AP 16

Asteroid (29) Amphitrite

Algol Minimum 2

Scattered cloud elsewhere but Algol appears unobscured 22 minutes after this minimum of Nov 13 2015, 1806 UT. With comparison magnitudes of, anticlockwise from top left, gamma Per, Mirphak, delta Per; A – Algol; rho Per, beta Tri (mag 3), Mothallah and Almach.

Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Dec 10 2015, 0628 UT – est mag 6.5 (circled), 13 sec exp; Earth distance 125 million ml. 40 arc-minutes east of mag 4 Syrma in Virgo.
Jan 11 2016, 0158 UT – est mag 6, 126 sec exposure; Earth distance 70 million miles. With (a) HIP 68418 in Canes Venatici.


Jan 15 2016, 0218 UT; 1.2 degrees from (a) Alkaid, Eta Ursae Majoris. With (b) M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. Dust tail visible at the 3 o’c position and longer, fainter ion tail at 1 o’c.

Mercury Sinking

Following excessively cloudy conditions, time to delve into the archives for this timelapse depicting Mercury’s slide towards the north-western horizon. From Apr 25 2015, 2222-2232 IST. The brightest stationary light apparently emanates from a structure atop Knockfierna Hill. Mercury itself shines at mag -0.9, and in the first frame is 1.4° above the horizon.

Profuse Pleiades

Dozens of cluster members visible in this 150-sec exposure with a 55mm lens. October 8 2015, 0024 IST. 

Venus in Broad Daylight

Jan 8 2016, 1153 UT; Venus (arrowed) 36° W of the Sun. Saturn is actually 40′ to the east (left) but 70 times fainter and not apparent.

Comet C/2013 X1 (Panstarrs)

13th observed comet; est mag 9, Earth distance 180 million miles. With (a) phi Pegasi. Jan 10 2016, 1859 UT.

Classic Carbon Stars

Asteroid (5) Astraea