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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, March 25, 2009

Recent discoveries

Gracias al buen tiempo de las últimas noches sin Luna he podido detectar y confirmar varios asteroides.

2009 FV5 tiene una órbita bastante inclinada, 22 grados, parece ser de la familia de asteroides Phocaea.

2009 Mar 13, 2009 EV4
2009 Mar 18, 2009 FU5
2009 Mar 18, 2009 FV5
2009 Mar 20, 2009 FE14
2009 Mar 20, 2009 FG14
2009 Mar 20, 2009 FC19
2009 Mar 20, 2009 FD19

Thanks to the good weather last nights with no Moon, I detected and confirmed seven new asteroids, 2009 FV5 seems of the Phocaea family of asteroids, with a typical high inclination about 22 degrees.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Venus phase

This picture of Venus shows the planet's phase.
Because it's low, near the horizon, the light from Venus is seen through a thick layer of atmosphere. The refraction is causing the red light to bend more than the blue.

Esta imágen de Venus muestra la fase del planeta.
Como está bajo en el horizonte, su luz es vista a través de una espesa capa de atmósfera. La refracción causa que la luz roja se curve más que la azul.

Canon EOS40D, ISO 400, exp 1/500, 2000 mm F10. (c) Juan Lacruz.

Comet 29P

Remains stationary in activity at mag 15.7R displaying a broad coma and condensed nucleus.

El 29P permanece sin cambios de actividad en mag 15.7R mostrando una amplia coma con núcleo condensado.

Stack of 6x 2 min CCD images (c) Juan Lacruz 2009 Mar 18 La Cañada.
0.40m Ritchey Chretien F10 + STL1001E CCD.

Comet C/2009 F1 Larson

This new comet discovered by S. M. Larson, University of Arizona, on survey images taken with the Mount Lemmon 1.5m telescope showing a coma diameter 4"-6" was posted on the minor planet center neo confirmation page as 9FAF233 for other observatories to confirm.

On a stack of 18 CCD images 60 seconds each in fairly good seeing a fuzziness was barely appreciated, I didn't report it to the central bureau for astronomical telegrams (CBAT) because to me, it wasn't clear enough if it was a comet.

However, other observatories noticed the diffuse aspect and the object has been recognized as a new non periodic comet.
Below you can see the analysis of the full with at half maximum for the stars in the image, most of them have FWHM = 2.5" which is good seeing for La Cañada, the comet, in red, has a much wider spread function.

Read a doc on how to detect low activity comets looking at the statistics of the FWHM.

References : MPEC 2009-F34, IAUC 9029 (subscribers only)

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The comet 29/P in a quiescent state at magnitud 15.59R
Showing an extended diffuse coma and condensed nucleus.
2009 Mar 13, 21:22:52 UT La Cañada (c) Juan Lacruz.

A Larson Sekanina process (below) with a shitf 0.5 pixels and no rotation, does not reveal any feature.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Comet C2007 N3 Lulin

Comet Lulin heading the outer Solar System.
Canon EOS 40D + 200mm F2.8 (c) Juan Lacruz.

A color enhanced rendition of the comet to better show the tail/coma structure of this fine comet, LX200 40cm F10 + STL1001E + RVB filters
Note the dust tail in red and the coma in lights of blue and gree.


STL 1001E + 4000 mm F10, RVB