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La Cañada Observatory, is an initiative by Juan Lacruz, the observatory started astrometric operations in the summer of 2002, it is registered as station J87 in the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

The Observatory also participates in the studies on minor bodies promoted by the Group on Meteorites, Minor Bodies, and Planetary Sciences of the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC).

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Three new names

(325366) Asturias = 2008 QN16

The Principality of Asturias, in northwest Spain, is known for its coastline, mountain landscapes and medieval architecture. The Covadonga Sanctuary to the Virgin Mary, patron of Asturias, sits in a cave above a waterfall.

(309706) Avila = 2008 GP

Avila de los caballeros, is the capital of the province of Avila in Spain. Sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, it is notable for its complete and prominent medieval town walls.

(352760) Tesorero = 2008 UR4

Pico Tesorero is a prominent pyramidal peak located in the central massif of Picos de Europa in Spain. Its 2570-m summit dominates most of the beautiful mountains of the western and central massifs, and marks the boundary between Asturias, Cantabria and Leon provinces.

Monday, May 18, 2015

La Cañada 16-May-2015 NEOCP Observations P10l0Zk -> COMET C/2015 J2 (PANSTARRS)

The image below is a stack of short images of NEOCP P10l0Zk taken at La Cañada on the night of 16-May-2015, at that moment only three observations were available at the NEOCP, those by the observatory F51 Pan-STARRS  Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System.

Once the object was confirmed by J87 at the predicted position and movement, the astrometry and photometry report was sent to the Minor Planet Center MPC together with remarks on the diffuse aspect of the object. A coma about 8 arc seconds elongated in PA 320 degrees was measured.

Soon after that, the MPC moved the body from the NEOCP to the Possible Comet Confirmation Page PCCP,  the only observations available from the PCCP then were the discovery observations and those of the confirmation by J87.

The calculations updated May 18.63 UT based on 35 observations spanning 2.89 days showed a nearly parabolic orbit with a semi axis about 100 AU passing the perihelion around 2015 Oct. 17.8

Picture obtained from observatory J87 La Cañada, this is a stack of 50 images with 1 minute of exposure time each following on the movement predicted by the Minor Planet Center ephemeris Service MPES based on just three observations by F51 Pan-STARRS the night before.

Electronic Telegram No. 4100
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Director: Daniel W. E. Green; Hoffman Lab 209; Harvard University; 20 Oxford St.; Cambridge, MA 02138; U.S.A. e-mail: (alternate URL Prepared using the Tamkin Foundation Computer Network

 COMET C/2015 J2 (PANSTARRS) E. Lilly and R. Weryk, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, report the discovery of another apparent comet in three w-band exposures taken with the 1.8-m Pan-STARRS1 telescope at Haleakala on May 15.5 UT (discovery observations tabulated below); the object shows a prominent tail with approximately 8" long extending towards p.a. approximately 300 degrees.

 2015 May UT R.A. (2000) Decl.          Mag.

 15.48694        16 10 05.44 -23 22 05.6 19.6
 15.49789        16 10 05.12 -23 22 07.0 19.7
 15.50882        16 10 04.80 -23 22 08.7 19.6 

Wainscoat and M. Micheli add that three 60-s r-band follow-up exposures were taken of the object with the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on May 16.5 UT (queue observer D. Woodworth), which show the object clearly cometary in appearance, with a broad, low-surface-brightness tail that extends from the nuclear condensation for at least 10" toward p.a. approximately 300 degrees.

After the comet was posted on the Minor Planet Center's PCCP webpage, other CCD astrometrists have also noted the object's cometary appearance. J. Lacruz, Madrid, Spain, reports that sixty stacked 60-s exposures taken with a 0.40-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector on May 17.0 UT show the comet to be diffuse with a fan-shaped coma 9" across with an apparent tail in p.a. 320 deg. A. Maury and J.-F. Soulier finds that images taken on May 17.1 with a 0.4-m f/8 Ritchey-Chretien reflector at San Pedro de Atacama show a 11" x 13" coma and a tail 15" long in p.a. 310 deg; they measured the comet's brightness in a 6".2 radius to be 18.8. W. H. Ryan communicates that his R-band images taken on May 18.33-18.36 with the Magdalena Ridge Observatory 2.4-m f/8.9 reflector show a distinct tail at p.a. about 300 deg, and he finds the comet's magnitude to be 18.6-18.9. H. Sato, Tokyo, Japan, writes that four stacked 60-s exposures taken with an iTelescope 0.51-m f/6.8 astrograph (+ luminance filter) at Siding Spring on May 18.6 UT show the comet to be strongly condensed with a coma 10" in diameter and no tail; the w-band magnitude was 20.2 as measured within a circular aperture of radius 6".6. The available astrometry, the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements by G. V. Williams, and an ephemeris appear on

MPEC 2015-K18. T = 2015 Oct. 17.8168 TT Peri. = 208.0670 Node = 57.2873 2000.0 q = 4.448423 AU Incl. = 18.7941

NOTE: These 'Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams' are sometimes superseded by text appearing later in the printed IAU Circulars. (C) Copyright 2015 CBAT 2015 May 19 (CBET 4100) Daniel W. E. Green

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy, 27-Feb-2015 La Cañada

Despite the crescent Moon and some thin cirrus clouds, this is the result of stacking 20 pictures of 45 seconds integration each. Taken with an unmodified Canon 1D MK IV and a zoom EF 70-200 mm F2.8 working at 110mm. In the field of view the Perseus great double cluster, the comet's tail length is about 4 degrees. 

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy, 27-Feb-2015 La Cañada Observatory (J87) (c) 2015 Juan Lacruz

Friday, January 9, 2015

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy in a mosaic composition, 09-Jan-2015
(c) 2015 Juan Lacruz, Observatorio de La Cañada

Inner comma study of comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy, the Larson Sekanina rotational gradient enhances the many jets of sublimating volatiles. These get ionized by the Solar wind becoming a plasma that gets trapped in the magnetic field lines, as the comet nucleus rotates these plasma streamers form beatiful knots and the comet displays a vivid greenish electric colour.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

C/2014 E2 Jacques

Observación del cometa C/2014 E2 Jacques el 23-agosto-2014, foto en color Canon 1D MK IV + EF 400 @ 12500 ISO 10 tomas de 30 segundos. Detalle Telescopio LX200 16" F10 + CCD SBIG STL1001E, 14 imágenes de 30 sec.

C/2014 E2 Jacques