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Ursa Astronomical Association


November diamond dust halos

28.11. With temperatures plummeting across the country, diamond dust halos have taken the stage. At the bottom right is a Lunar display in Jämsä, photographed by Jari Luomanen on Friday night. At the top left is a display next day in Ylöjärvi as pictured by Veli-Pekka Soini. Below is a shot by Jani Päiväniemi of light pillars seen during the race in Ruka on the following evening. And at the top right is an earlier 19 Nov. Lunar display in Pelkosenniemi by Tuula Hilli, which seems to contain the very rarely seen Mikkilä arc. 

Comets Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Leonard

26.11. 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and C/2021 A1 (Leonard) are the best comets in the sky right now. The the former, seen on the left in Harri Kiiskinen's picture, is now 9 mag, and it is not expected to brighten any further. On the right is Tapio Lahtinen's image of the Leonard, which is about 8 mag now. It should rise to 4 mag or even brighter and can thus be visible to the naked eye.

Deep sky picture: Elephant's Trunk Nebula

24.10. Tero Hiekkalinna targeted on 22. November the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, IC 1396A. “I tried to emulate the color world of the Hubble Space Telescope,” says Hiekkalinna. The object, located 2 400 light-years away from us, according to the infrared observations carried out in 2013 is believed to be the birthplace of stars, containing several stars less than 100,000 years old. The exposure in the image is almost 6 hours.

Zeniitti 4/2021: Rocket phenomena and the Martian moons

16.11. The latest issue of Zeniitti web magazine 4/2021 tells about the rocket phenomena of early autumn, the Martian moons and their observations, presents the  crater Archimedes with its surroundings and gives forecasts for the December comet Leonard . Photos: Samu Saarinen, Lasse Ekblom, Veikko Mäkelä and Harry Rabb.

The lunar eclipse was visible in places

19.11. The partial lunar eclipse was successfully seen in some places in northern Finland in the morning. Joni Virtanen's observation in Kokkola shows the penumbral phase just before the beginning of the partial phase. In the picture taken in Muonio, the Moon is clearly eclipsed at the top.

Divided pillar and surface halo

16.11. Two little halo pearls from the last days in Northern Finland. On the right an exceptionally strong surface 22° halo which on the inside is accompanied by the rarer 9° halo. The photo was taken by Thomas Kast in Rovaniemi on 14.11. On the left is a curious split sun pillar photographed by Reija Satokangas on 12.11. in Inari. This appears to be the first time such an "anomaly" has been photographed.

The space stones ended north of Petrozavodsk

13.11. Modeling of Ursa's fireball team on Thursday 11.11. the fireball is complete, says Stars and Space . The modeling was led by Jaakko Visuri , whose Thursday night's estimate of the fall area "closer to Petroskai" turned out to be correct. In the picture below, the flight path of the song over Russian Karelia. Based on the modeling, space rocks survived from the fireball to the surface. (Photo by Mikko Suominen, Celestia / Stars and Space) 

A violent fireball in the direction of the eastern border

11.11. A very bright fireball was spotted today at about 4:40 p.m. The phenomenon was visible in an area that stretches southeast from Oulu to the regions of Joensuu and Savonlinna , where it was not cloudy unlike elsewhere in Finland. Janne Laukkanen was recorded in Joensuu for a video of the spectacular fall of a fireball . According to a rough preliminary estimate, the flight has ended roughly in the areas of the eastern border, on either side of the border. (Photo by Janne Laukkanen)

A good diamond dust display in Åre

10.11. Minna Kinnunen was ready with her camera and phone when snowgun originated diamond dust birthed a handsome halo display over the Åre sky on Monday. As is always the case in this class of displays, there are also rarities involved, such as the two upper Parry arcs and helic arc. And closest to the sun sits the enigmatic arc of Moilanen, which is a halo exclusive to diamond dusts.

Churyumov-Gerasimenko is now at its brightest

8.11. The forecast is promising some relaxation to the relentless overcast conditions, which comes handy for the observations of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that is peaking at 9 magnitude right now. The comet visited closest to the Sun five days ago and will be the closest to us at a distance of 61 million kilometers on November 12th. The picture of the comet here was taken by Veli-Pekka Häkkinen last night.

Veil Nebula through high clouds

5.11. Despite high clouds interfering, Samuli Vuorinen's take on Harsosumu is a worthy new addition of this object the library 51 other observations in Skywarden. It’s a mosaic of two images that both got 50 minutes of exposure per channel. Vuorinen exposed H-alpha during the past full moon, O-III and S-II during new moon at the turn of the month, which is when he also photographed the galaxy M33.

Low sun and mammatus clouds

3.11. Two observations from the turn of the month. On the right, a red morning sun low at the Helsinki horizon on Nov. 2 photographed by Tuomas Salo. On the left, mammatus clouds seen in Turku by Paula Mattila on the morning of the last day of October. Just as the sun turns red only when it is low, so do do mammatus cloud need low sun for their shape to be discerned.

Sunday brought the first diamond dust halos

26.10. This year, the diamond dust halo season opened on October 24th with displays in Rovaniemi and Kuusamo. The picture is from Kuusamo, where the setting was much better. "My girlfriend photographed from the co-driver's seat", writes Veli-Pekka Lehtimäki, who upload two photos in Taivaanvahti. He says the road was slippery which made it impossible to stop to take better pictures.

A rocky beach and Milky Way

26.10. Panu Pahkamaa has visited the windswept island of Jurmo in four falls in hope of catching the Milky Way. "After all, it is perhaps the best place in Finland to photograph the Milky Way," he writes. On his latest visit in September this year, the weather was finally favourable and Pahkamaa has now published in Taivaanvahti a picture he took on the rocky shore of the island.

An automatic halo camera watches the sky in Hankasalmi

25.10. The halo display itself is mundane, but how the picture was taken is significant. This is Finland's first automatic halo camera. The device, realized by Harri Kiiskinen, is attached to the Hankasalmi Observatory radio telescope. In the past, only one other automated eye for halos has been in use. It was operated by Nicolas Lefaudeux in Paris for three years, and showed that odd radius halos are in fact common. Now let's await for the discoveries from Hankasalmi.

An asteroid passed on front of a star on Oct. 19

21.10. On Tuesday at 01:50 Petri Kuossari photographed an occultation by asteroid 980 Anacostia in Tervakoski, Janakkala. The about 70 kilometers wide asteroid was 1.308 AU from us at the time of the event and passed on front of a 10,5 magnitude star. The video Kuossari made shows the occultation beautifully combined with a light curve. Kuossari sent the observation to SETI Institute and expects more detailed data on the occultation in a month's time

Lunar halos preceeded the rain

20.10. Last night a wide warm front with its rains approached Finland from west and the high cloud sheet which advanced it showed halos all the way from Lappeenranta to Salla. Here is a stack of the display taken by Petri Martikainen in Juva at 21.06-21.16. In the upper left corner of the picture is short-lived 120° parhelion, which Martikainen also noticed visually. If the 120° parhelion has been cut off from the news image, see Martikainen's observation .

Supernova remnant Abell 85

20.10. Erik Pirtala got ready the less frequently photographed object Abell 85, which is a supernova remnant in the constellation of Cassiopeia. "The project, which started right in the very first days of the month, came to an end last night when even Eastern Finland got a glimpse of clears skies," says Pirtala. The total exposure was 17 hours. Abell 85, also known as CTB1, is located 9,800 light-years away from us and its size in the sky is that of a full moon.

Lucy probe in Hankasalmi Observatory image

18.10. Nasa launced on Saturday, Oct. 16, Lucy mission on its long journey to explore Jupiter Trojan asteroids. Arto Oksanen captured the probe next day with the Hankasalmi Observatory's 40 cm telescope. Lucy was 600,000 km from us at the time of the photo. The spacecraft will initially remain close to Earth's orbit and will pick up momentum from three near-Earth bypasses during its flight.

Reflection rainbow in Tornio

15.10. A piece of reflection rainbow rises from the base of the primary rainbow in this picture, that Tuula Sillanpää took at Tornio River on 13 October. This year, the reflection rainbows have been scarce. The first sighting in Skywarden came no earlier than the end of August, and Sillanpää's observation now is only the third. However, there is still time, the latest case in Warden's statistics is from November, and nothing in principle prevents sightings in December in areas where there is open water.