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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 18:07:17 EDT
Subject: Six Items

Hi all,

1. Those of you with access to Digital Television channels may wish to know 
that a programme under 'The Edge' series is being shown on Discovery Sci-Trek 
(channel 555) today at midnight. 
   It is entitled 'Meteor Chasers' and features BAA members Steve Evans and 
Andrew Elliott on their trip to USA in search of the Leonids. The programme also 
includes several other GB amateur astronomers whose faces you might 
recognise!

2. A reminder about the IAA Perseids / BBQ on the first clear night of Sunday 
11, Monday 12 or Tuesday 13 of August, at the Big Collin picnic site: all 
members have already got details by post. Hope to see you there.

3. New Comets: For those of you who didn't get the last email, new comet 
C/21002 06 is now predicted to reach magnitude 5.5 in about a week, but it 
will be low down in the dawn sky when at its best. It eventually becomes 
circumpolar, but by then will have faded a bit. It's now moving rapidly NE 
through Orion and will enter the 'feet' of Gemini on August 11, passing very 
close to Castor on the night of Aug 14/15.

 The Preliminary elements are:
 
 T 2002 Sept.  9.418 TT 
 q   0.49467      (2000.0)            P Q
                   Peri.   78.703       +0.418803 -0.807890
                   Node   330.959       -0.011376 +0.451899
 e   1.0           Incl.   58.666       +0.908006 +0.378288


There's another fainter comet too, C/2002 04 Honig, about magnitude 8 to 9, 
but much better placed, moving North through Cepheus.

The elements are:

T = 2002 Oct 1.9901
Ecc = 1.0
q = 0.778494 AU
Small omega = 105.7728
Capital Omega = 321.0135
Incl = 73.0668

4. Near Earth Object 2002 NY40 is due to make a VERY close pass to Earth on 
17/18 August.

   The orbit is still being refined, but the following elements, courtesy of 
Dr Alan Fitzsimmons, should be enough to give you an idea of where it will be 
in our sky each night. As Alan says, the present uncertainty in the orbit 
does not justify the number of significant figures, so if you want to 
simplify things, just round to about 5 decimal places!

Ecc= 0.7101336880497671  
A=2.039697369613748
Omega= 146.8570251370315
Peri = 268.2800688604276
Inclination= 5.771558773389537
Date of perihelion = 2002-Oct-04.9861509 UT
      
H= 19.133; G= 0.150     

It will be well placed for observation from Europe on the nights of August 
15/16, 16/17, and especially 17/18 (mainly from 00:00 to 04:00 UT).  The brightest
magnitude of 9.54 occurs around 02:00 UT on 18th when the asteroid is around 
0.0045 AU distant (670,000 km, 428,000 miles).  At that time, it will be 
moving at about 5 degrees per hour, well placed in Cygnus & Lyra (I think!)! 

   Tolis Christou of Armagh Observatory has suggested an attempt to measure 
its parallax when closest as an interesting and challenging project for 
amateurs using telescopes with CCDs to image it simultaneously from locations 
several tens of Km apart. If anyone is interested, please let me know, and 
tell Tolis aac@star.arm.ac.uk what equipment (telescopic & CCD) you have 
got.

5.Colin Clements in Lisburn has kindly made the following offer:
"I have a quantity of the RAS Journal 'Astronomy & Geophysics' (20) 
available free-gratis to anyone who wants them. They are in mint condition 
and are being disposed of only because I have no room to store them. I would 
appreciate it if you could 'put the word out'; any takers can collect them 
from me in Lisburn or I can bring them along to the first IAA meeting in 
September. Alternatively, I will be at the Telescope day in Armagh on the 
17th, and could bring them with me for collection there."
   If you are interested, contact him at:  cw.clem@btopenworld.com

6. Finally, don't forget that IAA / Armagh Planetarium / North Down 
telescopes amazing 'Telescope Day' at the Planetarium on 17 August. More 
details soon, but mark the date in your diary now!

Goog Luck & clear skies (what are they?) to all!

Terry Moseley



Last Revised: 2002 August 8th
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