo variations in current images compared with previous ones are of great interest.
For a selection of earlier results it will be worthwhile looking at the comprehensive 1991-98 and 1999-2007 BAA Venus reports posted at the Section's website, which is linked from the BAA homepage.
Please send your results to me regularly: all observers are welcome to contribute, whether new or experienced.
Thank you very much in advance, and a very Happy New Year.
Dr Richard McKim (Director, Mercury & Venus Section)
richardmckim@btinternet.com
2017 January 1
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
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(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Saturday, 31 December 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00953] Aurora Alert

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BAA electronic bulletin
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Aurora Alert

A coronal hole has started to impact earth from 11:00UT 31st December 2016.

The field is unstable both positive and negative however the wind speed has increased to over 550kps.

It is only affecting Northern Scotland at the moment but could go further. It is showing on http://www.shetland.org/60n/webcams/cliff-cam-3


Any reports please to - sandra-b@hotmail.co.uk<mailto:sandra-b@hotmail.co.uk>


Cheers & clear skies and a Happy New Year to all my readers.


Sandra Brantingham

Aurora and NLC Director
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Monday, 19 December 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00950] Invitation to Exoplanet Observation Workshop in support of the TWINKLE and ARIEL space missions

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BAA electronic bulletin
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Dear BAA Member,

We would like to invite interested observers to a workshop at the Royal Astronomical Society on the afternoon of Monday, 9th January 2017 to explore amateur involvement in support of the proposed TWINKLE and ARIEL space missions. The workshop will be held in the Council Room of the Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BQ.

The aim of the workshop is to take the first steps in setting up a worldwide group of amateur observers able to provide ground-based support for measuring photometric variability of space mission target stars, including exoplanet transits.

TWINKLE is an independent mission to characterise the atmospheres of around 100 hot, bright exoplanets observed from Earth-orbit. The mission is led by University College London and Blue Skies Space Ltd. It will be built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd involving a consortium of over 15 institutions across the UK, and scheduled for launch in 2019. ARIEL is a more ambitious exoplanet mission in which observations are planned from the L2 position in space, due for launch about 2026.

EXOPLANET WORKSHOP Agenda - Monday 9th January

1:30 - Coffee / tea on arrival
2:00 - 2:15 - Welcome, introduction to the Twinkle mission  (Jonathan Tennyson, Twinkle Senior Advisor)
2:15 - 2:25 - Twinkle's target list  (Giovanna Tinetti, Twinkle Science Lead)
2:25 - 2:40 - Twinkle's instrumentation and ground-based/amateur observations required in support of the mission  (Giorgio Savini, Twinkle Payload Lead)
2:40 - 2:50 - Groundbased support via the BAA Observing Sections  (Richard Miles, Roger Pickard, BAA)
2:50 - 2:55 - Europlanet workshops and ground-based campaign in support of Rosetta  (Anita Heward)
2:55 - 3:05 - Connected Telescope Project  (Marco Rocchetto, Konica Minolta)
3:05 - 4:45 - Discussion on next steps
           - Mechanisms for communicating and sharing data
           - Further groups to involve
           - Roles and responsibilities
           - Planning for Europlanet workshop
4:45 - 5:00 - Summary

As a follow-up to this initial UK-focused workshop, the plan is to submit a proposal to the Europlanet organisation for funding a 2-day international workshop (most probably to be held in London) to progress amateur observational support of TWINKLE, ARIEL, Gaia and other exoplanet missions.

Despite the rather short notice, we hope that a good number of interested observers will be able to participate in this first workshop. If you are planning to attend then do please let us know in advance by e-mailing the undersigned (R. Miles). Many thanks.


Richard Miles, BAA Asteroids and Remote Planets Section Director
rmiles [at] baa [dot] u-net [dot] com

pp.
Roger Pickard, BAA Variable Star Section Director
Anita Heward, Communications Manager, Twinkle Space Mission
Giovanna Tinetti, Twinkle Science Lead
Giorgio Savini, Twinkle Payload Lead
Jonathan Tennyson, Twinkle Senior Advisor


Message sent on:  2016 December 16 18:28UT ======================================================================
BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00944] Showcasing your observations on the BAA website

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BAA electronic bulletin
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In recent months, the BAA's Website Operations Team has been looking
for ways to build a greater sense of online community within the
Association. After a busy summer's work, we are excited to announce
the launch of "BAA Member Pages"
<https://britastro.org/member_profiles>.

These are the latest addition to the Community section of the
Association's website and allow you to upload and showcase your
observations. Whether you observe with the naked eye, or using
equipment, this is a place where you can share your work with others.
You can put up anything that relates to your enjoyment of astronomy -
from historical photographs to images of your own equipment; sketches
of Mars to light curves of variable stars. You can even add a few
lines of text to narrate a specific observation, or a summary of a
whole observing session. All we ask is that you don't upload other
people's work without their permission.

We want to encourage all members to feel part of the BAA community,
whatever their experience level. So, whether you are just starting
out, or have been observing for a life-time, please do share your
work. Once you've uploaded your observations, you can share links to
them on your own website or blog, or on Facebook or Twitter.

It is very easy to start uploading your observations: simply visit
<https://britastro.org/profile> and click on "Upload image" or "Quick
post". You will need to be logged into the website to create and
update your members page. If you are already a BAA member but do not
have a BAA website account, you can register here:
<https://britastro.org/user/register>. You will find your membership
number alongside your name on the address sheet of the Journal, or
otherwise please contact the BAA Office for assistance. If you have
any questions about the process the Website News and Help section of
our online forum is a good place to find help.

BAA Member Pages are accessible to anyone else who visits the BAA's
website, not just to BAA members. We therefore suggest that you do not
reveal personal information on your profile, such as your exact
location or personal contact details.

We still request members to submit observations to the relevant BAA
Section Directors, to ensure that they can be properly analysed and
archived. Each member will have a finite amount of space for their
Member Page – currently set at 200MB – and we have also adopted a
limit of 2MB per upload which mirrors that on the BAA's Forum. Members
will be permitted to upload 10 observations per day in the first
instance.

The BAA's website is still evolving and we would value your feedback
on the services we provide. The Website News and Help area of our
online forum is a good place to share your thoughts or to ask
questions.

We look forward to seeing your observations, and to seeing and sharing
the great work which is being undertaken by the BAA community.

-----
James Dawson, on behalf of the BAA Website Operations Team
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
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(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00937] Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory

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BAA electronic bulletin
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Ricardo Hueso  has sent details of the updated PVOL data base as described below
Regards
Mike Foulkes

*********************
Dear all,

I am very glad to write that today we are releasing the second       version of our database of amateur observations of Solar       System planets: PVOL (Planetary Virtual Observatory and       Laboratory). The new database is PVOL2: Planetary Virtual        Observatory and Laboratory and substitutes the former       database of the International Outer Planets Watch (PVOL).       PVOL2 is aimed to contain all previous data in the PVOL       database (images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and       new images from these planets and others (specially Venus).

PVOL 2 is available in the following link: http://pvol2.ehu.eus

Data from Mercury, Mars and Venus is still scarce in the       database and we will upload images of previous years over the       following months after specific calls to amateur observers.       The current database contains more than 23000 images of       Jupiter, 7000 images of Saturn, 340 images of Uranus and 180       images of Neptune. Jupiter data is available since 2010 and we       plan to incorporate more data of past years (as well as       Mercury, Venus and Mars) in "calls" to the amateur community       in the next few weeks.

PVOL is compatible with professional databases currently under       development and is fully searchable through its own interface.       In the near future it will be also available through the VESPA       (Virtual European Solar and Planetary Access) portal (http://vespa.obspm.fr/planetary).

Amateur astronomers can send new observations to the        following e-mail address: pvol@ehu.eus

We sincerely thank you for your collaboration       making your observations available to the scientific       community. You will see that much of this data is actually       used for scientific research in the "Publications from PVOL        data" tab by different research groups internationally.       Note that researchers may use your data for their particular       research field but individual observers retain all the       copyrights of their images (see the copyright statement in the       footer of the webpage).

You can search planetary images in the PVOL2 website in the "Search        data" tab. Note that many searchable parameters can be       incorporated and you may play with the search options       proposing many different combinations, including selection of       only maps or animations, or images by a single individual       observer or observations in a given time-frame, or the latest       additions to the database. The new "Feature" option works only       on tagged images which are currently only a few, but will be       improved in the near future and tagged by volunteers after a       specific call for collaborators. Besides downloading       individual images, you will be able to download large amounts       of images (up to 100) in a single zip file.

In a few weeks we will start to give some observers permission       to upload their images but for the moment all image        submissions will be through e-mail: pvol@ehu.eus

The former webpage of the IOPW PVOL database will still be       online but it will no longer be updated.

How to contribute? Please send us your current       observations of solar system planets (including Mars, Venus       and Mercury) in image files with information on the       acquisition time. In the next few weeks we will make specific       "calls" to amateur astronomers to send images of solar system       planets obtained over the past but for the moment we are       starting slowly since each image has to be uploaded       individually by one of us.

Please keep on collaborating with other research projects like       the Juno mission to Jupiter (https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/),       the Akatsuki mission to Venus (https://akatsuki.matsue-ct.jp/) and other amateur databases like (ALPO-Japan http://alpo-j.asahikawa-med.ac.jp/indexE.htm).

Gradual release: We are expecting that some observers       may play with the database at a much higher rate in the first       hours of this release than any time in the past 10 years. We       are planning a gradual release of the PVOL2 service. You are       kindly invited to use the system but please do not publish       news on social media about PVOL2 in the next few hours to       avoid too many simultaneous connections to the server from a       large list of potential users. This particular e-mail is only       sent to British amateur astronomers and I would feel grateful       if the BAA could diffuse this information over the day. We       will also be very glad to share links and notes concerning the       Jupiter activity reports compiled by John Rogers at the BAA in       the new "Reports" tab.

Acknowledgements: PVOL 2 has been made possible by       Europlanet 2020 RI, which has received funding from the       European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation       programme under grant agreement No 654208 and is hosted at the       University of the Basque Country in Spain. This work has been       made possibly by the programming efforts of Jon Juaristi       Campillo, hired under a Europlanet-2020 RI contract at the       Planetary Sciences Group in the University of the Basque       Country (Spain).

Best regards,


Ricardo Hueso,

Agustín Sánchez-Lavega,

Jon Josu Legarreta,

Jon Juaristi Campillo,

Planetary Sciences Group – UPV/EHU

Press Esc or click anywhere to return to Mail.
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
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(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
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--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Sunday, 7 August 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00928] Forthcoming meetings on Asteroids in August/September

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BAA electronic bulletin
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As highlighted in the August Journal's "From the President" spot by Jeremy Shears, I would also like to draw your attention to two asteroid-related meetings, which are now rapidly approaching:

The first will be in a little under two week's time, namely the European Symposium on Occultation Projects (ESOP, see http://www.esop35.uk/ ), which begins on the evening of Friday, August 19 and runs to Tuesday, August 23: the last two days comprising post-conference trips for delegates. BAA members not yet registered are very welcome to join the Saturday and/or Sunday sessions. The venue is the University of Surrey, Guildford. The topics will be very varied including lunar/asteroid occultations, observing opportunities made possible by the GAIA mission, hardware and software for timing and image capture, as well as demos and tutorials with some contributions from afar via Skype. Please contact the ARPS Director by e-mail (address below) if you would like more details of the programme, or if you wish to attend at short notice.

The second is the Asteroids and Remote Planets Workshop, free to BAA members, which will take place on Saturday, September 24 at Burlington House, Piccadilly and details of which have also been featured in the current Journal (p.258) - see also https://britastro.org/node/7189 . There will be lots of practical topics covered on the day, including some which overlap with techniques used in the study of comets. Attendees are welcome to contribute by way of a short talk, or by participation in discussions. Please note that, if you are planning to attend, you will need to first book by contacting the BAA Office on 020 7734 4145 or office[at]britastro.org - Please book early so as to confirm your place. Thank you.

Richard Miles
arps[at]britastro.org

2016 August 5


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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Friday, 29 July 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00926] August Journal now available on the website

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BAA electronic bulletin
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August Journal now available on the website

Selections from the 2016 August Journal are now available on the BAA website
at www.britastro.org/jbaa2016aug. To read the complete articles, or to
download a PDF of the whole Journal, you must log in as a member (top right of
screen). If you haven't yet registered for full online access (or have
forgotten your sign-in details) click on 'Register for online access' and
enter your details there.

Enjoy!

Hazel McGee
Journal Editor
2016 July 28
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list: visit
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Sunday, 12 June 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00921] New NOVA IN SCORPIUS PNV J17381927-3725077

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BAA electronic bulletin
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Although a bright(ish) new nova has been discovered in Scorpio it is well to
the south and sadly not visible from the UK.  However, for those of you with
access to telescopes in the southern hemisphere you are encouraged to have a
go at it.

It was discovered by Hideo Nishimura, Shizuoka-ken of Japan on 2016 June
10.63UT at magnitude 12.4 using a 200-m

f/3.2 lens + Canon digital camera EOS 5D and CCD.  It is located at: RA 17h
38m 19.27s DEC -37 25' 07.7" (2000).

Apparently, nothing was visible at this location on an image of 2016 May
14.71UT, May 18.61UT or June 5.53UT to a limiting magnitude of 13.0.

A mag 11.8, pre-discovery image has been found by T. Kojima, Gunma-ken,
Japan, on three frames using 135-mm lens + Canon EOS 6D digital camera, who
also advise nothing was visible at this location on two patrol frames
(Limiting mag.= 13) taken on 2016 June 5.582 UT.

K. Ayani, Bisei Astronomical Observatory (BAO) obtained a low-dispersion
spectrogram (resolution 0.5 nm, range 400-800 nm) of this PNV with the BAO
1.01-m telescope. It has a prominent and broad H-alpha emission line (FWHM
about 1800 km/s, equivalent width about 23 nm) and a broad H-beta emission
line, which shows that the PNV is a nova in early phase.

As always, you should report your observations to the BAAVSS and if you are
unsure how to do that then please contact the Director.

Roger Pickard, Director BAAVSS

--

roger.pickard@sky.com <mailto:roger.pickard@sky.com>

12th June 2016
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BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/

Saturday, 4 June 2016

[BAA-ebulletin 00920] NLC

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BAA electronic bulletin
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Noctilucent Cloud season begins.
NLC has been seen as far south as
Northern England(1/2 June 2016) and could be visible further south.
Look north about an hour after sunset to see bright electric blue
clouds that look like patterns in the sand. They are quite bright so
can be seen even in strong moonlight or heavy light pollution. Any
reports would be welcome to sandra-b@hotmail.co.uk

Cheers & clear skies(which I don't
have at the moment)

Sandra Brantingham
Aurora (and NLC) director

======================================================================
BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit;
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2016 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Lyra Main Website: http://www.lyra-astro.co.uk/