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No 58 - December 2008

Recent observations

Fireball 2008-09-22

A fireball was seen by a number of observers in Scotland, including several of the audience at the October ordinary meeting. Darren Moody of Aberdeen Astronomical Society writes:

Fireball report 22nd Sept. - eastern Scotland

I've been getting reports about a fireball sighting on the evening of 22nd Sept at 9:30pm [BST, ed.]. There have been four independent sightings in Aberdeen, one in Edzell, one in Edinburgh and one in Fife (the last 3 from the IMO [International Meteor Organization, ed.]). All report a bright object streaking across the sky from west to east. Just wondered if any of your members had reported anything?

Regards, Darren Moody, President, Aberdeen Astronomical Society

If you have seen this fireball, contact the Editor for Darren's email address and let Darren know what you saw.


Horst Meyerdierks spent most of August in Germany and so missed much of the bad weather and was able to observe some Perseid meteors and the partial lunar eclipse on 2008-08-16. In three one-hour watches on 2008-08-08, -10 and -11 he counted three, nine, and five Perseids, resp. Once these counts are corrected for the altitude of the radiant and for the limiting magnitude of the sky the zenithal hourly rates work out as 10, 45 and 70, resp.

Lunar eclipse

Horst's image of the lunar eclipse is a complex composite. All exposures are aligned on the Earth's shadow. A composite of short exposures shows the Moon moving from bottom left to top right, leaving a circular black area that is the Earth's umbra. Superimposed in this area is a composite of longer exposures, revealing the reddish-brown colour of the small amount of light that is refracted into the umbra by the Earth's atmosphere.

lunar eclipse


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):

2008-07-03 / -08-01 1.1 2008-09-01 / -09-30 1.8
2008-08-02 / -08-31 0.0 2008-10-01 / -10-30 2.8

SAG observes at Pearie Law

The Scottish Astronomers Group held an observing session on 2008-09-27 at our dark site, Pearie Law, a few kilometres south of West Calder. Among the less expected results were a number of meteors, including several α Aurigids.


Cover page

IYA astro-happening at Science Festival

Johann von Lamont - Bavaria's Scottish Astronomer Royal

Never the TWAN shall meet?

Total eclipse of the sun on 1st August 2008

Forthcoming events

Exoplanets come into view

Recent observations

Variable star observing workshop

Society news

About the ASE Journal

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