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Sky Alerts

Dr Ian Musgrave  - iTelescope Science Advisor

An avid amateur astronomer, Ian writes the weekly sky updates for ABC Radio Science and is science adviser to iTelescope. When not staring at the sky he is an equally enthusiastic molecular pharmacologist at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

You can follow Ian Musgrave on his Astroblog for daily posts about astronomy, biology and life, the Universe and everything.

"Over at Astroblog I largely guide people to the view of the sky as seen with the unaided eye. But I’m also an iTelescope.Net user, and I’m very honoured to have been invited to highlight some of the interesting objects that can be seen through the iTelescopes.

While many people are familiar with the larger, more glamorous objects in the night sky that make good iTelescope targets, there are a host of lesser known, interesting objects that are well worth chasing such as fast moving Near Earth Objects, Novae and Comets."  Twitter @ianmusgrave

Saturday
Jul202013

AAVSO Alert Notice 487: Supernova 2013dy in NGC 7250

Event: Supernova 2013dy in NGC 7250 (Lacerta) = PSN J22181760+4034096

Independent discovery by: 
 - Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS), reported by C. 
Casper, W. Zheng, W. Li, and A. V. Filippenko (University of 
California at Berkeley) and S. B. Cenko (Goddard Space Flight 
Center)
 - Kuniaki Goto (Miyoshi-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan), 
communicated by Shoichi Itoh (National Astronomical Observatory 
of Japan) 

Discovery Magnitude: 
 - LOSS: CCD magnitude 17.0, on unfiltered Katzman Automated 
Imaging Telescope (KAIT) images
 - Goto: about 16, using 35-cm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope

Discovery date: 
 - LOSS: 2013 July 10.45 UT
 - Goto: 2013 July 11.735 UT 

Coordinates: R.A. = 22 18 17.60, Decl.= +40 34 09.6 (2000.0)
SN 2013dy is offset 2.1" west, 24.9" north from the nucleus of NGC 
7250 (coordinates and offset from LOSS).

Spectra: SN 2013dy is a Type-Ia supernova discovered one to two 
weeks before maximum, according to spectra by: 
 - D. D. Balam (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, National 
Research Council of Canada (NRCC)), M. L. Graham (Las Cumbres 
Observatory Global Telescope, University of California at San 
Diego), and E. Y. Hsiao (Las Campanas Observatory) obtained on 
Jul 13.31 UT with the NRCC 1.82-m Plaskett Telescope;
 - J.-J. Zhang (Yunnan Astronomical Observatory (YNAO)) and X.-F. 
Wang (Tsinghua University) obtained on Jul 14.75 UT with the
2.4-m telescope (+YFOSC) at YNAO LiJiang Gaomeigu Station;
 - W. Zheng (University of California, Berkeley), S. B. Cenko 
(Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA), K. I. Clubb, O. D. Fox, P. L. 
Kelley, and A. V. Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley), 
and J. M. Silverman (University of Texas) obtained on Jul 11.7 
with the 10-m Keck II telescope (+ DEIMOS spectrograph) at Keck 
Observatory.

Observations reported to the AAVSO:
2013 Jul 8.45 UT, <18.5 U (unfiltered KAIT CCD photometry, via 
CBET 3588);
10.086, 19.1 (F. Ciabattari, Borgo a Mozzano, Italy, 0.5-m 
Newtonian telescope + FLI Proline 4710 camera, via CBET 3588);
10.7, 16.6 (A. Mantero, Bernezzo, Italy; 0.25-m f/4 reflector, 
via CBET 3588);
11.909, 16.0 (G. Masi and F. Nocentini, remotely using 43-cm 
robotic telescope, Virtual Telescope Project facility in Ceccano, 
Italy, via CBET 3588);
11.994, 16.3 V (M. Martignoni, Magnago, Italy;0.25-m f/10 Schmidt-
Cassegrain reflector, via CBET 3588);
12.423, 15.7 (L. Elenin, Lyubertsy, Russia, and I. Molotov, 
Moscow, Russia; remotely using 0.45-m f/2.8 telescope at ISON-NM 
Observatory near Mayhill, NM, via CBET 3588);
14.37, 14.5 U (KAIT, via CBET 3588);
15.96528, 14.5 (K. Wenzel, Grossostheim, Germany, visual);
16.19444, 14.4 (T. C. Hoffelder, Norway, ME, visual);
16.93750, 13.9 (Wenzel, visual);
18.91319, 13.5 (Wenzel, visual);

Charts: Charts for SN 2013dy may be created using the AAVSO 
Variable Star Plotter (VSP) at http://www.aavso.org/vsp.

Submit observations: Please submit observations to the AAVSO 
International Database using the name SN 2013dy.

Notes:
a. Announced on IAU CBAT Central Bureau Electronic Telegram 3588 
(Daniel W. E. Green, ed.). Except for observations reported to the
AAVSO and Note e, all information in this Alert Notice comes from 
CBET 3588.

b. SN 2013dy was designated PSN J22181760+4034096 when it was 
posted on the CBAT TOCP webpage 
(http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/unconf/tocp.html). Note that
the offset was incorrectly posted on the TOCP page as 24.9" south.
 
c. Position end figures and additional observation details for all 
observations reported here via CBET 3588 are available in CBET 3588.

d. SN 2013dy images:
 - F. Ciabattari (Jul 10.086, 19.1), at 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snimages/9277396759/ 
 - Andrea Mantero (Jul 10.7, 16.6), at 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreagalaxy/9261869119/ 
 - L. Elenin and I. Molotov (Jul 12.423, 15.7), at 
http://spaceobs.org/images/TOCP/PSNJ22181760+4034096-20130712.png).

e. J. Ryan (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) reports 
in ATel #5216 (http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=5216) that 
he and colleagues will be taking HST UV spectra of SN 2103dy 10 
times over the next month, beginning 2013 July 21 ~11:00 UT. He 
requests observations at all wavelengths.

Congratulations to the LOSS team and to Kuniaki Goto on their 
independent discoveries!


This AAVSO Alert Notice was prepared by Elizabeth O. Waagen.
Thursday
Jul182013

ALERT! NEO Asteroid 2001 PJ9 close approach on July 17 -July 20

 

NEO 2001 PJ9 as seen from New Mexico at 1:30 am 19 July (07:31 UT) . The crosses mark the position of the asteroid every hour.

Near Earth Asteroid  2001 PJ9 came close to Earth on  2013-Jul-17 at 23:08UT at distance of 0.075 AU. This rock has an estimated diameter of  800 m. The asteroid is getting brighter and reaches mag 15.7 over next 5 days.

Astrometry is needed to support Goldstone radar observations.

NEO 2001 PJ9 is only visible from the northern iTelescopes as it passes through Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Lacerata. It is moving relatively slowly, so the tracking capability of the iTelescopes should be all that is needed.

The asteroid rises around 20:00 from Mayhill, and is only decently high enough to image at around 1-1:30 am.

Close up view of 2001 PJ9 on the night of the 19th. Each time point is one hour. . The rectangle is the field of view of iTelecope 5.

The MPC one line elements are

F3349   18.4   0.15 K134I 342.27601  291.13498  283.90324   10.54026  0.6389488  0.40831656   1.7994428  2 MPO264306    94   4 2001-2013 0.47 M-h 3Eh MPC        0000         (153349) 2001 PJ9   20130429

 

 

Thursday
Jul042013

July Highlights: C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS, C/2012 F6 Lemmon, 29P, Pluto and Pal8, Asteroid iainbanks

The New Moon is 8 July, First Quarter is 16 July, Full Moon 23 July and Last Quarter 30 July.

Comet C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS as seen from Mayhill, New Mexico at 10:00 pm, on July 4. T14 (click to embiggen)

Once again, there are several bright (ie > magnitude 12) comets in the sky at the moment, but many are in unfavourable positions.

2011 L4 PANSTARSS is still performing well, although it has faded to magnitude 11 it still has beautiful tail. It can now be imaged from the Mayhill and Nerpio telescopes most of the night, circling the north celestial pole.

Earth passed through PanSTARRS orbital plane in late May, and we can enjoy some continuously changing perspectives of its tail.

PanSTARRS has some nice galaxy encounters this month. On July 17 it is close to galaxy NGC 5678 (M12), then on July 19 it is near galaxy NGC 5585 (M10.9). July 20 brings it close to galaxy NGC 5631 (M12.4), the July 25 brings galaxy NGC 5687 (M11.8) and July 31 galaxy MCG +09-24-022 (M12.9).


C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS as seen at 10:00 pm from Mayhill New Mexico as it passes through Bootes. The small rectangle is the field of view of T5, the medium rectangle T20 and the large rectangle T14. Click to embiggen.

 

 


 

C/2012 F6 Lemmon as seen at astronomical twilight from Mayhill New Mexico. This image shows it not far from NGC7789. Taken with T14, stack of 5x120second images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

C/2012 F6 Lemmon as seen at astronomical twilight in the morning from Mayhill New Mexico. The small rectangle is the field of view of T5, the medium rectangle T20 and the large rectangle T14. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon is now observable from the  northern iTelescopes. It comes within travel range at around 11 pm.

The comet is reasonably bright (still around magnitude 9), and is not far from some interesting objects (like M52), you will need to do some judicious frame juggling to get them in view. 

Lemmon is close to NGC 7790 (M8.7 open cluster) on July 8, then on July 9 it is close to NGC 7788 and H21 (M8.8 open clusters), on July 12 it is close to the open clusters NGC 7510 and M52 (both M8.9) .

C/2012 L2 is too close to the Sun to be visible in the iTelescopes.

C/2006 S3 LONEOS is not far from the bright star Spica.  The comet is around magnitude 13, and in a good position for imaging in the early evening, but has no interesting encounters.

29P Schwassmann-Wachmann is well placed for observation in both northern and southern scopes, although the SSO has the best view. A recent outburst has seen the comet brighten to M12, and it has a very interesting coma structure.

26P Grigg-Skjellerup as seen from the SSO scopes at evening astronomical twilight on July 25. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12, the medium rectangle T30 and the small rectangle T9. Click to embiggen.

26P Grigg-Skjellerup is heading towards magnitude 12, but is only really visible from the SSO scopes as it passes through Leo.

The comet has numerous enocunters with galaxies on the nights of the 25th to the 30th. If fact too many to individually here, see the image for guidance. Imaging them will be tricky though, as they are reasonably distant, They will fit into T12 's FOV, but getting the comet to come out nicely will be a challenge

Pluto from July 5 to August 4as it passes benetath the globular cluster Palomar 8. Which is not in the deep sky database by the way. The rectangle is the FOV of T5. Click to embiggen.

Pluto was at opposition on July 2. While imaging faint dots may not be peoples cups of tea, from July 5 it starts passing close to the globular cluster Palomar 8.

This is a nice opportunity tto do an animation of the distant ice dwarf.

 

Asteroid 5099 is now officially known as Iainbanks, named after the science fiction author who died recently. You can read about it here.

At magnitude 17 it's a bit of a hard ask, but it's in Libra, so reasonably high enough for concerted imaging. I got it with 5x 180 second exposures stacked. If you liked Iain Banks writing, why not image the asteroid as a memorial?

MPC one line elemets are:

05099   13.1   0.15 K134I 224.98550  288.09916   81.06718    1.18300  0.0520041  0.25162303   2.4848630  0 MPO263393  1286  20 1954-2013 0.51 M-v 38h MPC        0000           (5099) Iainbanks  20130610

Saturday
Jun082013

NOT AN ALERT! No NEO 2013 LR6 for us

Asteroid 2013 LR6 as seen from the SSO at astronomical twilight this evening.

NEO asteroid 2013 LR6 zips by Earth inside the Moons orbit on 8 June at 4:42 UT. This is a southern hemisphere object, and unfortunately by the time of astronomical twilight at the SSO scopes, it is below the telescope travel limits and sets shortly after, so we don't get to see  the close approach from any iTelescope.