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  • A comet for Christmas: C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy more > on 06 Jan 2015 20:00
    in 16 days and 17:54 hours.
  • A comet for Christmas: C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy more > on 11 Jan 2015 20:00
    in 21 days and 17:54 hours.
  • Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) - 2004 BL86 very close encounter: online event more > on 26 Jan 2015 20:30
    in 36 days and 18:24 hours.
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    Archive for the ‘free’ Category

    The Geminid Meteor Shower 2014: online event – 14 Dec. 2014

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    The Geminid Meteor Shower 2014: online event

    The Geminid Meteor Shower 2014: online event

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    Next 14 Dec. 2014, the spectacular Geminid meteor shower will be back with its spectacular show. The winter, cold temperatures contribute in making this shower neglected by the public, while it offer bright, very enjoyable meteors. Quite interestingly, the  Geminids – so called because the apparent source of their trails is placed in the constellation of Gemini (the Twins)  - originates from an asteroid, (3200) Phaethon, this making them one of the only two showers sharing this feature.

    At Virtual Telescope we scheduled a live feed for 14 Dec. 2014, starting at 08:00 UT, when our all-sky camera will share real-time images via the audience.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy: live observing session – 6 & 11 Jan. 2015

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    C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy: online observing session

    C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy: online observing session (photo: comet C/2014 E2 Jacques)

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    A nice comet is coming for this Christmas: it is comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy. Hopefully, it will be bright enough to be seen with small telescopes and binoculars. A nice present from the sky.

    At Virtual Telescope we want to celebrate this holiday season with you and what is better than sharing a comet at Christmas? We will show it live, online, so that you can see it via the web, from the comfort of your home. All this for free.

    We will leave for this journey and observe comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy on two nights: 6 Jan. and 11 Jan. 2015. On both nights, the event will start at 19:00 UT.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86 very close encounter: online event (26 Jan. 2015)

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    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439)-2004 BL86

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439)-2004 BL86

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    Next 26 Jan. 2015, at  16:20 UT, the 650-meters large potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) asteroid  (357439) – 2004 BL86 will made a very close approach with the Earth, reaching a minimum distance of 1.1 millions of km, that is 3.1 lunar distances. The body will be as bright as mag 9.5, so easily accessible with small telescopes/binoculars.

    Of course, this is a very safe distance, but still a very spectacular circumstance, so  the Virtual Telescope Project will offer a live, online event sharing real-time images of  (357439) – 2004 BL86 with live commentary by our scientific staff.

    The online, free session is scheduled for 26 Jan. 2015, starting at 19:30 UT. At that time, the object will be at its maximum brightness, assuring a spectacular sight.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

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    8 October 2014 – Total Lunar Eclipse: podcast

    8 October 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse: poster

    8 October 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse: poster

    Below is the podcast of our live coverage of the 8 Oct. lunar eclipse, an international, very successful campaign hosted by the Virtual Telescope

     

     

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

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    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 WC201 very close encounter: online event (01 Dec. 2014)

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    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 WC201

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 WC201

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    Next 02 Dec. 2014, at  04:52 UT, the 20-meters large asteroid 2014 WC201 will made a very close approach with the Earth, reaching a minimum distance of less than 540.000 km, that is 1.4 lunar distances.

    Of course, this is a very safe distance, but still a very spectacular circumstance, so  the Virtual Telescope Project will offer a live, online event sharing real-time images of 2014 WC201 with live commentary by our scientific staff.

    The online, free session is scheduled for 01 Dec. 2014, starting at 23:00 UT.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 UF56 is approaching: an image (26 Oct. 2014)

    Near-Earth asteroid 2014 UF56: 26 Oct. 2014

    Near-Earth asteroid 2014 UF56: 26 Oct. 2014

    While waiting for the near-Earth asteroid 2014 UF56 and its very close encounter later today, we imaged this small, ~14 meters rock 24 hours, while it was already within one million kilometers.

    Above is a single 180-seconds exposure, remotely collected with the  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked at the fast apparent rate of the asteroid, 30″/minute, so the object looks like a sharp dot of light, while stars are leaving long trails.

    The Virtual Telescope will show asteroid 2014 UF56 live on 27 Oct. 2014, at 19:00 UT on its webTV here!

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    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: an exceptional movie

    Near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324: min vs max brightness (25 Oct. 2014)

    Near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324: min vs max brightness (25 Oct. 2014)

    Last night, at Virtual Telescope we tracked the near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324, sharing it with our followers online, in real time.

    In particular, on 25 Oct. 2014, we managed to collect 110 images, back to back, covering the 00:12 to 00:42 UT (30 minutes). This ~60 meters large asteroid showed evident variations in brightness suggesting it was a quite elongated body. A first guess suggests an amplitude of 1.5 magnitudes.

    The animation above alternates the max and minimum brightness, showing the full amplitude at a glance. Images were carefully adjusted so that the variation you see is just real.

    Understanding that variation is easy: the asteroid is rotating and, because of a very elongated shape, it is changing during rotation the amount of light it is reflecting to us. The larger the amplitude, the stronger the elongation (in principle, darker/brighter areas on the asteroid could do the same, independently from the shape). Things can be of course much complicated (as for non-principal axis rotators), but that is the key point.

    Of course, the apparent luminosity changes smoothly if you consider a continuous coverage and it can be better seen in the video below, showing all the available 110 frames. NB: a larger (16Mb) version is available here. We are working to extract useful data from these observations.

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: a movie (25 Oct. 2014)

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: a movie (25 Oct. 2014)

     

     

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    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

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    Near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324: a spectacular close encounter – image and podcast

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 24 Oct. 2014

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 24 Oct. 2014

    Once again, an asteroid was the “star” of our live, online activities. This time, it was the near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324 coming as close as about 550.000 km on 24 Oct. at 19:21 UT. While it was not at all a risk for our planet (and this was of course well-known), this 60-meters large asteroid made a spectacular apparition, perfectly accessible from the northern hemisphere.

    We planned a live, online coverage of this fly-by, sharing it with the community. It was a great success: during the event, we captured many images, showing also the large brightness variations of light of the asteroid, around 1.5 magnitudes, suggesting a very elongated shape. Data will be further analyzed to get an estimate of the rotational period.

    Meanwhile, above is an image coming from a single 60-seconds exposure, remotely collected with the  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the apparent, fast (200″/minute) rate of the asteroid: so, 2014 SC324 is visible as a sharp and bright dot of light in the center, while stars are trailing. At the imaging time, the object was at about 580.000 km from the Earth, on its way back.

    Below is the podcast of the live event.

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324 getting close: a image (23 Oct. 2014)

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 23 Oct. 2014

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 23 Oct. 2014

    Less than 24 hours before its close approach, at Virtual Telescope we imaged near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324 while it was peaking in brightness at magnitude 13.5.

    The image above is a single 300-seconds exposure, remotely collected with the  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked at the apparent, fast (75″/minute) rate of the asteroid. 2014 SC324 is visible as a sharp and bright dot of light in the center, while stars are trailing. At the imaging time, the object was at about 920.000 km from the Earth

    Next 25 Oct. at 00:00 UT at Virtual Telescope we will show this very close approach live, online, for free: save the date!

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324 coming close: a image and video (20 Oct. 2014)

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 20 Oct. 2014

    Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 20 Oct. 2014

    While waiting for the live event covering this object, we observed the near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324 on its approaching route. Late this next 24 Oct., this 60-meters large object will “touch” a minimum distance of about 570.000 km from us, that is 1.5 lunar distances. Needless to say, it is an absolutely safe distance, no risks at all for the Earth. It will be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to look at this asteroid.

    A few hours before of the fly-by, it will be as bright as magnitude 13.5, so easily within the capabilities of a small photographic equipment: so, amateur astronomers, stay tuned! It will be perfectly placed in the sky, especially for those living in the northern hemisphere.

    The image above is the average of three, 180-seconds exposures, remotely collected with the  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked at the apparent rate of the asteroid. 2014 SC324 is visible as a sharp dot of light in the center, while stars are trailing.

    Below a video is available, showing four images taken back to back during the the same session: the asteroid is a sharp dot of light in the  center, tracked by the mount, while stars are trailing on the background. Click on the image for the full res version.

    A short video showing the near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 20 Oct. 2014

    A short video showing the near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324: 20 Oct. 2014

    Next 25 Oct. at 00:00 UT at Virtual Telescope we will show this very close approach live, online, for free: save the date!

    Back to “Solar System” page



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, consider to support us.

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

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