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No 56 - June 2008

Recent observations


Horst Meyerdierks takes an image of the Sun whenever possible and averages his spot counts in 30-day intervals. He reports the following R numbers (number of spots plus ten times the number of spot groups):

2008-01-05 / -02-03 3.1 2008-03-05 / -04-03 9.7
2008-02-04 / -03-04 1.5 2008-04-04 / -05-03 0.0

While numbers appeared to rise from a minimum of 1.1 in October 2007, and while March 2008 was as active as last July, April 2008 activity is again very low.

Asteroid occultation

Horst nearly observed the occultation of the 4.8 mag star 36 Com by minor planet 1886 Lowell on 2008-04-11. The previous evening was clear enough to have a test run. On the night the sky was mostly covered in cloud, but a clear patch in the right place allowed the star to be located with binoculars a few minutes before the occultation - just as well this had been practised before. For the crucial few minutes the clear patch was, however, elsewhere.

Noctilucent cloud

No noctilucent cloud has been reported to this Journal yet, but the season opened very early this year with a sighting from Northern Ireland on 2008-05-04/05 (cf.


Mercury was visible in the evening sky in early May. 2008-05-06 was clear, and a number of observers - including Frank Howie, Rachel Thomas (see cover picture) and Horst - spotted the planet next to the crescent Moon. Frank's report is a dog's tale: On the way back from his observing spot he lost the memory card with the precious pictures (see Frank's item). To vent his frustration he took the dog for a walk. "And so it came to pass that by re-tracing my steps, assisted by the dog and her wonderful nose our combined intellects, senses and sheer dogged determination (mine too), she guided us to the very spot where the precious little card lay."


Cover page

28 years of ASE Journal - now online

Society news

Forthcoming events

Atmospheric extinction

Perseids 2008

Recent observations

Moon and Mercury over Edinburgh

About the ASE Journal

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