Observing & Other Notices

Followup: Transit of Mercury, November 11, 2019

Congratulations to all who were able to observe and image this transit. The next Mercury transit available to even more observers in the western hemisphere won’t be until May 7, 2049.

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The image here is part of a video clip posted on the ALPO Facebook page by ALPO Solar Section Assistant Coordinator Pam Shivak: “Check out this awesome video our friend Claude Plymate posted taken from the Big Bear Solar Observatory of the Mercury Transit! Claude is the Chief telescope operator there! (That facility is located approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of downtown Los Angeles, California USA.)

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“Claude writes ‘Here is the “quick look’ video of the transit of Mercury from Big Bear Solar Observatory. These observations were taken with a PCO-2000 CCD with 2ms exposures though a 10a wide filter centered at 7057A. The field of view is 70×70″. Hopefully, we can get the data processed and put out a much better version soon. Please keep in mind that these are completely raw, unprocessed images.”

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The actual video can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/pamela.shivak/videos/10220329722894095/?t=0

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PLEASE send your reports and images to Keith Spring, who is the acting assistant coordinator of the ALPO Mercury/Venus Transit Section. Keith can be reached at:

2173 John Hart Circle

Orange Park, FL 32073

Email star.man13@hotmail.com

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December Lunar Observer Newsletter Now Available

The December 2019 issue of The Lunar Observer, newsletter of the ALPO Lunar Topographical Studies & Selected Areas Program, and the Lunar Geological Change program is available at http://moon.scopesandscapes.com/tlo.  Back issues are also available at http://moon.scopesandscapes.com.

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In the December issue, look for an interesting article about lunar domes (with images) authored by Raffaello Lena, Carmelo Zannelli, Maximilian Teodorescu and Jim Phillips, an article about lunar domes near the craters Hall and Luther along with several images and articles about domes from Howard Eskildsen.  John Sabia takes us on a tour of the Moon with a 9.5-inch Alvin Clark refractor, though Damian Peach’s image of Plato through a 1 m telescope is also quite the view.  Sounds like dream telescopes for such a purpose. And as always, Tony Cook provides an engaging article about lunar geologic change.

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Tours of the lunar topography are presented in short articles, drawings, and images throughout this issue.  Enjoy and have fun observing our nearest neighbor in space.

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If the link above doesn’t work for you, try typing it directly into your browser.  If that doesn’t work, reply (NOT reply all) to this email and I’ll send you a copy by email.

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David Teske
Acting Coordinator, Lunar Topographic Studies Program

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Comet Activity for December 2019

C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS) is well placed in the evening sky for northern observers and should become brighter than 10th magnitude this month. CCD imagers are encouraged to image a number of fainter comets this month. In particular, the following are of interest. Interstellar visitor 2I/Borisov will be at its best around 15th magnitude. December and January will see short-period comet 289P/Blanpain pass within 0.09 au of the Earth. How bright this comet gets is uncertain as it is a faint, outburst prone object. Speaking of outburst prone comets, the British Astronomical Society invites CCD photometrists to join their effort to monitor the outbursts of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann.

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The monthly ALPO Comet News PDF can be found here. An edited version of this report is posted on the Cloudy Nights forum at (https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/685850-alpo-comet-news-for-december-2019/). Everyone is invited to join the discussion at our Cloudy Nights forum.

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Carl Hergenrother
Coordinator, ALPO Comets Section

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Expected Meteor Activity for November 30 – December 6, 2019

This post discusses the expected meteor activity and lunar conditions for the current week. It is focused on North American latitudes but may be used in all locations. Sky charts displaying current radiant positions are provided for early evening hours, midnight, and the hour prior to dawn. European readers may wish to use the charts in the same article at www.imo.net for better accuracy.

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To access the meteor activity outlook click on: Meteor Activity Outlook for November 30- December 6, 2019

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We welcome hourly reports on meteor activity at: lunro.imo.usa@cox.net

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Reports of individual fireballs should be filled out at: https://fireball.amsmeteors.org/members/imo/report_intro/

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Meteor Activity Outlooks for observers in the southern hemisphere are available upon request at: lunro.imo.usa@cox.net

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Clear Skies!.

Robert Lunsford
Coordinator, ALPO Meteors Section

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Notes About Lunar Domes Luther and Hall

Two lunar domes located near the craters Luther and Hall (which we termed Luth1 and Hall1), have been imaged and studied.

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The morphometric characteristics of these domes have been examined by making use of a combined photoclinometry and shape from shading approach and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) WAC images, including th LOLA DEM data set. A full spectral analysis based on Chandrayaan-1 Moon Mineralogy Mapper is in progress.

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The ALPO Lunar Domes Studies Program encourages all to participate by submitting more high-resolution imagery of this wide lunar region so that we can have more data to identify further lunar domes not yet characterized in the morphometric and spectral properties.

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The preliminary report can be found at http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/lunarblog/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/domesLuther-Hall.pdf

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Raffaello Lena
Coordinator, ALPO Lunar Domes Studies Program


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Publications Section Bulletin

Are you looking to see if the ALPO ever covered a special solar system event that you remember? Does your current research require specific solar system observational data by the amateur astronomy community? Click Here to go to JALPO Indexes

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