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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).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

P/2008 Q2 Ory

This comet was discovered by Michel Ory of Delemont, Switzerland in CCD images.
The image below is a stack of images taken from La Cañada.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2008 September 23, Fragmented comet 205/P Giacobini

This is a stack integration of 24 minutes tracked on the comet's movement. The black and white reversed image has been streched to bring out details of the fragment well visible. No other fragments show on the full 20x20 arc min frame however.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Discovery #100

La Cañada Observatory celebrates the discovery of the asteroid number 100, asteroids 2008 RC80 and 2008 RD80 make 101 designations credited to the observatory.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

2008 RM78 and 2008 RA80

Yet another two main belt asteroid designations for J87, these add up to 99 minor bodies discovered from La Cañada.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

2008 QM16 and 2008 QN16

These two new minor planet designations are number 96 and 97 for La Cañada. They were first observed on the night of August the 23th then confirmed on the night of the 29th.

Although they have no published orbit yet 2008 QM16 seems to have a perihelion distance q about 1.33, probably a Mars crosser.

Friday, August 22, 2008

2008 Aug 22th, JuanMi and Covichi

Two main belt asteroids discovered by Juan Lacruz from La Cañada Observatory (J87) have been named by the committee on small body nomenclature (CSBN), (178256) Juanmi, found on 2007 Nov 03, and (185576) Covichi, found on 2008 Jan 26th, JuanMi is the son and Covichi the daugther of the discoverer.

(the citations will be updated in a few days in the above links to JPL)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nebulas in the Sagitarius region

M17, the Omega nebula, also called the Swan.

M8 The Lagoon (South) and M20 theTrifid.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The galaxy in Andromeda (M31)

The great Andromeda galaxy

Messier catalogue number 31, the fainter companions NG205 (North East) and M32 (Sowth West) can also be seen.

Canon EOS 40d + EF 200 F2.8 L.
Observatorio de La Cañada, 2008 Aug 02, 00h UT.

(copy left) Juan Lacruz 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

NEO confirmations, 2008 OM and 2008 OO

Both objects posted on the NEOCP have been confirmed from observatory J87 La Cañada (among others :-) 2008 OO is another spanish NEO discovered from J75 La Sagra.
Read discovery circulars MPEC 2008-O31 and MPEC 2008-O33


Sunday, July 6, 2008


A discovery by Robert E. Holmes, on CCD images taken with a 0.40-m f/5.8 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector was posted as QSB5259 in the NEOCP when confirmed with the 0.40m Ritchey-Chretien telescope at J87 La Cañada.

Blinking a stacked set, it displayed a coma 12 arc secs in diameter elongated to south west, in poor seeing. IAUC 8959 (subscription) and MPEC 2008-N19

New designation 94 countup to 100

Observations on two nights one week apart and sent under two different observatory designations LC00078 2008.06.28 and LC00080 2008.07.05 have been linked by the mpc and given designation 2008 MX4, this discovery makes La Cañada number 94 so far.

Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 MD1

New designation for La Cañada observatory, detected on two nights June the 27th and 28th.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2008 May 29th, A&A

Work on the Comet and Centaur 29P Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, by a team leaded by Josep Maria Trigo has been published in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Read the abstract and the CSIC release note.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Comet C/2007 B2 (SKIFF) meets galaxy M61

On 2008 April the 3rd comet 2007 B2 SKIFF entered the apparent field of galaxy Messier 61.
The comet is the fuzzy spot on the middle right.

This is a sum of 3 images of 3 min each. North is up, east is left.
LX200R 0.4m + STL 1001E, resolution 1.2 "/pixel, (c) Juan Lacruz, Observatorio de La Cañada.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

One asteroid for La Cañada

Asteroid (159164) 2005 JC22 La Cañada. The asteroid, discovered on 2005 may the 3th by the J87 observatory, has been named "La Cañada" after the town where the observatory is located. "Cañada", a spanish word meaning transhumance route. The town gets its name from a nearby Cañada. Orbit graphic (JPL).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Amor NEO 2008 EM8

2008 EM8, was detected as an unidentified object at La Cañada Observatory on 2008 Mar 08, because its special movement I reported it as NEOCP (Near Erth Object Confirmation Page) candidate to the MPC(Minor Planet Center) but it didn't make through the NEO confirmation page.

I contacted Rafael Ferrando at observatory 941 Pla d'Arguines, he confirmed its existence and sent the observations to the MPC.

Only objects with a NEO rating above 50% get to the confirmation page and this one, using the data from J87 La Cañada and 941 Pla d'Arguines observations, "only" scored 46%.

Two days later, on 2008 Mar 10 the MPC issued a discovery circular MPEC 2008-E82 crediting the discovery to the observatory G96 Mount Lemmon 1.5m reflector with a single night two days before.

This object is an AMOR NEO with perihelion q = 1.28.

Finally I got the designation back from the MPC to confirm that my unidentified observations belong to this NEO on 2008 March the 12th.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

NEOCP object XM08AA Comet CHEN-GAO, confirmation imagery La Cañada J87

This comet has been discovered by Tao Chen (Suzhou City, Jiangsu province,
China) on a CCD image taken on Feb. 1 by Xing Gao (Urumqi, Xinjiang
province) with a wide-field 7-cm, 200-mm-f.l., f/2.8 camera lens (+
Canon 350D camera) at Gao's Xingming Observatory

The first observatory to confirm it was J87 La Cañada. Because the initial astrometry was not very precise (discovered with a wide field camera) the firsts stacks showed a quite elongated nucleus, making me think the comet was breaking in pieces, after stacking on the correct movement the nucleus was perfectly round though. The pictures , 20 arc min on each side, show the comet as a fuzzy spot in the upper left area.


Below is a false colour rendition of the isophotes map showing an elongated comma in position angle 35 degrees. (detail 2x).

False color rendition of the comma (2x).

(c) Juan Lacruz, 2008 Feb 02, 19:10 UT
All the images have north up and east to the left.
LX200R 0.40m F10 + STL1001E CCD
Scale 1.2 arc sec per pixel.
Stack of 9 images 3 min each.
Outer comma 50 arc sec diameter, inner condensation 20 arc secs dia., PA 35 deg .

References : IAUC 8915 (only subscribers..), MPEC 2008-C16