Observatory Logo


From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 17:49:47 EST
Subject: Mercury correction; Comet Macholz, lecture

Hi all,

1. Correction: Any of you amateur astromers who ever think that professional 
astromers don't really know the sky - think again! Prof Mark Bailey, director 
of Armagh Observatory (and primarily a theorist too!) was one of only two 
people to spot the not-so-deliberate mistake in my last email. Mercury (& Venus) 
is of course visible in the SE, not the SW, in the mornings! Sorry about that. 
My excuse is that some idiot put "E" and "W" beside each other on my keyboard, 
and I didn't spot that I had hit the wrong key (I'm only a 2-finger typist, 
BTW!).
   So thanks to Mark and to Paddy Doyle who pointed out the error.

2. Comet Macholz is now a fine sight rising up past Rigel later in the 
evenings. It's quite easy to find in spite of the moonlight, and in a week or so 
after the Moon is out of the way it should be fairly easily visible to the 
unaided eye from a dark site. 
The following orbital elements are taken from MPC 52905: C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)
Epoch 2005 Jan. 30.0 TT = JDT 2453400.5
T 2005 Jan. 24.9146 TT                                  
q   1.205088             (2000.0)            P                      Q
z  +0.000413       Peri.   19.5023      -0.3200531      -0.7142006
 +/-0.000015       Node    93.6269      +0.7651382      -0.5823175
e   0.999502       Incl.   38.5891      +0.5586855      +0.3883604

Here's a 5-day ephemeris for 0h UT on each date: Delta is distance; 'r' is 
the Radius Vector; 'Elong.' is in degrees from the Sun; 'm1' is the total 
integrated magnitude.

Date    UT    R. A. (2000) Decl.       Delta      r       Elong.   Phase   m1
2004 12 31    03 53.78   +06 51.3    0.357    1.266   136.5    32.3   4.3
2005 01 05    03 41.93   +17 17.7    0.347    1.245   132.5    35.6   4.2
2005 01 10    03 30.46   +27 57.4    0.352    1.227   126.9    39.9   4.1
2005 01 15    03 19.75   +37 57.9    0.370    1.215   120.7    44.1   4.2
2005 01 20    03 10.17   +46 46.6    0.399    1.208   114.9    47.6   4.3


3. The next EAAS meeting will be on 3 Jan at 8p.m., Thompson Primary school, 
Ballyrobert, when EAAS member Paul Evans will talk on "Eclipses". 3 
admission, including refreshments.

Season's Greetings to all, again!

Terry Moseley

---------

Last Revised: 2005 January 5th
WWW contact:webmaster@arm.ac.uk
Go to HOME Page Home Page