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GRB in M31 May 27th

GRB in M31 May 27th

May 27th, 21:24:27 UT NASA’s Swift spacecraft detected a new bright x-ray source. Thought to be an GRB (GAMMA RAY BURSTER) The object was associated with M31 (Andromeda Galaxy).
I took an image as soon as it was available to us (albeit nearly 10 hours after the signal was received). M31 was very low at the time. It was only 30 degrees above the North-East horizon. The image shows a 15th magnitude star just lower left of center (marked). The source was just a few seconds of arc north of that star. The image has the central bulge of the Andromeda galaxy just off the lower right.
Current thought is the object is not as strong as a normal GRB and is labeled as a Soft-Ray Burster (SRB)
A SRB is heavy with soft X-rays and high energy Ultra-Violet but not a huge amount of Gamma…

2 recent supernova

Here’s a couple of recent supernova images. The first is a color image of supernova 2014G in the host galaxy NGC 3448.
The supernova 2014J is located in the “cigar” galaxy M82. (b&w)
Rough instrumental magnitudes 2014G = 14.8 R., 2014J = 11.1 R.
Both images were taken with the .56 meter reflector at sandlot Observatory.

3 oppostion of comet 178P (Hug-Bell)

3 oppostion of comet 178P (Hug-Bell)

Here’s an image of Comet 178P (Hug-Bell) just 3 nights shy of 14 years after discovery at Farpoint. The 30 x 1 minute stacked image was taken 12-7-13 with the 22″ reflector at Sandlot Observatory.
There’s a faint but obvious coma extension to the West North-West ( PA ~ 285). It’ll stay just under 18th magnitude for another month or so. It’s currently about 3 degrees southeast of Jupiter.


Comet ISON 9-30-13

Here’s a quick image of Comet ISON as of 9-30-13
Its a composite of ten – 1 minute images shifted according to the speed and direction the comet was moving. (thus the trailed stars)
22″ f4.8 scope, the image is cropped to just a few arc minutes.


Mark Your calendar for May 4th, 2013. All NEKAAL members are invited to meet at the parking lot at 10th & Gage (west of Walgreen’s). We will carpool/caravan north to Holton and then west a few miles to Banner Creek Reservoir. The Banner Creek Science Center is located on the west side of the park.
We will get a special tour of the observatory and if you want to bring your telescope and set it up, there is a splendid observing area.
We’ll leave promptly at 6:00 PM , so you may want to get there a few minutes early…
You can stay latter if you want but the group will head back to Topeka by 11:00 PM, getting back to the parking lot before midnight..
If you have any questions be sure to let me know.

KU SEDS visits Farpoint

Dr. Twarog from Kansas University brought out a group of SEDS members. They stayed til 3:00 AM after arriving the about 9:00 PM the night before (2nd of February). SEDS stands for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
– Gary

Another Apollo (this time a PHA) found at Sandlot Observatory

I swept up 2013 AS27 while performing NEOCP follow-up. The object I was looking up was listed as UABF97F on the NEOCP. Off the NE side of the images was a fast moving 18th magnitude unknown. I immediately turned in the object as lb4020 (my temporarily assigned designation) to the MPC. Within minutes it was posted on the NEOCP and after a few hours Bob Holmes of ARI (H21) provided the first of many confirmation observations posted from around the world. This makes the second Apollo Near-Earth Asteroid discovered at Sandlot Observatory in 4 months. 2012 SY49 discovered last September was a VI but was only about 20 meters or so in diameter. 2013 AS27 is a PHA coming as close as .034 A.U.s but is ~.25 KM in diameter.  

Here’s a website to check out a Planetary Society ‘Hangout’  webcast.

Comet ISON

Here’s an image from this morning (10-15-12) of Comet ISON at just over 6 A.U.s distant. It registered 17.4 R. magnitude.
(18 min blue and green and 16 min red.)

This is the comet that MIGHT reach naked-eye brightness about this time next year. While it has the potential to be a spectacular comet (on the order of another Hale-Bopp) It is very far away and predictions of its brightness can be in error by many magnitudes… Still it has good possibilities..

Recent Sandlot find is a Virtual Impactor

2012 SY49

These were the discovery images of 2012 SY49 taken 9-23-12 at my backyard observatory Sandlot. I originally designated this object as lb3720. I sent the data to the MPC and they put the object on the NEO Confirmation Page. After 2 nights of followup by a few observatories in New Mexico, Arizona, and Indiana, the MPC put out an electronic circular announcing 2012 SY49 as a NEO.

Soon after NASA’s Sentry (JPL) proclaimed it to be a Virtual Impactor. 2012 SY49 can come as close as 20,000 miles above the earth’s surface. This pass it will be a comfortable 2-3 lunar distances. The object is estimated to b only about 25-30 meters in diameter but at 36,000 per hour if it did impact it would carry a 8 megaton wallop.


Venus Transit

Venus Transit. Jun 5th, 2012 at Lake Shawnee.