It’s a long way to Winton!

Out intrepid team of Astronomers recently travelled to the Queensland Outback to look for evidence that the circular feature that I identified in 2013 using Google Earth is a meteorite impact site and not just a hole in the ground!

20160628_133657

That’s Pranvera Hyseni, Rob Black and myself weeding out meteor-rights from Meteor-wrongs over lunch.

So is it or isn’t it? Well we think it is, but it’s not as easy as that – to be formally recognised there needs to be a published peer reviewed scientific paper confirming it and that isn’t going to happen in a hurry! So in the mean time here is my write up in progress: http://shadowchaser.com.au/crater-bradshaw/

Geo-Flasher!

For my astro-geek friends, how about something a little closer to home! Here are some of the many objects that the human race has littered our orbit with. They put on a spectacular show for me tonight whilst I was out observing 🙂

 

Happy Xmas 2015

How much astronomy can you get in a single photo!

Here we see a full moon rising on Christmas day, surrounded by anti-crepuscular sun rays and on the belt of Venus (The Earth’s rising shadow)

Conjunction 2

Up close and personal this time. It’s actually three photos blended together to see Venus, Jupiter and it’s moons together at the correct exposure. A lovely naked eye treat, I hope you managed to spot them hanging out in the West together!

V_J2

Rings!

It’s not often I can stake my claim to a first, but here is double one. First amateur to capture a Centaur (that’s an asteroid between Saturn and Neptune) occulting a star and also the first amateur to record the rings around an asteroid!

Charliko is the only known asteroid to have rings. They were discovered last year by a team of professional astronomers lead by Prof Bruno Sicardy who is a great friend to the amateur and whom provides us with great predictions so that we can help provide him data. This event was well attended by the Australian Occultation faithful and I recorded in somewhat difficult circumstances the event. Unfortunately I was the only person to capture it – the more ‘chords’ the better the scientific payload but Bruno assures me that the data will be added to the original observations and will significantly improve the positional data that we know about the rock.

And that is great news, because with better predictions, we can make even better observations in the future. Sweet.

Charliko_LMLC

Occultation by (552) Sigelinde

Here’s a neat event from tonight. This asteroid cast a 16.354 second shadow across Samford, and I caught it on video! The event was a little longer than expected and it is a poorly defined object. We learned that it is probably lozenge shaped rather than round and it disappeared gradually suggesting maybe an irregular protrusion (sticky-out bit!) at the leading edge.

2014 DX110

This one came from nowhere!

2014 DX110 was discovered only three days ago, and flew by tonight at less than a Moons distance from us. It is on the Possible Impactors list with an impact with Earth scheduled for 2046 – As we learn more, and refine the known orbit, we will hopefully remove it from the list!!!

Whilst it’s probably under 50m, I still would prefer to avoid it (if I live that long)

Sorry for the poor quality, it was a misty night and low in the North…