Archive for August, 2011

The first Jovian trojan has been discovered at the ISON-NM observatory

Calvin College

August 23, at our observatory, the first Jovian trojan was discovered, receiving the designation 2011 QJ9. After the appearance of this object on the NEO Confirmation Page, and after refinement of its orbit on Aug 24, it became possible to link these observations to observations obtained on Aug 28 by the American survey Pan-STARRS. After that, the observation arc immediately rose to nearly a month.

Earlier we were able to recover two Greeks and now we have discovered a new rarer object. The total number of Greeks (3176) is twice that of the Trojans (1700). 2011 QJ9 is a rather large object, with a diameter on the order of 5.5 km, although for this family of asteroids, it is a very small object. The largest Trojan is over 100 km in diameter.

CME 0036: three days before collsion with comet Elenin

Coronal mass ejections, which will collide with comet Elenin three days later. This images taken by coronagraphs COR2, which installed on the STEREO spacecrafts.

Interaction between comet Elenin and coronal mass ejection from the Sun

August 19, STEREO-B spacecraft has catched a very interesting event – the interaction of the gas coma of comet Elenin and coronal mass ejections from the Sun. On the video we can clearly see dynamics of the cometary tail, which squirming under the influence of powerful pressure of solar wind. After a brief increase, the brightness of the comet began to decreasing within a few days and reached a level of brightness that the comet was in early August.

The real truth about comet Elenin

The long ion tail observed behind the comet Elenin

T. Lovejoy

On the picture taken by the well-known Australian astronomy amateur, Terry Lovejoy, which discovered his comet in 2007, is clearly visible long and thin ion tail stretching almost one degree! Which corresponds to the length of the tail is more than 3,000,000 km! Although this is not a record, the sodium tail of comet Hale-Bopp had a length of nearly 50 million kilometers! Comet Elenin will pass closest to the Earth on October 16 at distance about 35 million kilometers from our planet.

August 2011
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