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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, December 4, 2010

2010 Sept 04, New numberings, 2008 BO14 named Urriellu

Two new numberings in this monthly batch

(256797) 2008 CA70
(256796) 2008 CN69

Also 2008 BO14 has been named Urriellu, by the CSBN, after the beautiful peak in Picos de Europa.
CSBN is the committee for small body nomenclature of the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

Orbit diagram : JPL Orbits
Some pictures : Urriellu
More info : Wiki link
Minor planet center elements and observations with residuals  (249160) Urriellu

(249160) Urriellu = 2008 BO14
     Urriellu is a wonderful limestone peak located in the Macizo central of
the Picos de Europa.  It is not the highest in the mountain range but is one of
the best-known summits of Spanish mountaineering, in particular because of its
550-meter vertical west face.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quite a black night, La Cañada 2010 Nov 06

Comet 103P Hartley 2 just after the EXPOXY near flyby, as imaged from La Cañada on 2010 Nov the 5th. It illustrates how the perspective changes the way we perceive things. We've just seen the excellent images and video published on the JPL site, where all the detail of the comet surface is apparent, with the many jets spitting a combination of gas and dust to the interplanetary media. In this stacked image taken from La Cañada the aspect of the comet is absolutely different, part of the materials ejected from the comet remain gravitationally bounded to it generating this sort of atmosphere, which is appreciated as a greenish glow and known as the comet's coma. Note how the inner coma is bluer than the outer, which appears redder.

Co-addition of 25 images 1 minute exposure each with a 200mm lens at F2.8, ISO 1250 (c) J. Lacruz
Asteroid Miguel crossing a crowded field of galaxies shows how perspective does not always help our understanding of the world, whilst the asteroid is at a few light minutes from Earth, in our Solar System, the background galaxies are as deep as several millions of light years in the abyssal universe.

The seven sisters shrouded in blue gas.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

103P Hartley 2010 Oct 01

Since the comet was moving fast at nearly four arc seconds per minute I stacked 3 exposures of 30 seconds each to get the comet against a a background of trailed stars.
The field width is 20 arc minutes, north is up and east to the left.
Telescope RCT .40m F10 + CCD
2010 Oct 01 20:38 UT La Cañada J87 J. Lacruz

Comet 103P in a stack of 5 averaged frames of 45 seconds each through a telephoto lens.
Canon EOS 1DIV + EF 200mm F2.8 (@155mm)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

El Pueblo conquista el cosmos

La edición impresa de Público del domingo 26 sept publica un reportaje de Nuño Dominguez sobre el trabajo de los astrónomos aficionados

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New asteroid names, 2010 Sept 25

The Committee for Small Body Nomenclature CSBN issued names for asteroids discovered at La Cañada :

(207547) Charito = 2006 LO

Rosario ("Charito") Lacruz Martín (b. 1961) completed her degree
in fine arts at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. A tireless observer
in the group of astronomers who meet at Monte del Pardo, Madrid, she has
complemented the observing sessions with her artistry.

(171396) Miguel = 2006 QH33
Miguel Lacruz Martín (b. 1963) received his doctorate in mathematics
at Kent State University. He has added his mathematical view of nature as an
extra dimension to the observational experience at Monte del Pardo, Madrid.

Links to extended data kept at the NASA's JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Pasadena :



Monday, September 13, 2010

103P/Hartley 2010 Sept 13

The following picture is a set of 15 images of 2 min exposure each stacked on the comet's movement. The field size is about 27 arc min.

In this cropped and zoomed detail the coma is about 2 arc min wide, if we force the contrast the coma grows to double this size, see Hergenrother's post introducing comet Hartley 2

The coma profile above the background level (thin red line) is about 4 arc minutes wide.

A false colour rendition.

Comet Hartley 2 in its current (2010) return will pass at only 0.12 AU from Earth on October the 20th.

The Deep impact spacecraft will approach 103P Hartley at just 1000 Km on November the 4th.

References :
Gary Kronk's Cometography, Wiki, BAA

Friday, August 27, 2010

27 Aug 2010, Three new numberings

Last MPC's monthly batch (26-Aug-2010) issues numberings for three new asteroids, these total 26 objects discovered from La Cañada :

K07V02U = 249079
K08B14O = 249160
K09F05U = 249432

Monday, July 19, 2010

La Cañada 2010 July 17th, Apollo 2010 OA

On 2010 July 18.03 working in remote from Madrid, I've confirmed this recently discovered object which was posted on the NEOCP with the observatory designation RO4B8DB, very low in the sky, at only 15 degrees of elevation an moving fast, at nearly 4 arc seconds per minute, this wouldn't seem an easy target if not for the relative brightness about 17 V, some sixty images of 20 seconds each arranged in three stacks of twenty resulted enough to perform astrometry with good signal to noise ratios and low residuals about 0.5 arc seconds.

References : MPEC 2010-O08

Saturday, July 10, 2010

M16 2010-July-09

Fairly noisy single 5 minutes frame taken at 28 C.
Since the camera doesn't have anti-blooming gates, some stars saturate the pixels and the electrons in excess spill over to create the vertical bars seen in the brightest stars.
Anti blooming gates are not desirable when the aim is to produce quality photometry, saturated stars become readily apparent and shouldn't be used for the photometric solution.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

La Cañada 2010 July 06, comet P/2010 A5 (LINEAR)

A stack of 12 exposures two minutes each.
Logarithmic scaled, false color rendition.
Original unprocessed stacked frame.
Juan Lacruz, La Cañada 2010 July 06, 21:52:27.7 UT

Monday, July 5, 2010

NEO Confirmation 2010 NG

An object posted on MPCs NEOCP was confirmed on a stack of images taken remotely from Madrid on 2010 July 04. Moving at 6 arc seconds per minute at magnitud 19V didn't seem an easy object however the night was clear enough to allow an early detection with small residuals. Because the resulting plate scale of the telescope + CCD system is about 1.2 arc seconds per pixel, the exposure used was 10 seconds per frame, short enough to prevent the asteroid drift.

This case highlights the different classification scheme used by different organitazions. Having a semimajor axis a = 1.533 and perihelion distance q = 1.005, 2010 NG is Amor for the MPC and Apollo for the JPL.

The MPC NEO classes :

Atens have semimajor axes, a, less than 1 AU;

Apollos have semimajor axes, a, greater than 1 AU, and perihelion distances, q, less than 1 AU;

Amors have perihelion distances between 1 and 1.3 AU.

The JPL Orbits classes :

Aten Near-Earth asteroid orbits similar to that of 2062 Aten (a < 1.0 AU; Q > 0.983 AU).

Apollo Near-Earth asteroid orbits which cross the Earth's orbit similar to that of 1862 Apollo (a > 1.0 AU; q < 1.017 AU).

Amor Near-Earth asteroid orbits similar to that of 1221 Amor (a > 1.0 AU; 1.017 < q < 1.3 AU).

Reference : MPEC 2010-N15

Saturday, June 19, 2010

La Cañada, 2010 June 19, Comet McNaught

30 seconds ISO 1600, 200mm F2.8
Cropped image

Same exposure parameters as above
cropped and downsized frame
This is a composition of 24 frames of 30 seconds each stacked on the comet's movement.
The comet rises low in the horizon short before the sunrise.
LX200R F10 + SBIG STL 1001E
2010 June 19 at 19:03 UT

Monday, June 7, 2010

2010 June 06, NEO confirmations

The night of the Sunday 06 june 2010, working remotely from Madrid, I contributed to the confirmation of two objects posted on the MPC's NEO confirmation page (NEOCP), one of them (TAL 601) was moving quite fast, at about 4"/sec, allowing only short exposures max 20 seconds :

TAL 601 = 2010 LN14 Apollo object

Reference : MPEC 2010-L30

SW40jD = 2010 LJ14 This is an amor object, it grazes the Earth's orbit at a periheion of 1.1 AU, see the orbit diagram at JPL orbits

Reference : MPEC 2010-L27

Also, previous confirmation work, conducted on the site on June 5 and 4 :

RL2C068 = 2010 CL17 This resulted to be a a main belt asteroid.
RL2B422 According to the MPC this was not a minor planet, however I didn't find any object around the predicted position, also strange how this object didn't have uncertainty map pusblished in the NEOCP as usual.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Next MPC batch numberings

The MPC has flagged three asteroids discovered from La Cañada for numbering in the next full Moon batch, these three will raise the total number of La Cañada numbered discoveries to 23.

2007 VL2
2007 VM2
2007 RQ39

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Clausura del 1er workshop SPMN, Sant Celoni.

Se ha clausurado el 1er. Workshop de la Red SPMN titulado "Técnicas de Detección, Estudio y Recuperación de Meteoritos" celebrado del 19 al 21 de mayo en Sant Celoni.

Fue un placer tener la oportunidad de compartir tan interesante encuentro en un ambiente muy cordial.

Puedes leer el resumen en el sitio de la SPMN : Sant Celoni

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 HQ23, pre-discovery observations

2010 HQ23 has been linked to previous observations on April the 8th by G96 Mount Lemmon and D29 Purple Mountain Obsrvatory, XuYi Station, this extends to 30 days the observed arc and doesn't change the designation neither the discovery credit of the asteroid.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

2010 HQ23, a new discovery on 2010 April 23th

I've found this as an unidentified object at magnitud 20V on the night of 23-Apr-2010, then acquired followup observations one week after on 01-May-2010, the Minor Planet Center designated the object as 2010 HQ23 although no orbit was published neither I got the new designation (it indicates whether you're the discoverer or not). Last night, 07-May-2010 in between the clouds I obtained further astrometry and this morning the MPC issued the orbit :

2010 HQ23

Epoch 2010 Apr. 14.0 TT = JDT 2455300.5 MPC

a = 2.3290709
q = 1.7209932
e = 0.2610816
i = 6.89705

From 9 observations 2010 Apr. 23-May 7.

The observations collected so far belong just to my observatory, the residuals look quite good, the worst being +0.7 arc seconds in declination the night of the discovery.

20100423 *J87 0.2+ 0.4- 20100501 J87 0.2- 0.0- 20100507 J87 0.1- 0.1-
20100423 J87 0.3+ 0.7+ 20100501 J87 0.1+ 0.2- 20100507 J87 0.2- 0.2+
20100423 J87 0.4- 0.3- 20100501 J87 0.1+ 0.2+ 20100507 J87 0.3+ 0.1-

It's a pleasure to verify that even with those big telescopes surveying the sky so frequently and deep, we amateurs still have the chance to discover asteroids eventually.

Look at the orbit at JPL orbits

This asteroid in the inner main belt approaches the orbit of Mars.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

M13 2010 Apr 10

El cúmulo globular M13 en la constelación de Hércules.
Es un grupo de unas 100.000 estrellas que orbita entorno a nuestra galaxia.
Su época de formación es similar a la de la galaxia, cuando se individualizaron decenas de cúmulos globulares.

Estos cúmulos están constituidos por estrellas de la primera generación que han envejecido y virado hacia un color rojizo al disminuir su temperatura.

También se han observado cúmulos globulares en otras galaxias.

La imagen que se muestra es una exposición de 30 segundos a través de un teleobjetivo de 200mm de focal trabajando a F2.8, el aspecto del cúmulo en la imagen es comparable al que se observaría por un pequeño telescopio con pocos aumentos.

The globular cluster M13 in Hercules.
A group around 100.000 stars orbiting our galaxy.
Its formation epoch is similar to that of the galaxy, when dozens of such clusters were formed.

The stars, of the first generation, evolved towards lower temperatures and redder colours.

Globular clusters have been found to orbit other galaxies.

The image below, a 30 seconds exposure through a 200mm focal teleobjective working at F2.8, shows M13 resembling what you'd see with a little telescope working at low magnification.
200mm F2.8 30 sec ISO 1600

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New namings

(207341) Isabelmartin = 2005 JD22 Isabel Lacruz Martin (b. 1956) received her doctorate in Experimental Psychology at Kent State University in 2005. Her research covers the psycholinguistic aspects of translation, bilingual memory and second-language acquisition.

Discovery date : 2005 05 03
Discovery site : La Canada
Discoverer(s) : Lacruz, J.

(229777) ENIAC = 2008 MX4 ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer, a Turing-complete, digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems.

Discovery date : 2008 06 28
Discovery site : La Canada
Discoverer(s) : Lacruz, J.

(228029) MANIAC = 2008 GN MANIAC was an early computer, based on the von Neumann architecture. Built at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, it ran successfully in Mar. 1952.

Discovery date : 2008 04 02
Discovery site : La Canada
Discoverer(s) : Lacruz, J.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) The 5th Main Belt "Comet"

This makes number five of "comets" found in the Main Belt (this one in the inner belt) in typical asteroidal, non-cometary orbits.

Note that it seems to be of the Hirayama's collisional Flora family.
The images show quite a straight tail with a separate fragment probably of a collisional origin as well.
Other two, out of the five known, seem to be of another Hirayama family, Themis .
Read this posts by D.Jewitt

References :
IAUC 9105
IAUC 9109
CBET 2134