Welp. New Horizons decided to put on a little 4th of July drama for the mission’s fans. It’s currently in safe mode, and it will likely be a day or two before it recovers and returns to science, but it remains on course for the July 14 flyby. Here’s the mission update in its entirety.

Source: New Horizons enters safe mode 10 days before Pluto flyby [UPDATED] | The Planetary Society

Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 139,500 km (86,000 miles) of the surface of Mars at 5:51 tomorrow morning (Monday 20 Oct, Sydney time – or 19 October at 18:51 UTC). This means Comet Siding Spring will pass 10 times closer to Mars than any (recorded) comet has flown by Earth! But it will be traveling at 50 km/s which is too fast to be captured by Mars’s gravitational pull.

Comet Siding Spring, Mars, and Milky Way dust (Photo by Steve Lee (AAO))

astropixie: comet siding spring and mars.

partly cloudycloudyUp and out in the dark, it’s a normal occurrence now. The ground was wet but dried up after the sun began to break through the clouds.

Work was a bit slow, still. Not much happening on the issue I’m working on, slow.


It’s Tuesday and the Movie Edge of Tomorrow, they oppositely renamed the movie to something like: Live, Die, Repeat. Whatever. Brian picked up the BlueRay for me.

I setup the Vixen 100mm OT and took some photos of the moon with the Df and then added the 2X converter and got a bit closer. Brian tried to give me some crap about not being able to focus on the trees about 300 yards away and then on the moon without having some sort of extra tube more than I already had.

Had a few beers and watched the movie with Brian upstairs. The sky cleared up but then about 9:30 the clouds began to roll in again.

Hoping the sky is good for the eclipse in the morning.

"We’re at the comet!" Rosetta has arrived at comet 67P

After a journey of more than a decade, Rosetta has finally arrived at comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Confirmation of the successful rocket firing came just a few minutes ago on a webcast from ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Congratulations to ESA, to the scientists and engineers on the mission, and all the people of all of ESA’s member nations!

via "We're at the comet!" Rosetta has arrived at comet 67P | The Planetary Society.

Stars are plotted for 2 a.m. local daylight time as seen from mid-northern latitudes. Image:Β Sky & Telescope.

One night only, May 23/24, the challenger — Comet 209P/LINEAR dusty debris.

Comet 209P/LINEAR

This May 17, 2014 image of Comet 209/LINEAR is the average of 5, 180-second exposures, taken remotely with the PlaneWave 17″+ Paramount ME+STL-6303E robotic unit of theΒ Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the comet, so stars are trailing. This comet has the potential to generate an exceptional meteor shower (Camelopardalids) on May 24, 2014.

via One Night Only, a New Meteor Shower that May Be Spectacular? | The Planetary Society.