Thursday, January 13, 2022

James Webb Space Telescope - Images & Animation

Named after James E. Webb, who was the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope intended to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The JWST with its primary mirror of 6.5 meters (made of 18 hexagonal gold-plated beryllium segments) and a sunshield the size of a tennis court, promises to usher in a new era of astronomy with its capability to observe some of the oldest, most distant objects in the Universe, viewing up to 100 times fainter than HST. After three decades from conception through design, JWST was launched December 25, 2021 and will orbit the Sun near the second Lagrange point (L2) of the Sun-Earth system.

 

 Credit: Northrop Grumman, NASA/Chris Gunn

JWST can be easily seen from Earth as its magnitude is now around 14. The image and the animation below show the James Webb Space Telescope travelling towards its final destination. The images were taken on Jan 12, 2022 at 02:30 UTC by Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto and Adriano Valvasori via Telescope Live using the Planewave CDK24 60-cm telescope installed at El Sauce Observatory, Chile (CHI-1). Click on each image for a bigger version. 



At the imaging time, JWST was around 741,900 miles away from Earth, almost 82 percent of the way to its destination. You can see where is Webb at any time on this webpage.

 


Below another image of JWST imaged by A. Valvasori & E. Guido via ALMO observatoy (MPC code G18 - Italy)  on January 07, 2022



Below a lightcurve of JWST spanning about 4 hours. 179 exposures, each 60sec in duration obtained by Daniel Parrott using his software TYCHO

 

 


By Ernesto Guido



Friday, December 31, 2021

Comet Leonard's show and other comet photos

With just a few hours to go before the end of 2021, while the comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) show is still going on, one last post of the year to thank all the readers of this blog. See you again in 2022, with the hope that there will be clear skies for everyone. According to M. Meyer, 2021 had 68 new comets (2020: 76, 2019: 64) of which 4 were amateur discoveries (2020: 5, 2019: 2). Top 3: PANSTARRS: 23; Mt. Lemmon/Catalina: 13/4; ATLAS: 8. Here's a short roundup of cometary photos starting with the most beautiful comet of 2021 and probably one of the best in recent years. (Click on each image below for a bigger version). 


COMET C/2021 A1 (Leonard) imaged on December 28, 2021 by Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto & Adriano Valvasori via Telescope Live network (MPC code Q56, Australia).


Credit: E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, A. Valvasori


COMET C/2021 A1 (Leonard) imaged on December 31, 2021 by Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto & Adriano Valvasori via Telescope Live network (MPC code Q56, Australia).

Credit: E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, A. Valvasori



COMET 108P/Ciffreo imaged on December 14, 2021 by Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto & Adriano Valvasori through a 0.7 m f/8 Ritchey Chretien + CCD via Telescope Live network (MPC code Z08, Oria, Spain).

Credit: E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, A. Valvasori, E. Bryssinck


COMET C/2019 L3 (Atlas) imaged on December 13, 2021 by Adriano Valvasori & Ernesto Guido via ALMO observatory (MPC code G18, Italy).



COMET 67P (Churyumov–Gerasimenko) imaged on December 12, 2021 by Adriano Valvasori & Ernesto Guido via ALMO observatory (MPC code G18, Italy).


COMET C/2021 A1 (Leonard) imaged on November 30, 2021 by Adriano Valvasori & Ernesto Guido via ALMO observatory (MPC code G18, Italy).


COMET 29P (Schwassmann–Wachmann) imaged on October 11, 2021 by Adriano Valvasori & Ernesto Guido via ALMO observatory (MPC code G18, Italy).


COMET 4P (Faye) imaged on October 03, 2021 by Adriano Valvasori & Ernesto Guido via ALMO observatory (MPC code G18, Italy).



by Ernesto Guido

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

New Comet P/2021 U3 (Attard-Maury)

CBET 5064 & MPEC 2021-V21, issued on 2021, November 02, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~19)  by A. Maury and G. Attard on CCD images taken on October 24.3 UT  with the 0.28-m f/2.2 Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt astrograph at San Pedro de Atacama, Chile in the course of the  MAP (W94) survey.  The new comet has been designated P/2021 U3 (Attard-Maury). This is the 4th amateur comet discovery of 2021. It is also the second comet discovered using the synthetic tracking technique (using TYCHO software).

Stacking of 51 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, Oct. 27.3 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.61-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 6" arcsecond in diameter and a tail 6" long in PA 275 (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

Stacking of 66 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, Oct. 29.9 from G18  (ALMO Observatory, Italy) through a 0.30-m f/4 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 5" arcsec in diameter and a tail 6" long in PA 270 (Observers A. Valvasori & E. Guido).

Our confirmation images (click on the images for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott)


 


MPEC 2021-V21, assigns the following preliminary elliptical orbital elements to comet  P/2021 U3 (Attard-Maury): T 2021 Oct. 25.43; e= 0.55; Peri. =  335.48; q = 1.88 ;  Incl.= 70.05.

According to CBET 5064 "the comet passed 0.59 AU from Jupiter in 1983 October (though the orbital period is uncertain by well over a month). A search for earlier observations in archival astrometry produced nothing".

 

Credit: MPC

by Ernesto Guido

Friday, October 1, 2021

New Comet P/2021 Q5 (ATLAS)

CBET 5029 & MPEC 2021-R98 , issued on 2021, September 06, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~17) on CCD images taken on August 29.6 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated P/2021 Q5 (ATLAS)

Stacking of 58 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, September 03.1 from G18  (ALMO Observatory, Italy) through a 0.30-m f/4 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8" arcsec in diameter and a tail 10" long in PA 270 (Observers A. Valvasori & E. Guido).

Our confirmation image (click on the images for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott)



MPEC 2021-R98, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet  P/2021 Q5 (ATLAS): T 2021 August 30.34; e= 0.61; Peri. =  180.81; q = 1.23 ;  Incl.= 10.72. 


Credit: MPC


by Ernesto Guido

Thursday, September 30, 2021

New Comet C/2021 Q4 (Fuls)

CBET 5028 & MPEC 2021-Q102, issued on 2021, August 31 & September 02, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~20) on CCD images taken on August 26.2 UT with the Mt. Lemmon Survey (G96) 1.5-m reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2021 Q4 (Fuls)

Stacking of 30 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, August 29.9 from Z08 (Telescope Live, Oria) through a 0.7 m f/8 Ritchey Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8" arcsec in diameter elongated toward PA 275 (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

Our confirmation image (click on the images for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott)




MPEC 2021-Q102, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2021 Q4 (Fuls): T 2023 June 10.66; e= 1.0030276; Peri. =  147.01; q = 7.56 ;  Incl.= 71.47. The comet will pass 2.45 AU from Saturn on 2025 Apr. 30 UT.

Credit: MPC


by Ernesto Guido

Monday, August 2, 2021

New Comet C/2021 O3 (PANSTARRS)

CBET 5009 & MPEC 2021-P05, issued on 2021, August 01, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~20) on CCD images taken on July 26.5 UT with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala. The new comet has been designated C/2021 O3 (PANSTARRS)

Stacking of 15 unfiltered exposures, 240 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, July 30.3 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.61-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8" arcsecond in diameter (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

Our confirmation image (click on the images for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott)





MPEC 2021-P05, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2021 O3 (PANSTARRS): T 2022 Apr. 20.49; e= 1.0; Peri. =  299.88; q = 0.28 ;  Incl.= 56.72


Credit: MPC

This comet could become visible to the naked eye in 2022, reaching magnitude ~5. Below you can see a graph generated using the software Orbitas and showing the predicted magnitude (in red) versus its elongation from the Sun. Anyway, as always with comets, the future magnitudes reported here are only indicative. 


By Ernesto Guido

Saturday, July 24, 2021

New Comet C/2021 N3 (PANSTARRS)

CBET 5003 & MPEC 2021-O39, issued on 2021, July 22, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~20.5) on CCD images taken on July 13.5 UT with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala (numerous pre-discovery observations going back an additional month were later identified). The new comet has been designated C/2021 N3 (PANSTARRS)

Stacking of 16 unfiltered exposures, 180 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, July 14.3 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.61-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 9" arcsecond in diameter elongated toward PA 230 (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

Our confirmation image (click on the images for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott)



MPEC 2021-O39, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2021 N3 (PANSTARRS): T 2020 Aug. 13.96; e= 0.96; Peri. =  303.99; q = 5.69 ;  Incl.= 26.67


Credit: MPC


by Ernesto Guido