News
Possible Nova in Hercules 2014 (April 10, 2014)
Possible nova was discovered by MASTER-Amur auto-detection system as OT source J175924.12+252031.7 at (RA = 17h 59m 24.12s; Dec = +25d 20m 31.7s on 2014 Apr. 9.75507 UT at unfiltered magnitude 12.8m (ATel 6059).
Prediscovery images of Possible Nova Hercules 2014
Prediscovery images of possible nova in Hercules, obtained on 2014 Mar. 29, 30, Apr. 7 and 8 with 105 mm f.l., f/4 camera lens + AP16E CCD + Rc photometric filter. Images taken on Apr. 7-8 show this object already in outburst. Image scale is about 17 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2014 by Črni Vrh Observatory.
We obtained the prediscovery photometry of this object from images taken in the course of Crni Vrh Observatory Wide Field Sky Survey with the 105 mm f.l., f/4 camera lens + AP16E CCD + Rc photometric filter by B. Mikuz, S. Maticic and J. Skvarc. Photometry was performed by B. Dintinjana on several co-added 60 second consecutive exposures. Object is clearly present on Apr. 7 and 8 co-added images.

			Date (UT)        co-added frames     Rc
			2014 Mar 29.979       8            <13.7
			2014 Mar 30.967       8            <14.0
			2014 Apr 07.034       4             13.22  +- 0.2
			2014 Apr 08.047       4             13.74  +- 0.3
            
The transient was detected also by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN or "Assassin"), using data from the quadruple 14-cm "Brutus" telescope in Haleakala (ATel 6061).
Nova Laboda 2014 (1. april 2014)
Novo sta odkrila Japonska astronoma amaterja Koichi Nishiyama in Fujio Kabashima na dveh 40-s CCD posnetkih, narejenih 31. marca 2014 okoli 0,790 UT s 105-mm, f/4 objektivom in kamero SBIG STL6303E. Ob odkritju je bil izmerjeni sij 10,9 magnitude. Njuno iskanje nov kot vse kaže poteka zelo hitro, tako da sta prisotnost objekta potrdila še isti večer 31. marca ob 0,820 UT. Tokrat sta uporabila precej večji Meade 0.40-m f/9.8 reflektor in kamero SBIG STL1001E. Izmerjene koordinate objekta so RA = 20h21m42s.34, Dec = +31d03'29".6 (epoha 2000.0). Na njunih prejšnjih posnetkih tega polja dne 27. marca na tem mestu ni nobenega objekta do mejne magnitude posnetka 13,4. Prav tako na tem mestu ni ničesar na Digitaliziranih Palomarskih posnetkih neba. Sta pa objekt opazila na posnetku, narejenem 30. marca ob 0,769 UT, ko je imel sij 12,4 magnitude. Objekt je zatem potrdilo še več amaterskih astronomov in sicer: 1. aprila ob 0,103 UT Gianluca Masi, Francesca Nocentini in Patrick Schmeer daljinsko s 43-cm teleskopom + CCD blizu kraja Ceccano v Italiji; istega dne ob 0,109 UT, 11,2 magnitude (Wolfgang Vollmann, Dunaj, Avstrija; vizualno z 0.20-m reflektorjem); 2. aprila ob 0,177 UT, 11.0 (Patrick Schmeer, Bischmisheim, Nemčija; vizualno z 0.20-m Schmidt-Cassegrain reflektorjem).

Na Astronomskem observatoriju Črni Vrh smo v okviru programa pregledovanja neba s panoramsko kamero (105 mm f. l., f/4 objektiv + AP16E CCD + Rc fotometrični filter) polje nove posneli v kar 6 nočeh pred odkritjem in naredili fotometrijo. Vsako noč posname kamera 4 zaporedne slike istega dela neba z osvetlitvijo 60 sekund. Za izboljšanje razmerja signal/šum smo najprej sešteli slike posameznih noči in nato s programom IRAF naredili fotometrijo.

Več o Novi Laboda 2014.

Povezave:

Nova Cygni 2014 - AAVSO Alert Notice
Spectra of Nova Cygni 2014

Svetla supernova v bližnji galaksiji M82 (23. januar 2014)
Supernovo v galaksiji M82 je 21. januarja 2014 odkril Stephen J. Fossey (Observatorij Univerze v Londonu) s skupino njegovih študentov med izvajanjem praktikuma s 35-cm avtomatskim teleskopom iz kraja Mill Hill, ki se nahaja na severnem obrobju Londona. Ker se je bližalo poslabšanje vremena jim je mentor namesto predvidenih vaj raje demonstriral delovanje avtomatiziranega 35-cm teleskopa. Študenti so si za opazovanje izbrali lepo in fotogenično galaksijo M82 v ozvezdju Veliki medved. Že na prvih posnetkih je Fossley sredi galaksije opazil zvezdo, ki jo pri prejšnjih opazovanjih ni bilo na tem mestu.

Eksplozija tako svetle supernove v bližnji galaksiji je zanimiv dogodek za astronome in vse, astronomske navdušence. Ker je večina Slovenije že več tednov pokrita z oblaki smo se člani Društva Temno nebo Slovenije odpravili na opazovanje supernove na sosednjo Avstrijsko koroško, kjer smo na višini preko 1000 metrov uživali pod čudovitim jasnim in neverjetno temnim nebom, ki ga žal zaradi velikega svetlobnega onesnaževanja ni več nikjer v Sloveniji.

Več o eksploziji supernove 2014J v galaksiji M82.

Povezave:

Supernova 2014J

Komet ISON ter kometi novembrskega in decembrskega jutranjega neba (November, 2013)
Bližnje srečanje s Soncem je bilo, za komet ISON usodno, saj je zaradi močnih plimskih sil in intenzivnega segrevanja jedro kometa razpadlo. Razpad kometa je bilo mogoče spremljati na posnetkih koronografov LASCO C2 in C3, na krovu satelita SOHO, ki neprestano opazuje Sonce in sproti pošilja na Zemljo podatke in slike.

V novembru in decembru 2013 so bili na jutranjem nebu še trije drugi kometi. Med njimi je bil najsvetlejši komet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), ki je dosegel sij okoli 4. magnitude in je bil med vsemi kometi najsvetlejši. Več o dogajanju v zvezi z navedenimi kometi je na spodnjih spletnih povezavah.

Komet ISON ni preživel srečanja s Soncem (30. november 2013)
Komet C/2012 S1 (ISON) najverjetneje razpada (19. november 2013)
Kometi novembrskega in decembrskega jutranjega neba (13. november 2013)

Very Bright Fireball Over the Northern Adriatic (September 3, 2013)
A very bright fireball has been observed in early morning of 2013 September 3 over the Slovenia, Croatia and Northern Italy. The event was imaged with the all-sky camera at Črni Vrh Observatory in Slovenia. The fireball flash, apparently exceeding the brightness of Full Moon, was recorded at about 0h13UT, leaving a residual trail of ionized gas for at least 6 minutes.

Just 12 minutes later, another bright fireball was recorded on the same part of sky.

The flash of light was so bright that the trail of fireball on CCD image is completely saturated.

Very Bright Fireball Over the Northern Adriatic
The animation is composed of 15 images, each lasting for 1 minute and covering the time span of 0h05-0h20UT around the fireball fall. The All-sky Camera at Črni Vrh Observatory is operating on every clear night and record meteors and fireballs on daily basis. See our extensive archive of night sky animations and events since the start of night sky imaging in 2004. Copyright © 2013 Črni Vrh Observatory.
Movie of both fireballs, recorded ar Črni Vrh Observatory
Movie of the night sky on 2013 Sep. 2-3, 18h23-3h17 UT with bright fireballs appearing around 0h12 and 0h24UT. Copyright © J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Switch to YouTube
Relevant links:

Images of Fireball, recorded from Mt. Matajur Observatory

Nova Delphini 2013 (August 15, 2013)
When discovered by K. Itakagi (CBET 3628) on Aug. 14.584 UT it was already at unfiltered magnitude 6.8. According to U. Munari et al. in ATel #5304 and ATel #5297 the rise toward maximum of Nova Del 2013 was extremely fast. On unfiltered pre-discovery images for Aug 13.998 UT by Denisenko et al. (CBET 3628), the nova was still at 17.1 mag, close to its quiescence value (the average magnitude of the progenitor on Palomar I and II plates is B=17.3 and R=17.6 according to USNO-B1 catalog data, and V=16.9 following GSC ver 2.3.2). During the 30 hours following the optical discovery, the rate of rise progressively slowed, until the nova reached V=5.3 on Aug 15.85 when a fast and final rise toward maximum begun (at a 2.5 mag/day rate). They estimate that maximum was reached on Aug 16.25 at V=4.3.

In the scope of the Wide Field Sky Survey Program with 4,0/105mm lens and Apogee U16M CCD camera at Črni Vrh Observatory, the field of Nova Del 2013 has been imaged around Aug. 12.9205UT on four 60-second consecutive R-band exposures, 40 hours before the discovery by K. Itagaki. Nothing is visible at the position of nova down to a limiting magnitude about 13. Unfortunately, we missed the discovery due to cloudy period on next two nights. The same field was imaged again on Aug. 15.9507UT with nova in full outburst at magnitude V=5.3. See the images below.

Outburst of Nova Del 2013
Animation composed from two R-filter 60-second exposures with 4,0/105mm lens and Apogee U16M CCD on 2013 Aug. 12.9205UT (prior to discovery) and 2013 Aug. 15.9507UT with nova in full outburst at magnitude V=5.3. Image scale is 17.6 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2013 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Nova Del 2013
True color image of Nova Del 2013, obtained on 2013 Aug. 15 (22h28-22h29UT) with 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector and standard BVR+L filters. Exposure times was 10s in each filter. Image scale is 2.50 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2013 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Nova Del 2013
True color image of Nova Del 2013, obtained on 2013 Sep. 6 (21h18UT) with 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector and standard BVR+L filters. Exposure times was 10s in each filter. Image scale is 2.50 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2013 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Relevant links:

CBET 3628
ATel #5295
ATel #5297
ATel #5300
ATel #5304

Perseids 2013 (August 13, 2013)
On the night of maximum activity, three bright Perseids were recorded with Črni Vrh Observatory All-Sky Camera. The sky conditions were excellent throughout the night. The sky brightness was around 21.3 to 21.4 magnitude. Report.

Perseids 2013
Perseid meteor recorded on 2013 Aug. 13 around 1h16m34s UT. Copyright © 2013 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Perseids 2013
Image of star trails with Perseid meteor, taken on 2013 Aug. 12 around 22h15UT with 40mm, f/4 lens and Canon EOS 650D camera. Copyright © 2013 by J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.

More images of Perseids 2013 ...

Discovery of Supernova 2013eq in uncatalogued galaxy = PSN J17331573+3628352 (July 30, 2013)
H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory, report the discovery of an apparent supernova (mag 18.5) on four unfiltered CCD images (bandpass roughly equivalent to the R band) taken during 2013 July 30.882-30.913 UT with the 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector in the course of the Comet and Asteroid Search Program (PIKA). The object is located at R.A. = 17h33m15s.73, Decl. = +36d28'35".2 (equinox 2000.0), which is approximately 6" east and 18" north of the center of the apparent host galaxy. Nothing is visible at this position on archival PIKA images obtained on 2013 June 19 and 2011 Mar. 23 (limiting R-band magnitudes about 19.5) or on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey.

Discovery Image of Supernova 2013eq
Composite 4x60 seconds image of supernova was made from unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2013 Jul. 30.90 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is 1.25 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2013 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 3616. Spectroscopic observations, obtained on July 31.84 and Aug. 1.92 UT by L. Tomasella, S. Benetti, E. Cappellaro, P. Ochner, A. Pastorello, and M. Turatto, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, with the Asiago 1.82-m Copernico Telescope (+ AFOSC), show a blue continuum with broad P-Cyg lines of H-alpha, H-beta, and He I 587.6-nm, indicating that the object is a type-II supernova shortly after explosion.

Relevant links:

List of Recent Supernovae

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2013 NX23 (Jul. 15, 2013)
On 2013 July 15.044UT, NEO asteroid 2013 NX23 was discovered on images taken by Stanislav Matičič in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. After posting on Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page, follow-up observations were collected from observers worldwide. Discovery was announced in MPEC 2013-O21. According to orbital elements, the object belongs to the Apollo family of asteroids.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2013-O21
MPC List Of Apollo Minor Planets

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2013 MX5 (Jun. 18, 2013)
On 2013 June 18.05UT, NEO asteroid 2013 MX5 was discovered on images taken by Stanislav Matičič in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. After posting on Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page, follow-up observations were collected from observers worldwide. Discovery was announced in MPEC 2013-M26. According to orbital elements, the object belongs to the Amor family of asteroids.
NEO Asteroid 2013 MX5
Animation, composed of four discovery images, obtained with the 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope. Copyright © 2013 by S. Matičič, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2013-M26
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets

Partial Lunar Eclipse (April 25, 2013)
The only parial Lunar eclipse of 2013 occured on 2013 April 25 between 19:54:08UT - 20:21:02UT, with maximum eclipse at 20:07:30UT, when the umbral phase magnitude reached 1.47%. At the same time, the penumbral magnitude reached 98.65%. More details on Fred Espenak NASA Eclipse web site.
Partial Lunar Eclipse (April 25, 2013)
The eclipse images were taken from Črni Vrh Observatory on April 25 at 19:20h UT to 21:13h UT with a 150 mm f/10 Celestron NexStar 6 SE telescope and Canon EOS650D camera. The movie is composed of 114 images taken in 1 minute intervals, sensitivity set to ISO 200 and exposure time 1/200 sec. The total duration of the eclipse in the movie was 1 hour and 57 minutes. Because the telescope was on alt-az mount, the image field is rotating slowly. Copyright © 2013 by J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.

YouTube

Relevant links:

NASA - Partial Lunar Eclipse of April 25, 2013

Flyby of NEO asteroid 2012 DA14 (February 15, 2013)
Due to cloudy weather at Črni Vrh Observatory the flyby of NEO asteroid 2012 DA14 was observed from a Karst region of Western Slovenia, where the sky was quite clear and with the New Moon. The object has been monitored for 70 minutes (20h20-21h30UT), when passing the Earth at a distance of about 30.000 kilometers. Prior to closest approach to Earth in 2013, 2012 DA14 was an Apollo class NEO asteroid with orbital period of 366 days. After encounter, the orbital period was reduced to 317 days and its aphelion was reduced from 1.110 to 0.9917 AU, leaving it almost entirely inside Earth's orbit. It now belongs to Aten group of NEOs.
Flyby movie of NEO asteroid 2012 DA14
Time lapse video of NEO asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby, obtained on 2013 Feb. 15 (20h43-21h50UT) with the Canon EOS 650D camera (ISO 1600) and 50mm f/4.5 lens on a guided mount. Altogether 66 exposures of 1 minute duration were obtained and composed into a video animation. Durind the observation, asteroid moved for about 20 degrees and left a short trail on each exposure due to the fast apparent motion. As the object is quickly receding from the Earth, the trails are progressively shorter and fainter. The image field size is about 23x17 degrees. Observations were carried out from village Pliskovica in a Karst region of W Slovenia. Copyright © 2013 by H. Mikuz and J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory. Best watched full-screen, because the asteroid trail is very faint.

YouTube

Flyby of NEO asteroid 2012 DA14
Image of NE sky with NEO asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby (insert), obtained on 2013 Feb. 15 (20h57UT) with Nikon D5000 camera and 50mm f.2 lens on a fixed tripod. Exposure time was 108s with ISO set to 3200. Copyright © 2013 by Primož Kuk, Voglarji Observatory.

Flyby of NEO asteroid 2012 DA14
Image of NE sky with NEO asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby (insert), obtained on 2013 Feb. 15 (21h03UT) with Nikon D5000 camera and 18mm f.2 lens mounted on a fixed tripod. Exposure time was 118s with ISO set to 3200. Copyright © 2013 by Primož Kuk, Voglarji Observatory.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram

Flyby of NEO asteroid 4179 Toutatis (December 12, 2012)
Using 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory we imaged the flyby of NEO asteroid 4179 Toutatis on 2012 December 12. The object has been monitored for about one hour (18h55-19h53UT), when passing the Earth at a distance of about 7 million kilometers. Toutatis is an Apollo and Mars-crosser asteroid with orbital period 4.02 years. On December 13, the Chinese lunar probe Chang'e 2, flew by Toutatis at a distance of only 3.2 kilometers and imaged it successfully.
Flyby movie of NEO asteroid 4179 Toutatis
The images for this animation were taken using a 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope from the Črni Vrh Observatory on 12 December 2012 evening. Each exposure was of 10 seconds. The entire sequence lasted 58 minutes, during which 144 exposures were made. During the observed period, the object apparent sky motion was about 20 arc sec/min. At the time the asteroid was about 7 million km from Earth. Copyright © 2012 by B. Dintinjana, H. Mikuž and J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.
YouTube
Flyby of NEO asteroid 4179 Toutatis
NEO asteroid 4179 Toutatis as imaged on 2012 Dec. 12 (18h55-19h53UT) with 10 second exposures and R filter. Altogether, 144 connsecutive images were combined into a single frame. Copyright © 2012 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.
4179 Toutatis Light Curve
Light curve of 4179 Toutatis, obtained from R filter data images on 2012 Dec. 12 (18h55-19h53UT). Since the rotational period is 5-7 days, the object show very small if any variations during the time span of observation. The object magnitude was around magnitude 10.6. Copyright © 2012 by B. Dintinjana, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram

Fireball recorded on September 17, 2012
On 2012 Sep. 17 (4h 29m 22s UT +/-60s) the All-sky camera at Črni Vrh Observatory recorded about magnitude -10 fireball above the eastern horizon, apparently exploding just in front of M42 nebula in Orion. The fireball left a prominent cloud of dust and glowing gas, moving toward the east and lasting up to 50 minutes after the explosion. The whole event is recorded on this time-lapse movie, composed by Jan Vales. Planet Venus is entering frame in the upper left corner. Copyright © 2012 by J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of Supernova 2012em in PGC 69614 = PSN J22440166+1551493 (September 9, 2012)
H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory, reports the discovery by Blaz Mikuz of an apparent supernova (mag 18.3) on four unfiltered CCD images (bandpass roughly equivalent to the R band) taken during Sept. 9.895-9.935 UT with the 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector in the course of the Comet and Asteroid Search Program (PIKA). The object is located at R.A. = 22h44m01s.66, Decl. = +15d51'49".3 (equinox 2000.0), which is 14" west and 29" south of the center of galaxy PGC 69614. Nothing is visible at this position on archival PIKA images obtained on six nights between 2005 June 16 and 2011 Aug. 2 (limiting mag about 19.0-19.5) or on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey.

Discovery Image of Supernova 2012em
Composite 4x60 seconds image of supernova was made from unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2012 Sep. 9.90 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is 1.25 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2012 by B. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 3217. Spectroscopic observations, obtained on 2012 Sept. 10.95 UT by S. Benetti, L. Tomasella, E. Cappellaro, A. Pastorello, M. Turatto, and S. Valenti, at Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, 1.82-m Copernico telescope (+ Afosc spectrograph; range 350-820 nm, resolution 1.3 nm), shows it to be a peculiar type-Ia supernova.

Relevant links:

List of Recent Supernovae

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2012 RH3 (Sep. 8, 2012)
On 2012 September 8.85UT, NEO asteroid 2012 RH3 was discovered on images taken by Jure Skvarč in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. After posting on Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page, follow-up observations were collected from observers worldwide. Discovery was announced in MPEC 2012-R25. According to orbital elements, the object belongs to the Amor family of asteroids.
NEO Asteroid 2012 RH3
Animation, composed of four discovery images, obtained with the 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope. Copyright © 2012 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2012-R25
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets

Detection of optical afterglow of GRB 120326A at Črni Vrh Observatory (March 26, 2012)
We observed optical afterlow of Gamma Ray Burst GRB 120326A (Swift trigger 518626) using 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. The series of twenty 60 second exposures with R filter started at 1:27:50UT, 440 seconds after the burst. We confirm optical afterglow at coordinates by C. Guidorzi (GCN 13111). The object was clearly detected on all 20 frames. Complete results are published in GCN 13113 Circular.
Outburst of optical counterpart of GRB 120326A
Time lapse movie, showing GRB 120326A during the outburst at mag. 18.5 - 20.0, 440 seconds after the Swift GRB detection. Series of one minute exposures with Rc filter were obtained on 2012 March 26 (1h27m50s-1h49m34sUT). Copyright © 2012 by B. Dintinjana and B. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Outburst of optical counterpart of GRB 120326A
Light curve of GRB 120326A, obtained from our Rc photometry data. After the initial burst, the afterglow dropped by 1.3 magnitude and continued with semi-periodic variations in time scale of minutes. The time-stamp display the (UT) time of the middle of each exposure and image consecutive designation A-T. Copyright © 2012 by B. Dintinjana and B. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Relevant links:

Blog for Gamma Ray Burst GRB 120326A

Discovery of supernova 2012aw = PSN J10435372+1140177 in M95 = NGC 3351 (March 20, 2012)
A supernova of magnitude about R = 13 was discovered on 2012 Mar. 17.90 by J. Skvarč on four 60 s CCD images taken with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki telescope from the Crni Vrh Observatory. The object is at R.A. = 10h43m53s.72, Decl. = +11d40'17".7 (equinox J2000), which is 60" W and 115" S from the center of M95. Nothing is visible on this location in our PIKA archive images from 2005-04-25, 2005-05-01, 2006-05-04, 2008-11-22, 2010-02-13, 2010-02-24 and 2012-02-15 nor in DSS image archives. He note that this object is only 3.3 arc seconds from the X-ray source [SYT2006] s8 listed in the paper by Swartz, Yukita, Tennant, Soria and Ghosh.

As published in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 3054 the supernova was independently discovered also by two other observers in Italy. Paolo Fagotti, Bastia Umbra at magnitude R = 15 on CCD images taken on Mar. 16.86 UT with a 0.5-m reflector (+ MX916 camera) at Porziano d'Assisi and Alessandro Dimai on Mar. 16.849UT at magnitude 15.4 with 28-cm telescope in the course of the Italian Supernovae Search Project. Image

Full Frame Discovery Image of Supernova 2012aw
Full frame composite discovery image of PSN J10435372+1140177 = Supernova 2012aw in M95 with Mars overexposed near image center. It was composed by adding four 60-s unfiltered exposures, obtained around 2012 Mar. 17.90 with 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. M95 galaxy with supernova 2012aw is near the lower right corner. Mars was only about half degree from this object and this is causing the four diffraction spikes on the composite image. Copyright © 2012 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2012aw
Clip of the image above with M95 galaxy and Supernova 2012aw. Copyright © 2012 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Supernova 2012aw
True color image of supernova 2012aw, obtained on Mar. 22, 2012 (23h42-0h17UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope. Exposures were 14x60s for luminance and 5x60s for BVR filters. Copyright © 2012 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.


High resolution TIFF image (scale 2.5 arc sec/pixel)

Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 3054 together with several spectroscopic observations, which suggest that the object is a very young type-II supernova about 4-5 days after the core-collapse.

Relevant links:

List of Recent Supernovae

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction on March 14, 2012
This color image of Venus-Jupiter conjunction on March 14, 2012 was obtained from the Zilja valley near the town Reisach (about 80 km west of Villach), Austria with relatively dark western sky. A faint cone of zodiacal light spans from horizon toward the Pleides star cluster. Image was obtained on 2012 Mar. 14 (18h14UT) with Canon EOS 20D camera and 17mm, f/4 lens. Exposure time was 60 seconds at ISO 1600. Copyright © 2012 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.


Fireball on February 17, 2012
On 2012 Feb. 17 (4h 48m 31s UT +/-60s) the all-sky camera at Črni Vrh Observatory recorded about -5 magnitude fireball over the NW part of the sky. The fireball left a prominent afterglow which lasted about 10 minutes and is well recorded on this time-lapse movie. Copyright © 2012 by H. Mikuž and PIKA project, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of a NEO Asteroids 2011 YW1 and 2011 YQ1 (Dec. 18, 2011)
On 2011 December 18.03UT, two NEO asteroids (2011 YW1 and 2011 YQ1) were discovered on images taken by Jure Skvarč in the scope of PIKA sky survey program at Črni Vrh Observatory. Discovery was announced in MPEC 2011-Y13 and MPEC 2011-Y10. According to orbital elements, the object 2011 YW1 belongs to the Amor family of NEOs, while 2011 YQ1 belongs to the Apollo family.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram for 2011 YW1
JPL's interactive orbit diagram for 2011 YQ1
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets
MPC List Of Apollo Minor Planets

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2011 XC (Dec. 2, 2011)
On 2011 December 1.01UT, NEO asteroid 2011 XC was discovered on images taken by Jure Skvarč in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. After posting on Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page, follow-up observations were collected from observers worldwide. Discovery was announced in MPEC 2011-X13. According to orbital elements, the object belongs to the Amor family of asteroids.
NEO Asteroid 2011 XC
Animation, composed of four discovery images, obtained with the 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope. Copyright © 2011 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2011-X13
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets

Discovery of supernova 2011ie = PSN J23005471+1850323 in anonymous galaxy (November 23, 2011)
H. Mikuz and B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory, report the discovery of a supernova (mag 17.0) by Jan Vales on four unfiltered CCD images (bandpass roughly equivalent to the R band) taken on Nov. 17.780-17.825 UT with the 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector in the course of the Comet and Asteroid Search Program (PIKA) at Crni Vrh Observatory. The new object is located at R.A. = 23h00m54s.71, Decl. = +18o50'32".3 (equinox 2000.0; uncertainty about 0".2), which is approximately 6" east and 4" south of the center of a nearby galaxy. Nothing is visible at this position on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey.

Discovery Image of Supernova 2011ie
Composite image of supernova was made by stacking four 60 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2011 Nov. 17.80 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is 1.25 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 2915. Spectroscopic observations, obtained on 2011 Nov. 20.85 UT by S. Valenti, A. Pastorello, S. Benetti, L. Tomasella, F. Bufano, and P. Ochner, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova with the 1.82-m Copernico Telescope (+ AFOSC; range 340-790 nm, resolution 2.2 nm), shows it to be a type-Ia supernova.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Discovery of supernova 2011hw = PSN J22261454+3412591 in anonymous galaxy (November 22, 2011)
B. Dintinjana and H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory, report the discovery of a supernova (mag 15.7) by H. Mikuz on four unfiltered CCD images (bandpass roughly equivalent to the R band) taken on Nov. 18.720-18.751 UT with the 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector in the course of the Comet and Asteroid Search Program (PIKA) at Crni Vrh Observatory. The new object is located at R.A. = 22h26m14s.54, Decl. = +34o12'59".1 (equinox 2000.0; uncertainty about 0".2), which is approximately 8" east and 1" north of the center of a nearby galaxy. They add that nothing is visible at this position on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2011hw
Composite image of supernova was made by stacking four 60 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2011 Nov. 18.735 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is 1.25 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 2906. Spectroscopic observations, obtained by S. Valenti, A. Pastorello, S. Benetti, L. Tomasella, F. Bufano, and P. Ochner, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Astronomico di Padova on 2011 Nov. 19.76 UT with the 1.82-m Copernico Telescope (+ AFOSC; range 340-790 nm, resolution 2.2 nm), shows it to be remarkably similar to the transitional type-IIn/Ibn supernova 2005la (Pastorello et al. 2008, MNRAS 389, 131). The spectrum is very blue and shows prominent H and He I lines in emission. In particular, the most prominent He I lines compete in strength with H_alpha. The FWHM velocity of H_alpha is 2700 km/s, while that of He I 587.6-nm is about 2000 km/s. The redshift deduced from the position of the most important lines is z = 0.023.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Jan Vales prejel plaketo Edgarja Wilsona za odkritje kometa P/2010 H2 (Vales) (7. oktober 2011)
Na seznamu letošnjih dobitnikov nagrad Edgarja Wilsona, ki jih vsako leto podeljujejo odkriteljem kometov iz vrst amaterskih astronomov je tudi član naše opazovalne skupine Jan Vales. Nagrado in spominsko plaketo je prejel za odkritje povratnega kometa P/2010 H2 (Vales), 16. aprila 2010.

Nagrade E. Wilsona sicer Harvard Smithsonian Center podeljuje že od leta 1999. V skladu s pravili Mednarodne astronomske zveze dobijo kometi imena po njihovih odkriteljih. Čestitke Janu za odkritje!

Jan Vales poleg teleskopa Cichocki s katerim je odkril komet P/2010 H2 (Vales). Copyright © 2011, H. Mikuž, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Spominska plaketa Edgarja Wilsona za odkritje kometa P/2010 H2 (Vales). Copyright © 2011, J. Vales, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Relevant links:

Announcement by Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (August 6, 2010)

Supernova 2011fe in M101 (Aug 26, 2011)
Young supernova 2011fe was discovered by the "Type Ia supernova science working group of the Palomar Transient Factory" on g-band images obtained with the Oschin 1.2-m Schmidt telescope at Palomar on Aug. 24 UT. The supernova is located at R.A. = 14h03m05s.81, Decl. = +54d16'25".4 (equinox 2000.0). A preliminary spectrum obtained on Aug. 24 UT with FRODOSPEC on the Liverpool Telescope indicates that 2011fe is probably a very young type-Ia supernova. The well known galaxy M101 is only about 21 million light years away, which makes it one of the closest supernovas seen in past decades.

Further discovery details are published in CBET 2792

Supernova 2011fe in M101
True color image (left) (supernova position signed with short lines) was recorded on 2011 Aug. 25 (19h06-19h25UT) with 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope and standard BVR photometric filters. Exposure time was R(120s), V(120s) and B(180s). Image scale is 2.2 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž and J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Supernova 2011fe in M101
True color image (left) (supernova position signed with short lines) was recorded on 2011 Aug. 26 (19h04-19h34UT) with 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope and standard BVR photometric filters. Exposure time was R(3x120s), V(3x120s) and B(3x180s). Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž and J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Supernova 2011fe in M101
True color image (left), recorded on 2011 Sep. 6 (18h44-18h53UT) with 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope and standard BVR photometric filters. Exposure time was R(3x30s), V(3x30s) and B(3x60s). Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Supernova already brightened to about V=10.5. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Discovery of supernova 2011fc = PSN J23013638+3220069 in anonymous galaxy (July 11, 2011)
J. Skvarč report that a possible supernova was detected by B. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory on 4 unfiltered images taken around 2011 July 11.0 UT by a 60-cm Cichocki telescope and CCD. The object of magnitude R=17.9 is located at R.A. = 23h01m36s.38, Decl. =+32o20'06".9, which is 6" west and 8" north of an uncataloged galaxy. After being posted on TOCP page, confirmation images were obtained by Joseph Brimacombe, Cairns, Australia, Federica Luppi Varese, Italy and Xavier Bros, Anyslum Observatory, Ager, Catalonia, Spain.

Discovery Image of Supernova 2011fc
Composite image of supernova was made by stacking four 50 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2011 Jul. 11.0 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is about 1.3 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by B. Mikuž and J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 2788. Spectroscopic observations, obtained on Aug. 11.13UT with the Nordic Optical Telescope (+ ALFOSC; range 350-900 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) shows it to be a type-Ia supernova at roughly a month past maximum.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

NEO Asteroid 2011 MD Flyby (June 26, 2011)
A small asteroid (about 10 meter wide) 2011 MD was discovered on 2011 June 22.26UT by Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program in New Mexico.
Asteroid 2011 MD Flyby by Earth
The images for this animation were taken using a 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope from the Črni Vrh Observatory on the night of 26 June 2011. Each exposure was of 15 seconds. The telescope was tracking on the asteroid, changing the rate of tracking between exposures. The entire sequence lasted about 4h40m, during which 635 exposures were made. The brightness variations due to asteroid rotation are clearly visible. At the time the asteroid was less than 200000 km from Earth. At the closest approach some 15 hours later the distance was about 20000 km. Copyright © 2011 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2011-M23

Total Lunar Eclipse, 2011 June 15
Total Lunar Eclipse, 2011 June 15
Time-lapse sequence, obtained between 20h12 - 21h28UT at Črni Vrh Observatory. The sequence starts in evening twilight, with the Moon just in the mid of totality. All images are 30s exposures @ ISO 1600, obtained with Canon EOS 20D camera and 17mm, f/4 lens. Photo & Video by H. Mikuž and J. Vales.

Supernova 2011by in NGC 3972 (May 2, 2011)
Supernova 2011by was discovered by Zhangwei Jin, Ningbo, Zhejiang and Xing Gao, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China on a 60-s survey image (mag approximately 14.2), taken in the course of the Xingming Observation Sky Survey around Apr. 26.8234 UT, using a Celestron C14 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (+ unfiltered CCD camera) at Mt. Nanshan.

An optical spectrum (range 350-870 nm) of SN 2011by was obtained on Apr. 27.5 UT with the 2.16-m telescope (+ BFOSC) at the Xinglong Station of the NAOC. The spectrum is consistent with that of a type-Ia supernova, about 10 days before maximum. Further discovery details in CBET 2708

Supernova 2011by in NGC 3972
True color image (left) was recorded on 2011 May 2 (23h02-23h09UT) with 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope and standard BVR photometric filters. Exposure time was R(120s), V(120s) and B(180s). Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Supernova 2011by in NGC 3972
True color image (left) was recorded on 2011 May 6 (20h40-21h19UT) with 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope and standard BVR photometric filters. Exposure time was 5x120s(R), 5x120s(V) and 5x180sB. Image scale is 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Relevant links:

Discovery images and report

Outburst of Recurrent Nova T Pyxidis (Apr. 17, 2011)
Recurrent Nova T Pyx was discovered in eruption by M. Linnolt (Hawaii, United States) at a visual magnitude of 13.0 on 2011 April 14.3. This is the first outburst of T Pyx since 1966 December 10, almost 45 years ago, when it reached visual magnitude 6.5. Previous outbursts occurred in 1890, 1902, 1920, and 1944. (IAUC 9205). T Pyx coordinates (J2000.0) RA = 9h04m41.5s; Dec = -32°22'47.5".
Recurrent Nova T Pyx
True color image, composed from BVR images, obtained remotely on 2011 Apr. 17 (19h13-19h25UT) with 116 mm, f/4 lens and ST-8XMEI CCD, mounted on ACIT robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Recurrent Nova T Pyx
True color image, composed from BVR images, obtained remotely on 2011 Apr. 18 (19h07-19h30UT) with 116 mm, f/4 lens and ST-8XMEI CCD, mounted on ACIT robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. Copyright © 2011 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Standard CCD photometry of Nova T Pyx was performed with 116 mm, f/4 lens, BVR filters and SBIG ST-8 CCD camera.
Data set submitted to AAVSO.

Relevant links:

IAUC 9205
CBET 2700
AAVSO T Pyx campaign
ARAS T Pyx spectra

Fireball over Slovenia (March 30, 2011)
Several all-sky cameras in Slovenia and Italy recorded very slow, about -6 magnitude fireball on 2011 Mar. 30 (around 23h05UT). The fireball was recorded on two consecutive 60 second exposures with robotic all-sky camera at Črni Vrh Observatory. The time lapse between exposures was 3 seconds, during which the object moved only about 20 degrees on the sky. Copyright © 2011 by PIKA project, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2011 AB3 (Jan. 3, 2011)
On the evening of January 3, 2011 a new asteroid with 100% NEO rating was discovered on images taken by Stanislav Matičič in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. After posting the candidate on NEO Confirmation Page, follow-up observations were collected from observers worldwide. The orbital elements revealed that the object belongs to the Aten family of asteroids.
NEO Asteroid 2011 AB3
The animation was composed of four discovery images of this object. Copyright © 2011 by S. Matičič, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2011-A14

Bright Leonid Fireball (November 4, 2010)
Leonid Fireball
This bright fireball most probably originate from yearly Leonid meteor shower. It left a bright trail that lasted for about 15 minutes. The animation was composed from 15 consecutive 1 minute exposures, obtained on 2010 Nov. 4, between 0h56m55s and 1h11m38sUT with remote all-sky camera at Črni Vrh Observatory. Copyright © 2010 by J. Vales, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Leonid Fireball
Another animation of the same event prepared by Javor Kac.
Unexpected Complex Behaviour in Dust Production of Periodic Comet 103P/Hartley (Dec. 15, 2010)
Under the scope of CARA project, comet 103P/Hartley is continuously monitored by a group of dedicated observers, using small and medium size remote telescopes, now available worldwide. The plot below show the Afrho quantity data collected on comet 103P/Hartley until 2010 Dec. 15 from R band photometry, performed by Paolo Bacci, Walter Borghini, Erik Bryssink, Dario Castellano, Gianni Galli, Ernesto Guido, Bernhard Hausler, Nick Howes, Rolando Ligustri, Herman Mikuz, Giannantonio Milani, Martino Nicolini, Carmen Perrella, Jure Skvarc, Giovanni Sostero and Roberto Trabatti.
Periodic Comet 103P/Hartley
The Afrho quantity is related to the dust production rate and shows the general behaviour of the comet. Measurements are normalized to a 10000 km radius measuring window, centerd on the comet. The data refers both to the current apparition, and to some 1997-98 data from R band images taken at the Crni Vrh Observatory. Comet 103P is showing variations in a relatively small timescale with an unexpected complex behaviour. Copyright © 2010 by CARA project.

Relevant links:

CARA project collaboration

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2010 TC55 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Oct. 11, 2010)
On the evening of October 11, 2010 a new asteroid with 100% NEO rating was discovered on images taken by Stanislav Matičič in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. Follow up images were obtained on Oct. 12-13 night by 106 Crni Vrh and numerous obnservers worldwide. The orbital elements revealed that this object belongs to the Amor family of asteroids.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2010-T103

Discovery of a New Variable Star in Cepheus (Aug. 22, 2010)
A new star-like object (R = 16.2 +/- 0.1) with coordinates ra=21h05m12s.29, dec=+69d12'55".3 (J2000) was found by B. Mikuž on unfiltered CCD images (limiting mag 18.5) in the course of the PIKA project with the 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. The object was visible on all four images of the same region taken around 2010 Aug. 22.905-22.933 UT. Nothing is visible at this position on PIKA archival images taken on 2004 Nov. 27 (limiting mag 17.0) and 2006 Sept. 3 (limiting mag 18.7) or on several Palomar Sky Survey and 2MASS images from the Aladin database. Further investigation of the Simbad and VizieR databases shows no candidate object at this position.

Additional R filter photometry was obtained by B. Mikuz with 60 cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope, using comparison stars from USNO-B1 catalogue:


2010 Aug. 26.865, R = 16.5 +/- 0.1
     Aug. 29.837, R = 16.8 +/- 0.1
            
The discovery was announced in CBET 2431
New Variable Star in Cepheus
Discovery image is a 40 second exposure obtained with 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope. The variable star was found using software for detection of new static objects. Copyright © 2010 by B. Mikuz.

Perseids 2010 (August 12, 2010)
Perseids 2010
One day before maximum activity, three bright Perseids were recorded with Črni Vrh Observatory All-Sky Camera. The animation cover the time span of half hour (2h10-2h40UT) on 2010 Aug. 12, just before dawn. Copyright © 2010 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of Supernova 2010ga at Črni Vrh Observatory (July 9, 2010)
On images taken by Jan Vales in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 17.3) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around 2010 Jul. 9.05 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2010ga
Composite image of supernova 2010ga was made by stacking four 50 second unfiltered discovery frames taken on 2010 Jul. 9.04-9.07 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is about 2.80 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by J. Vales and H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 0h34m43s.83, Decl. = +9o54'36".1 (equinox 2000.0), which is 17" east and 2" south of the nucleus of the galaxy designated 2MASX J00344266+0954382. Nothing is visible at this position on archival PIKA images obtained on 2008 Oct. 20.04 (limiting magnitude 18.0) or on a Palomar Sky Survey F plate from 1990 Oct. 14 (via the Digitized Sky Survey/Aladin). Jure Skvarc, Crni Vrh Observatory, reports that a confirmation image of 2010ga was obtained by S. Maticic at Crni Vrh Observatory on July 10.03 using a photometric R filter, from which Skvarc measured R = 18.19 +/- 0.03. Following posting on the Central Bureau's unconfirmed-objects webpage, Vitali Nevski (Vitebsk, Belarus) reports that he obtained unfiltered CCD images of 2010ga on July 9.958 with a 0.3-m reflector, yielding mag 17.7 and position end figures 43s.82, 36".4 (USNO-B1.0 catalogue), adding that nothing is visible at this position on a Palomar Sky Survey DSS image obtained on 1990 Oct. 14 (via the Digitized Sky Survey; limiting red mag 21).

Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 2363. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 2364), obtained on July 11 UT with WFCCD mounted on the du Pont 2.5-m telescope at Las Campanas Observatory shows it to be a type-Ia supernova a few days after maximum light.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Discovery of Supernova 2010dw at Črni Vrh Observatory (Jun. 8, 2010)
On images taken by Jure Skvarč in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 17.3) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around 2010 Jun. 5.96 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2010dw
Composite image of supernova 2010dw was made by stacking four 50 second unfiltered discovery frames taken on 2010 Jun. 5.94-5.99 UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is about 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by J. Skvarč and H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at RA = 15h22m40s.31, Decl. = -5o55'15".9 (equinox 2000.0), which is 4".5 east and 5".5 north of the galaxy designated 2MASX J15224062-0555214. The new object appears at magnitude R = 17.3 on a confirming image taken by B. Mikuz on June 6.89 with the same telescope. Nothing is visible at this position on archival PIKA images obtained on 2006 Apr. 4.12 (limiting mag 18.0) or on a Palomar Sky Survey image from 1955 May 20. A CCD image taken by S. Maticic with the same Crni Vrh telescope on June 7.89 yields R = 17.1 for 2010dw, as measured by Skvarc.

Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 2310. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 2311), obtained on 2010 Jun. 8 UT with the F. L. Whipple Observatory 1.5-m telescope (+ FAST; range 360-760 nm), shows it to be a normal type-Ia supernova a few days before maximum light.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Imaging of planet Saturn (April 28, 2010)
Saturn on April 28, 2010
We obtained some pretty images of planet Saturn on April 28, 2010 evening, when seeing conditions were very good. We used 150 mm, f/8 refractor, 2x Barlow lens and Imaging Source b/w video camera DMK 21AU04. Exposure time was 1/77s. Movies were processed with RegiStax image processing software. Copyright © 2010 by J. Vales and H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of an extraordinary outburst of an unidentified moving object at Črni Vrh Observatory (April 17, 2010)
by Jure Skvarč
On images taken by J. Vales in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, on April 16, 2010 an unusually bright unknown object (mag. 12.5) was automatically detected. The object was near opposition, in an area searched by Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) just a day before. As it is not usual to encounter unknown objects of this magnitude in the area recently scanned by sky surveys, a question of its nature naturally appeared. The object was placed on the Near Earth Object Confirmation Page and with the help of observations from other observatories it became apparent very soon that it is about 2 AU away. In case that this was an asteroid (as we would infer from the stellar appearance on the discovery images) this would mean a diameter in the order of 100 km, which is extremely unlikely. The remaining explanation within common knowledge of the Solar system is that it is a cometary outburst of a large magnitude. Recently a similar outburst was experienced by comet 17/P Holmes. This object has triggered massive activity of 40 observatories around the world which contributed altogether 226 observations to the Minor Planet Center (MPC). The observers from the CSS confirmed that the object is not visible on their images taken only 15 hours before the discovery. There was a lively debate about the nature of this object on the Minor Planet Mailing List with most plausible explanation that it is a previously unknown comet in outburst. Further observations by several observers showed that the object has a wider profile than nearby stars and Alain Maury detected faint coma on long exposures made from Chile. At 19:25 UT on April 17 the MPC issued an electronic circular MPEC 2010-H12 where the object is designated as a comet P/2010 H2. The orbit is still not very well determined, but most likely it has a semimajor axis of 3.9 AU and eccentricity of 0.2. This is similar to the orbital elements of the asteroids of the Hilda family. This object will undoubtedly be investigated further in the days to come.

Periodic Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)
Stack of four 50 second unfiltered discovery images, following comet motion. They were taken between 2010 Apr. 16.0038 - 16.0401UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by J. Vales, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Periodic Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)
Animation image was made from four 50 second unfiltered discovery frames, taken between 2010 Apr. 16.0038 - 16.0401UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by J. Vales, and H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Periodic Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)
Unfiltered false color image of comet P/2010 H2 (Vales), obtained on 2010 Apr. 16.854UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Exposure time was 60 seconds. Image scale is 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Periodic Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)
Filtered false color image of comet P/2010 H2 (Vales), obtained on 2010 Apr. 17 (20h02-21h40UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope R filter and CCD. Image is composition of thirty 60 second exposures. Image scale is 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by J. Skvarc, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Periodic Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)
True color image of comet P/2010 H2 (Vales), obtained on 2010 Apr. 19 (20h02-21h40UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope, BVR photometric filters and CCD. It was combined from 90s B, 60s R and 60s V frames. Image scale is 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Periodic Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)
True color image of comet P/2010 H2 (Vales), obtained on 2010 May 1 (19h45-20h27UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope, BVR photometric filters and CCD. Exposure time was 8 minutes in each filter with telescope tracking on comet. Image scale is 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2010 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Relevant links:

The discovery announcement in CBET 2249 (password required)
MPEC 2010-H12 - complete observations and preliminary elliptical orbital elements
JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Prediscovery detection of the Comet P/2010 H2 by MASTER
IAUC 9137 (password required)
IAUC 9139 - spectra taken with 3.0-m NASA Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea (password required)

Images of P/2010 H2 (Vales), obtained by other observers
Observation of a dust spiral structure in periodic comet P/2010 H2 (Vales)

Sporočilo za javnost in medije

Observatorij Črni Vrh na razstavi Od Zemlje do vesolja
V Mednarodnem letu astronomije 2009 je bila v Jakopičevem sprehajališču v parku Tivoli postavljena razstava Od Zemlje do vesolja. Prva postavitev razstave je bila od 17. junija do 4. septembra 2009. Zaradi velikega zanimanja je bila ponovljena še od 26. novembra 2009 do 15. februarja 2010. Na 120 panojih so bile predstavljene najlepše astronomske fotografije, posnete z največjimi profesionalnimi teleskopi na Zemlji in z vesoljskim teleskopom Hubble. Vključuje tudi najboljše astronomske fotografije slovenskih astronomov. Na posebnem panoju se je predstavil tudi Astronomski observatorij Črni Vrh. Organizatorji razstave so izdali tudi katalog.
Pano Astronomskega observatorija Črni Vrh
Predstavili smo dejavnosti astronomskega observatorija Črni Vrh s poudarkom na dosežkih programa iskanja kometov in asteroidov PIKA. Copyright © H. Mikuž, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Razstava Od Zemlje do vesolja
Pogled na razstavo Od Zemlje do vesolja v Ljubljanskem parku Tivoli. Posneto v januarju 2010. Copyright © H. Mikuž, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Razstava Od Zemlje do vesolja
Pogled na razstavo Od Zemlje do vesolja v Ljubljanskem parku Tivoli. Posneto v januarju 2010. Copyright © H. Mikuž, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Sinoči nad Evropo vidna ločitev ameriške rakete Kentaver in vremenskega satelita (18. oktober 2009)
Animacija iz observatorija na Črnem Vrhu
Sinoči (18. oktobra 2009) nekaj po 21 uri sta bila na nebu nad Slovenijo vidna dva svetla objekta, ki sta se počasi premikala od severozahoda proti severu. Šlo je za Ameriško nosilno raketo Kentaver, ki je odvrgla nad Evropo preostanek goriva in so jo sinoči lansirali iz vojaškega oporišča Vandebergh v Kaliforniji. Njej je sledil še vojaški vremenski satelit DMSP F-18, ki ga je raketa ponesla v vesolje. Očividka, ki je dogodek opazovala iz vasi Ravnik nad Hotedršico je poročala, da je bila raketa na nebu vidna kot komet s svetlim repom. To potrjujejo tudi posnetki, ki so jih objavili na spletišču Space Weather. Dogodek je pritegnil veliko pozornost, saj so ga opazovali in posneli iz več Evropskih držav.

Na animaciji, ki jo je posnela vsenebna kamera observatorija na Črnem Vrhu (levo) se lepo vidi kako se tirnici obeh objektov ločujeta. Vsenebna kamera na Črnem Vrhu snema zaporedne minutne posnetke zato sta objekta na slikah pustila daljši sledi. Animacija se začne ob 21h10 in konča ob 21h16 poletnega časa. V smeri zahoda, kjer sta se gibali raketa in satelit so prehod občasno prekrivali oblaki. Copyright © 2009 Črni Vrh Observatory.

Stanislav Matičič prejel prestižno nagrado Edgarja Wilsona (25. avgust 2009)
Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics je objavil letošnji seznam dobitnikov nagrad Edgarja Wilsona, ki jih vsako leto podeljujejo odkriteljem kometov iz vrst amaterskih astronomov. Med letošnjimi dobitniki te prestižne nagrade je tudi član naše opazovalne skupine Stanislav Matičič. Nagrado in spominsko plaketo je prejel za odkritje kometa C/2008 Q1 (Matičič) 18. avgusta 2008. To je bilo obenem tudi prvo odkritje kometa iz Slovenije.

Nagrade E. Wilsona sicer Harvard Smithsonian Center podeljuje že enajsto leto. Tokrat pa jo je prvič prejel astronom iz Slovenije. V skladu s pravili Mednarodne astronomske zveze dobijo kometi imena po njihovih odkriteljih. Stanetu vsi skupaj želimo še veliko odkritij.

Stanislav Matičič s spominsko plaketo Edgarja Wilsona poleg teleskopa Cichocki na astronomskem observatoriju Črni Vrh. Copyright © 2010, H. Mikuž, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Spominska plaketa Edgarja Wilsona s posvetilom Stanislavu Matičiču. Copyright © 2010, H. Mikuž, Observatorij Črni Vrh.

Relevant links:

Harvard Smithsonian Center Press Release (August 25, 2009)
Announcement by Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (August 22, 2009)
Five Amateurs Win Comet Prize Sky and Telescope, August 24, 2009

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2009 QO at Črni Vrh Observatory (Aug. 17, 2009)
On the evening of August 15, 2009 a new asteroid was discovered on images taken by Jure Skvarč in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. Follow up images, obtained on Aug. 16 evening showed that NEO rating increased from 29 % (Aug. 15) to 59 %, after which it was posted on NEOCP and later confirmed by another observation from H06 RAS Observatory in New Mexico. The orbital elements revealed that this object belongs to the Amor family of asteroids.
NEO Asteroid 2009 QO
The animation shows discovery images of this object. Copyright © 2009 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2009-Q08

Nova Sagittarii 2009 No. 3 (August 8, 2009)
Nova Sagittarii 2009 No. 3
Discovered on two 60-s frames on Aug. 6.494 and 6.495 UT by Koichi Nishiyama, Kurume, Fukuoka-ken, Japan; and Fujio Kabashima, Miyaki-cho, Saga-ken, Japan, using 105-mm f/4 lens + unfiltered CCD (limiting magnitude 13.3). Nova was at magnitude 7.7 and has the following precise position: R.A. = 18h07m07s.67, Decl. = -33d46'33".9 (equinox J2000.0). Discovery was announced in CBET No. 1899

This true color image of nova (in field center) was obtained on 2008 Aug. 8.80UT with 19-cm, f/4 flat filed S-C robotic telescope, BVR photometric filters and CCD. Color image was composed from two series of exposures (B=30s, R=20s, V=20s). Image scale is 3.50 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2009 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Detection of optical counterpart of GRB 090726 at Črni Vrh Observatory (July 27, 2009)
We observed optical counterpart of Gamma Ray Burst GRB 090726 (Swift trigger 358422) using 60 cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. A new object was detected at RA=16:34:43.04, DEC=+72:53:04.82 (J2000). Series of twenty connsecutive Rc filter exposures were taken, starting on 2009 July 26 at 22:44:31UT, 58 seconds after the GCN notice time. We confirm the presence of variable source, identified by A. Moskvitin, T. Fatkhullin & A. Valeev (GCN Circ. 9709). The object was clearly detected on all 20 frames. Complete results are published in GCN 9715 Circular.
Detection of optical counterpart of GRB 090726
Image show GRB 090726 in maximum outburst at mag. 17.7, 367 seconds after the Swift GRB detection. One minute exposures with R filter was obtained on 2009 July 26 (22h48m04s-22h49m04sUT). Copyright © 2009 by S. Maticic and J. Skvarc, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Relevant links:

Blog for Gamma Ray Burst GRB 090726 photometry
Complete OPTICAL Data for 20090726

Komet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič) na znamki Pošte Slovenije (29. maj 2009)
V počastitev Mednarodnega leta astronomije 2009 je Pošta Slovenije izdala priložnostni znamki z motivom kometa C/2008 Q1 (Matičič), ki je bil odkrit 18. avgusta 2008 na Astronomskem observatoriju Črni Vrh ter motivom Astronomskega observatorija na Golovcu, ki letos praznuje 50. letnico delovanja. Na znamki komet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič) je stilizirano prikazan medsebojni položaj Sonca, Merkurja, Venere, Zemlje, Marsa in kometa C/2008 Q1 Matičič v trenutku odkritja. Izdana je bila tudi ovojnica "Prvi dan".
Komet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič)
Znamka Pošte Slovenije s stiliziranim motivom kometa C/2008 Q1 (Matičič). Prikazan je medsebojni položaj Sonca, Merkurja, Venere, Zemlje, Marsa in kometa C/2008 Q1 Matičič v trenutku odkritja.
50-letnica observatorija na Golovcu
Znamka Pošte Slovenije s stiliziranim motivom Astronomskega observatorija na Golovcu, izdana ob 50-letnici njegovega delovanja.
Ovojnica "Prvi dan"
Ovojnica "Prvi dan" z obema znamkama ter stiliziranima motivoma Astronomskega observatorija na Golovcu in kometa C/2008 Q1 (Matičič) ob odkritju.

Relevant links:

Europa 2009 Astronomija - Komet Matičič in Observatorij Golovec

Discovery of Supernova 2009er in anonymous galaxy at Črni Vrh Observatory (May 22, 2009)
On images taken by S. Matičič in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 17.7) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around 2009 May 22.99 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2009er
Composite image of supernova 2009er was made by stacking four 40 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2009 May 22.99UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is about 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by S. Matičič and H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at RA=15h39m29s.84, Decl.=+24o26'05".3 (equinox 2000.0; uncertainty about 0".2), which is approximately 8" west and 9" south of the center of a nearby galaxy. Nothing is visible at this location on archival unfiltered PIKA images obtained on 2005 June 16 (limiting mag approximately 18.5) and 2009 Mar. 22 (limiting mag approximately 19.5). Also, nothing is visible at this position on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey, listed here with approximate limiting magnitudes: 1954 July 2, blue, [20.5; 1954 July 2, red, [20.0; 1990 May 17, J plate, [20.5; 1992 June 26, F plate, [20.0. The variable was confirmed on images obtained with the discovery telescope on 2009 May 23.838 at blue mag 17.6 and red mag 17.3.

Discovery was announced in CBET Electronic Telegram No. 1811. R. J. Foley and P. Challis, CfA, on behalf of the CfA Supernova Group, reports that spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 1818), obtained on May 27 UT by T. Groner with the F. L. Whipple Observatory 1.5-m telescope (+ FAST), shows it to be a type-Ib supernova. J. M. Silverman, S. B. Cenko, A. V. Filippenko, and W. Li, University of California, Berkeley, report that inspection of CCD spectra (range 340-1000 nm), obtained on May 28 UT with the 3-m Shane reflector (+ Kast) at Lick Observatory, shows that a spectrum of the galaxy near SN 2009er (CBET 1811) reveals a recession velocity of 10200 km/s. The spectrum of 2009er is very unusual: there are no conspicuous H Balmer lines or obvious Si II lines, and it bears some resemblance to the peculiar type-Ib/c supernova 2006jc (Foley et al. 2007, Ap.J. 657, 105), but with no obvious He I lines; the exact nature of the supernova is unclear, and follow-up observations are encouraged

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Bright Fireball Over Slovenia (April 9, 2009)
Fireball Over Slovenia
Robotic allsky camera at Crni Vrh Observatory recorded a bright fireball over the northern part of the sky. Event occured on 2009 Apr. 9, between 0h59m13s and 1h00m13s UT and was clearly detected in spite of nearly full Moon and clouds that covered most of the sky. Otherwise, only part of the fireball trail was recorded. One eye witness (located in village Prelska near Velenje, Slovenia) reported that the fireball "was bright like a full Moon". Copyright © 2009, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Relevant links:

Analysis of instrumental observations of the Jesenice meteorite fall on April 9, 2009, Meteoritics & Planetary Science Volume 45, Issue 8, pages 1392–1407, August 2010

Discovery of Supernova 2009bv in galaxy IC4199 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Mar. 27, 2009)
On images taken by Jan Vales in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 18.1) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around 2009 Mar. 27.00 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2009bv
Composite image of supernova 2009bv was made by stacking four 40 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2009 Mar. 27.00UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is about 2 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by J. Vales and H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at RA = 13h07m20s.47, Decl. = +35o47'03".8 (equinox 2000.0; uncertainty about 0".2), which is approximately 17" south of the center of IC4199. Nothing is visible at this location on archival PIKA images obtained during 2005-2009, the most recent ones being on 2008 Apr. 27 (limiting unfiltered mag 19.5) and 2009 Jan. 10 (limiting R magnitude 18). Also, nothing is visible at this position on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey.

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 1741. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 1742), obtained on Mar. 27 UT by M. Calkins with the F. L. Whipple Observatory 1.5-m telescope (+ FAST), shows it to be a type-Ia supernova about one week before maximum brightness.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

Discovery of a NEO Asteroids 2009 CN5 and 2009 CT5 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Feb. 13-14, 2009)
On the night of 13. and 14. February 2009, two NEO asteroids were discovered on images taken by Stanislav Matičič (Feb. 13) and Jure Skvarč (Feb. 14) in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. Both newly discovered NEOs belong to the Apollo family. Object 2009 CN5 is classified also as a PHAs - Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.
PHA NEO Asteroid 2009 CN5
The animation shows discovery images of this object. Copyright © 2009 by S. Matičič, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia. NEODyS summary data for 2009 CN5.
NEO Asteroid 2009 CT5
The animation shows discovery images of this object. Copyright © 2009 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia. NEODyS summary data for 2009 CT5.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram for 2009 CN5
JPL's interactive orbit diagram for 2009 CT5
Minor Planet Electronic Circular 2009-C85: 2009 CN5
Minor Planet Electronic Circular 2009-D04: 2009 CT5

Detection of optical counterpart of GRB081126 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Nov. 26, 2008)
We observed optical counterpart of Gamma Ray Burst GRB081126 (Swift trigger 335647) using 60 cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. A new object was detected at RA=21:34:03.56, DEC=+48:42:38.62 (J2000). Series of twenty connsecutive Rc filter exposures were taken, starting at 21:35:32UT, 67 seconds after the GCN notice time. We confirm the presence of variable source, identified by Sergeev and Pozanenko (GCN Circ. 8558). The object was clearly detected on all 20 frames. Complete results are published in GCN 8569 Circular.
Detection of optical counterpart of GRB081126
Animation of GRB081126 outburst and decay was made by stacking 20 connsecutive 60 s exposures with R filter, obtained on 2008 Nov. 26 (21h35-21h57UT). GRB optical counterpart is marked with square. Images contain the time since the Swift GRB detection to the middle of exposure in seconds. Copyright © 2008 by J. Skvarc & PIKA project, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Relevant links:

Blog for Gamma Ray Burst GRB081126 photometry
Complete OPTICAL Data for GRB081126

Discovery of Supernova 2008gk at Črni Vrh Observatory (Oct. 20, 2008)
On images taken by Stanislav Matičič in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 18.2) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around 2008 Oct. 20.74 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2008gk
Composite image of supernova 2008gk was made by stacking four 40 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2008 Oct. 20.74UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is about 1.4 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by S. Matičič and H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 18h53m04s.48, Decl. = +38o45'44".4 (equinox 2000.0; uncertainty about 0".2), which is approximately 7" west and 6" north of the center of a nearby uncatalogued galaxy Four PIKA R-band archival images obtained around Sept. 9.80 under moonlit conditions clearly show this object at magnitude R = 17.7 +/- 0.1. Nothing is visible at this position on unfiltered archival PIKA images obtained on 2005 July 4 (limiting magnitude 18.5) or on several Digitized Sky Survey red and blue images from the Palomar Sky Survey.

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 1544. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 1548), obtained on Oct. 22 UT with the 3-m Shane reflector (+ Kast) at Lick Observatory, shows it to be a type-Ib/c supernova.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

NEO Asteroid 2008 TC3 few hours before the impact (October 7, 2008)
A tiny asteroid (about 3 meter wide) 2008 TC3 was discovered on 2008 Oct. 6.27767UT by astronomers at Mt. Lemmon in Arizona, a day before it entered the atmosphere in Northern Sudan and exploded. Asteroids the size of 2008 TC3 hit Earth several times a year, but this is the first time one has been discovered before it hit.
NEO Asteroid 2008 TC3 few hours before it hit the Earth
The video shows animated motion between the stars, just few hours before the impact at 2h46 UT on October 7, 2008. This false color animation was composed from series of 20 second unfiltered exposures, obtained remotely during the NEO approach on 2008 Oct. 6 (19h15-21h43UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope, and CCD. The telescope was programmed to precisely follow asteroid motion. Image scale is 2.79 arc sec/pixel. Movie composed and Copyrighted to © 2008 J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory.

High resolution AVI movie (56Mb)
High resolution mp4 movie (30Mb)

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2008-T50
First Ever Spectrum of an Asteroid Which Hit the Earth

Discovery of a NEO Asteroid 2008 TR2 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Oct. 5, 2008)
On the night of 4-5 October 2008 a new NEO asteroid was discovered on images taken by Herman Mikuž in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program PIKA at Črni Vrh Observatory. After the measurements were published on NEOCP the object was confirmed by several observatories worldwide. The orbital elements reveal that this object belongs to the Amor family of asteroids. Closest approach to Earth will be on 2008 Oct. 20 at 0.307AU. The object is designated as 2008 TR2 by the Minor Planet Center. The orbital period is 2.35 years.
NEO Asteroid 2008 TR2
The animation shows discovery images of this object. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2008-T47

Fireball from Delta Aurigid Meteor Shower (September 30, 2008)
Delta Aurigid Fireball
Delta-Aurigids are weak meteor shower, active between September 18 — October 10, with ZHR about 3. The maximum is not well defined and is presumed to occur between 2008 September 23 - October 3. September 28 is about the middle of this peak interval.

This Delta Aurigid fireball animation is composed from 6 consecutive 1 minute exposures, obtained on 2008 Sep. 30, between 2h26m17s and 2h32m37sUT with remote all-sky camera. The fireball left a train of ionized gas that persisted for more than 6 minutes. It quickly changed the shape as it was blown by winds some 100 kilometers above the ground. Copyright © 2008 by Crni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of Supernova 2008fi at Črni Vrh Observatory (Sept. 4, 2008)
On images taken by Jure Zakrajšek in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 16.7) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around 2008 Aug. 26.99 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2008fi
Composite image of supernova 2008fi was made by stacking four 40 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2008 Aug. 26.99UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. The inserted DSS image shows the area around the supernova host galaxy (barely visible on discovery image) to approximately the same scale. Image scale is about 0.9 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by J. Zakrajšek and H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 1h53m23s.17, Decl. = +29o21'28".4 (equinox 2000.0), which is approximately 2" east and 2" south of the center of a nearby faint galaxy. Nothing is visible at this location on several Palomar Sky Survey images from the Aladin database. Nothing is visible at this location even on archival PIKA images, obtained on 2003 Sept. 26, 2007 July 19 and 2008 Aug. 2 (limiting magnitude 18.5-19.0).

Additional photometry of 2008fi obtained with the 60-cm Cichocki reflector: 2008 Aug. 29.01, R = 17.47 +/- 0.02, V = 17.53 +/- 0.03; Sept. 2.91, R = 17.55 +/- 0.1; V = 17.80 +/- 0.1.

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 1493. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 1499), obtained on Sep. 4.0 UT with F. L. Whipple Observatory 1.5-m telescope (+ FAST), shows it to be a type-IIb supernova at about maximum light.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
List of Recent Supernovae

2008 QT3 First discovery of a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid at Črni Vrh Observatory (Aug. 24, 2008)
On the night of 24 August 2008 an object with unusual motion was automatically detected on the images taken by Jure Skvarč in the scope of Comet and Asteroid Search Program at Črni Vrh Observatory. After the measurements were published on NEOCP the object was confirmed by several observatories worldwide. The orbital elements reveal that this object belongs to the Apollo family of asteroids. It will cross the Earth orbit mid-January 2009. Since it can approach Earth orbit closer than 0.05 AU and is big enough to cause substantial damage (500 - 1000 meter diameter), it is classified as a PHA - Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. At this moment the orbit is not well enough determined to estimate the risk of impact but probability is probably close to 0. Currently there are 976 PHAs. The object is designated as 2008 QT3 by the Minor Planet Center. Orbital elements after one day of observations show that it orbits the Sun in an elliptical orbit at a distance between 0.97 and 1.97 AU and an inclination of 7 degrees. The orbital period is 2.8 years.
PHA 2008 QT3
The animation shows discovery images of this object. Copyright © 2006 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

JPL's interactive orbit diagram
Minor Planet Electronic Circular MPEC 2008-Q41

Discovery of comet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič) at Črni Vrh Observatory (Aug. 20, 2008)
On images taken by S. Matičič in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, on August 18, 2008 an object with unusual motion was automatically detected. A new comet (first comet discovery from Črni Vrh Observatory) was detected on images taken between 2008 Aug. 18.81364UT and 18.84247UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope.

Further inspection of series of 1 minute unfiltered followup exposures obtained with the same telescope around 2008 Aug. 19.816UT show that this object has diffuse appearance (coma dia. ~10 arc sec) with strong condensation. After being posted on NEO Confirmation Page, additional measurements were obtained by several observatories. The discovery was announced in IAU Circular 8966. Complete observations and preliminary parabolic orbit were published in MPEC 2008-Q12.

Comet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič)
Comet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič) discovery image, obtained on 2008 Aug. 18 at 19h32UT with 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by S. Matičič, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Comet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič)
Animation image was made by stacking four 40 second discovery frames, taken between 2008 Aug. 18.814UT and 18.842UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. Image scale is 1.86 arc sec/pixel. At the time of discovery, the comet was of magnitude 17.8 and moved at 1.4 arc sec/min in PA 255 degree. Copyright © 2008 by S. Matičič, Črni Vrh Observatory.
Comet C/2008 Q1 (Matičič)
Series of 60 second followup images were obtained around 2008 Aug. 19.818UT (left image) with the same telescope. The object cometary appearance with ~10 arc second diameter coma is clearly visible. Image scale is 0.93 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory.

Relevant links:

IAU Circular 8966.
MPEC 2008-Q12.
JPL's interactive orbit diagram

Sporočilo za medije

2008 Perseids from Črni Vrh Observatory (Aug. 14, 2008)
High activity of Perseids meteor stream was recorded during the nights of 2008 Aug. 11-12 and 12-13. Several fireballs and meteors were recorded with newly set up Deep All Sky Camera, comprising Peleng 3.5/8 mm fisheye lens and FLI 1024 x 1024 back illuminated CCD camera. The camera lens was stopped to f/5.6 to give sharper images on standard 90 second exposures. Occasional cloud passages slightly affected observations. All images have dark and bias subtracted.
Perseid meteors
Two Perseid meteors recorded with Deep All Sky Camera on 2008 Aug. 11, starting at 23h21m34s UT. Exposure time was 90 seconds. Copyright © 2006 by H. Mikuž, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Complete report about 2008 Perseids observations ...

Alpha Capricornid Fireball (August 3, 2008)
Alpha Capricornid Fireball
The Alpha Capricornid meteor shower is active from mid-July to mid-September. Maximum seems to have several activity peaks (July 22, July 28 and August 5) with ZHR ranging from 6-14 meteors. The shower has the reputation of producing some of the brightest meteors of the major showers, with the average magnitude being estimated as about 2.2. More on Meteor Showers Online. This false color fireball image was obtained on 2008 Aug. 3 at 23h50m01sUT (center of exposure) with robotic all-sky camera. Exposure time was 1 minute. Copyright © 2008 by Crni Vrh Observatory.

Expedition of Dark Sky Slovenia to Lastovo Island (May 10, 2008)
During the April. 30. - May 4, 2008, a group of Dark Sky Slovenia members visited Lastovo Island in southern Adriatic. The aim of visit was to check the quality of night sky and verify it by obtaining images and instrumental measurements. Since the island is far away from large urban areas and with population of only around 800, we expected exceptionally dark night sky. In September 2006, Lastovo and surrounding islands were designated the Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park by Croatian Parliament.
Night Sky on Lastovo Island
Unprocessed 300 second guided exposure obtained on 2008 May 3 at 1h16UT (start) with Canon 5D camera at ISO 1000 and 8mm, f/3.5 Sigma fisheye lens. North is up, East to the left. Illuminated clouds and skyglow over the NW, N and NE horizon indicate the sources of light pollution along the Dalmatian coast and islands north of Lastovo. The sky is very dark in other directions. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuz and A. Mohar, Dark Sky Slovenia.

Sagittarius Star Clouds
Unprocessed 180 second guided exposure of our Galaxy center in Sagittarius. Image was obtained on 2008 May 3 at 2h01UT (start) with Canon 5D camera at ISO 1000 and 50mm, f/3.5 Asahi Pentax lens. North is up, East to the left. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuz and A. Mohar, Dark Sky Slovenia.

Milky Way over the Adriatic Sea
Unprocessed 180 second guided exposure of Milky Way over the Adriatic Sea. Image was obtained on 2008 May 4 at 0h56UT (start) with Canon EOS 20D camera at ISO 1600 and 8mm, f/4 Peleng fisheye lens. Reflections of planet Jupiter and even Sagittarius star cloud are clearly visible in the sea. Such reflections are visible only at very dark locations! The skyglow on left is from Dubrovnik, 100 km away. Skyglow sources toward the S-SW direction, coming from the Italian coast are clearly visible, although they are about 180 km away. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuz and A. Mohar, Dark Sky Slovenia.

Although our night sky monitoring on Lastovo was limited to only three nights, there is strong evidence that the sky is very dark, no doubt one of the darkest in Europe. Some light pollution is arriving from urban areas in Dalmatian and Italian coast as well as from towns/villages on Lastovo and Korcula. Because of growing tourism, state and local authorities should consider to protect this nice location from LP in future. Action should be taken on two levels: if Croatia will adopt similar law as Slovenia (zero emission over the 90o), the LP will be efficiently controlled. A less effective possibility would be to adopt the law in local Lastovo commune. This would at least reduce emission from local unshielded light sources. Most of outside lighting in Lastovo, Ubli, Skrivena Luka and Pasadur is very old and need to be replaced in near future. Now it is nice opportunity to choose and set up fully shielded lamps and help to preserve this excellent location to future generations. Lastovo has a good potential to became a European center of astro tourism which is not limited only to summer but would be of interest all over the year.

Relevant links:

Complete report about Lastovo visit ...

Nova Sagittarii 2008 (April 20, 2008)
Nova Sagittarii 2008
Nova was discovered on Apr. 18.784 UT by K. Nishiyama (Kurume, Fukuoka-ken, Japan) and F. Kabashima (Miyaki-cho, Saga-ken, Japan) using a 105-mm f/5.6 camera lens. The nova was at magnitude 8.4, having the following precise position: R.A.= 18h05m58s.88, Decl. = -27o13'56".0 (equinox 2000.0).

This false color unfiltered image of nova (in field center) was obtained on 2008 Apr. 20.116UT with 19-cm, f/4 flat filed S-C camera and CCD. Image scale is 2.44 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Total Moon Eclipse (February 21, 2008)
Total Moon Eclipse, February 21, 2008
Image of total Moon Eclipse, obtained on 2008 Feb. 21 (3h22UT) with 10-cm, f/10 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope and Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera. Exposure time was 15 seconds. Camera gain set to ISO 400. All images were taken from Slovenske Gorice, region in NE part of Slovenia. Copyright © 2008 by H. Mikuz and J. Vales, Crni Vrh Observatory.

More images ...

NEO Asteroid 2007 TU24 Flyby (January 29, 2008)
On January 29, 2008, NEO asteroid 2007 TU24 passed the Earth at a distance of 0.0046 a. u. (690.000 kilometers), which is less than twice the Earth-Moon distance.
NEO Asteroid 2007 TU24 Flyby Movie
This false color animation was composed from series of 5 second exposures, obtained remotely during the NEO closest approach on 2008 Jan. 29/30 (22h10-4h00UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope, R filter and CCD. The telescope was programmed to precisely follow asteroid flyby. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by J. Skvarc and H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

High resolution DivX movie (5Mb).
High resolution AVI movie (28Mb).

NEO Asteroid 2007 TU24 Flyby
This false color image of NEO asteroid 2007 TU24 was obtained during the NEO closest approach on 2008 Jan. 29 (21h26-21h31UT) with 60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope, R filter and CCD. Exposure time was 5 minutes. The object brightness was about magnitude 10 and moved accross the northern sky at about 2 degrees per hour. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2008 by J. Skvarc and H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Flyby ephemeris for 106 Crni Vrh Observatory.

Detection of optical counterpart of GRB071112C at Črni Vrh Observatory (Nov. 12, 2007)
We observed optical counterpart of Gamma Ray Burst GRB071112C (Swift trigger 296504) using 60 cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. A new object was detected at RA=02:36:50.95, DEC=+28:22:16.8 (J2000). Series of nineteen connsecutive Rc filter exposures were taken, starting at 18:35:51UT, 118 seconds after the GCN notice time. We confirmed optical afterglow found by UVOT. The object was clearly detected on first nine frames after which it dropped below the detection limit. Complete results are published in GCN 7078 Circular.
Detection of optical counterpart of GRB071112C
A 90 second R filter image above was obtained on 2007 Nov 12.77490UT and clearly show the GRB optical counterpart (marked) in outburst at R=17.25 magnitude. The object faded rapidly below the detection limit. Copyright © 2006 by S Maticic & PIKA project, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Relevant links:

Blog for Gamma Ray Burst GRB071112C photometry
Complete OPTICAL Data for 20071112C

Discovery of Supernova 2007od at Crni Vrh Observatory (Nov. 2, 2007)
On images taken by S. Maticic in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent bright supernova (mag 14.4) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around Nov. 2.850 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2007od
Composite image of supernova 2007od was made by stacking four 40 second unfiltered discovery frames taken around 2007 Nov. 2.850UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Image scale is 1.8 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2007 by S. Maticic, Crni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 23h55m48s.68, Decl. = +18o24'54".8 (equinox 2000.0), which is approximately 38" east and 31" south of the center of the nearby galaxy UGC 12846. Nothing is visible at this location on PIKA archive images obtained on 2004-09-11, 2005-09-30, 2006-09-01, 2006-09-20 and 2006-10-18. Limiting magnitude on this images is 18.5 - 19.0.

We checked POSS2/UKSTU Red, POSS2/UKSTU Blue, POSS2/UKSTU IR, POSS1 Red and POSS1 Blue at STSCI archives but there was no trace of any object at this position. Confirming images of 2007od, obtained with the 60-cm Cichocki reflector on Nov. 3.713 reveal magnitudes R = 13.9 and B = 14.5.

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 1116. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 1119), obtained on Nov. 4.11 UT with F. L. Whipple Observatory 1.5-m telescope shows it to be a type-II supernova about two weeks past the explosion.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
Swift Observations of SN 2007od

Discovery of Supernova 2007kg at Crni Vrh Observatory (Sept. 22, 2007)
On images taken by H. Mikuz in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 17.1) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around Sept. 22.90 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Robotic Telescope.
Discovery Image of Supernova 2007kg
Composite image of supernova 2007kg was made by stacking four 25 second discovery frames taken around 2007 Sept. 22.90UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope, operating in Scanning Along the Great Declination Circles mode. The inserted DSS image shows the area around the supernova host galaxy (barely visible on discovery image) to approximately the same scale. Image scale is about 1.5 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2007 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 23h58m37s.43, Decl. = +60o59'06".7 (equinox 2000.0), which is approximately 7".0 east and 6".0 north of the center of a nearby faint galaxy. Nothing is visible at this location on several Palomar Sky Survey images (limiting B and I magnitudes 20.0; limiting R mag 20.5) and 2MASS images from the Aladin database. Further confirming CCD photometry with the same telescope on Sept. 23.974 using the USNO-B1 R2 catalogue yields R = 17.17 +/- 0.04 and B = 18.62 +/- 0.10.

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 1086. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 1095), obtained with F. L. Whipple Observatory 1.5-m telescope shows it to be a type-Ia supernova about three months past maximum.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
IAUC 8875

Discovery of a New Variable Star in Perseus (Sep. 16, 2007)
A new star-like object with coordinates ra=03:57:28.01, dec=+35:37:16.3 (J2000) was found by H. Mikuž on unfiltered CCD images (limiting mag 19.0) in the course of the PIKA project with the 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. The object was visible on all four images of the same region taken around 2007 Sep. 16.078UT. The magnitude was 17.9+-0.05, (using comparison stars from USNO B catalog), roughly equivalent to R band and no motion was detected for this object. Nothing is visible at this location on our archive images with 19.0 limiting magnitude taken on 2005-01-11, 2004-02-09 and 2003-09-26, as well as on several POSS and 2MASS images from the Aladin database. However, the object position is consistent with USNO-B1 catalogue star 1256-0061977 with B magnitude 21.51. MPC checker returned no hits of slowly moving objects at this location.

Confirmation R and B filter photometry was obtained with 60 cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope, using comparison stars from USNO-B1 catalogue:


2007 Sep 16.955  R=17.65 +/- 0.05; B=17.90 +/- 0.10
     Sep 17.037  R=17.39 +/- 0.04; B=17.60 +/- 0.09
            
The discovery was announced in IAUC 8870
New Variable Star in Perseus
Discovery image is a 25 second exposure obtained in Drift Scan Along the Declination Circles mode, now used in searching for new objects. The variable star was found using software for detection of new static objects. Copyright © 2007 by H. Mikuz.

Perseids 2007 from La Palma (August 12, 2007)
Perseids 2007 from La Palma
Crni Vrh Observatory team member Jure Skvarc observed the 2007 Perseids next to the Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope on the Roque de los Muchachos mountain on La Palma Island. The night was perfectly clear with some wind but it did not affect observations. The images were taken on the night of Aug. 12-13, 2007 using a Canon 350D digital camera and 8 mm/f3.5 Peleng fisheye lens on static photo mount. The camera was controlled from a notebook computer. He obtained dusk to dawn long series of 30 second exposures at ISO 1600 and composed a (61 MB) AVI video animation. A 47 MB WMV video animation is also available.

The image with bright Perseid shown on left is a 30 second exposure at ISO 1600, starting on Aug. 13 at 2h05m55sUT. Copyright © 2007 by J. Skvarc, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Perseid meteor and bright zodiacal light
Another bright Perseid meteor was recorded just before dawn on Aug. 13 at 4h43m08sUT. Also there is conspicious zodiacal light extending from just rising constellation Gemini up to Taurus. Copyright © 2007 by J. Skvarc, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Bright Fireball Animation (April 22, 2007)
Bright Fireball Animation
Bright fireball of about magnitude -8 was recorded over the eastern horizon with the All-Sky camera on 2007 Apr. 22 at 23h11m25s UT (center). Trace of fireball afterglow and its motion toward the south is evident on several successive exposures. The animation was prepared by Javor Kac and cover the time span of about 8 minutes. Copyright © 2007 by J. Kac and Crni Vrh Observatory.

Discovery of Supernova 2007bk at Crni Vrh Observatory (Apr. 21, 2007)
On images taken by H. Mikuz in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 16.5) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around Apr. 20.005 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope.
Image of Supernova 2007bk
Composite image of supernova 2007bk was made by stacking four 25 second discovery frames taken around 2007 Apr. 20.005UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope, operating in Scanning Along the Great Declination Circles mode. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2007 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.
Supernova Finder Interface
Supernova 2007bk as displayed in user interface for verification of new object candidates. Copyright © 2007 by B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 15h28m45s.58, Decl. = +58o52'12".8 (equinox 2000.0), which is approximately 5".0 east and 12".5 north of the center of a nearby faint galaxy. Nothing is visible at this location on three consecutive unfiltered PIKA images obtained on 2005 Apr. 4.882 (limiting mag 18.5) or on several Palomar Sky Survey and 2MASS images from the Aladin database. A confirming R-filtered image of 2007bk taken on Apr. 20.950 yields magnitude R = 16.65 +/- 0.02.

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 933. Spectroscopic observations (CBET No. 937), obtained with Heute Provence Observatory 1.93-m telescope shows it to be a type-Ia supernova around 50 days after maximum.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
IAUC 8834

Detection of optical counterpart of GRB070411 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Apr. 11, 2007)
We observed optical counterpart of Gamma Ray Burst GRB070411 (Swift trigger 275087) using 60 cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. A variable object was detected at ra=07:09:19.95, dec=+01:03:52.8. Alternating exposures using R and B photometric filters were taken. Full results are published in GCN 6270 Circular. Detailed B and R photometry, confirming the object rebrightening was performed and published in GCN 6288 Circular.
Detection of optical counterpart of GRB070411
A 90 second R filter image above was obtained on 2007 Apr 11 20:19:31UT and clearly show the GRB optical counterpart (green circle) in outburst at R=18.2 magnitude and the surrounding comparison stars used in analysis. The object faded rapidly below the detection limit. The first image with GRB detection started only 48 seconds after the receipt of SWIFT alert. Copyright © 2006 by B. Dintinjana and H. Mikuz, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Those interesting to study our original images may download them here. It is a 15MB tar file, including 12 individual exposures in B and R filters. In case you intend to publish results, obtained from our images, please credit them to PIKA program at Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

Blog for Gamma Ray Burst GRB070411
Blog for Gamma Ray Burst GRB070411 photometry
Complete OPTICAL Data for 20070411

Asteroid 2007 EH flyby (March 10-11, 2007)
Asteroid 2007 EH flyby
On 10-11 March 2007 a small asteroid 2007 EH flew by the Earth at a distance of only 165000 km. At a point of the closest approach it had sky motion of about 20 arc-minutes / minute. In spite of the cloudy weather we managed to make more than 300 images of this object and composed an animation showing the curved trajectory relative to the star field. The 60-cm Cichocki telescope was tracking on the object, therefore the stars appear as streaks. Exposure times were 7 second, and images were made using 2x2 binning, giving pixel size of 5 arc seconds. The animation cover a time span of 80 minutes, starting at 23h12UT on March 10. Flyby ephemeris for 106 Crni Vrh Observatory. Copyright © 2007 by J. Skvarc and H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory. High resolution movie.
Popolni Lunin mrk v noči 3-4 marec 2007
Posnetki popolnega Luninega mrka so bili narejeni na Astronomskem observatoriju Črni Vrh. Po začetnem oblačnem vremenu se je kako uro pred mrkom nebo zjasnilo. Šele po koncu mrka se je spet pojavilo nekaj oblakov. Sodeč po meritvah vsenebne kamere in naprave Unihedron je bilo nebo med mrkom za okoli 0,2m temnejše kot je sicer za to lokacijo običajno v nočeh brez Lune.

Podrobnosti so objavljene na tej strani.

Total Eclipse of the Moon, March 3-4, 2007
True color image of total Moon eclipse, obtained on 2007 Mar. 3 (23h30UT) with 20-cm, f/6.3 S-C telescope and Nikon D80 camera. Camera gain set to ISO 800. Copyright © 2007 by T. Fabjan, Kobdilj Observatory. More ...
Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2007 DB83 at Crni Vrh Observatory (Feb. 24, 2007)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2007 DB83 discovery.
Animation image was made by stacking three 25 second discovery frames taken on 2007 March 24.07 - 24.09UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2005 by S. Matičič, Črni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by S. Matičič in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA on February 24, 2007 an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. Confirmation images were taken on the night 26-27 February, again by S. Matičič at 106 Črni Vrh. With the semimajor axis of 1.75 AU, inclination of 11 degrees and eccentricity of 0.30, this object belongs to the Amor asteroid family. Estimated object diameter is about 1400 m. Closest approach to Earth will be 0.35 AU on April 15, 2007. The orbit has been linked to observations made on 1996 Oct. 9 by 691 Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak and by 703 Catalina Sky Survey on Jan. 16 and Feb. 10, 2007. Further observations and orbit details are in MPEC 2007-D78.

The NEO asteroid 2007 DB83 was discovered with the drift-scan along the declination circles technique that we regularly use on the 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope. The telescope was operated remotely and the new object was automatically found by Fitsblink software.

Relevant links:

MPEC 2007-D78 with observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2007 DB83
NeoDys list for 2007 DB83
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets

(89818) Jureskvarč (January 18, 2007)
Asteroid (89818) was recently named in honour of our team member Jure Skvarč. He is one of key members of Črni Vrh Observatory team, creating the Fitsblink software for automatic detection and astrometry of asteroids and comets. Also he give indispensable contribution by developing electronics and software for the 60-cm Cichocki telescope as well as part of hardware and software for remote robotic observations at Črni Vrh Observatory. The naming is important recognition to our observing team and will stimulate further activities.

It was proposed by Asiago-DLR Asteroid Survey at University of Padova. See full citation below.

(89818) Jureskvarč = 2002 AX203
Discovered 2002 Jan. 2 by the Asiago-DLR Asteroid Survey at Cima Ekar. Jure Skvarč (b. 1964, Slovenia) created data analysis software for automatic astrometric measurements and asteroid search used in the scope of asteroid and comet search project at the Črni Vrh Observatory (Slovenia) and in the Astrovirtel survey at University of Padova (Italy).

Naming published in MPC 58597, issued on 2007 Jan. 6.

Geminids Fireball Activity (December 14, 2006)
We observed high activity of Geminid meteors during the nights 12. - 15. December 2006. Several fireballs were recorded during the night of Dec. 14./15. with the Crni Vrh Observatory All Sky Camera.

Geminid Fireballs
High activity of Geminid meteors was recorded during the night of 13./14. and 14./15. December 2006. Several fireballs were recorded during the night of Dec. 14./15. with the Crni Vrh Observatory All Sky Camera. The 60 sec false color image of fireball was obtained on 2006 Dec. 14 at 21:52:49UT (center). Copyright © 2006 Crni Vrh Observatory. More ...
Geminid Fireballs
The 60 sec false color image of fireball was obtained on 2006 Dec. 14 at 19:59:03UT (center). Copyright © 2006 Crni Vrh Observatory. More ...

Geminid Fireball
The 30 sec color image of a Geminid fireball was obtained on 2006 Dec. 14 at 23:06UT (start) with Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera and Peleng 3.5/8 mm fisheye lens closed to f/4. The camera gain was set to ISO 1600. Copyright © 2006 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Leonids from La Palma, Canary Islands (Nov. 19, 2006)
This year predicted maximum of Leonid meteors was expected for Nov. 19 at about 4h45UT. One of potentially best observing places with darkness and meteor radiant high on the sky was La Palma, Canary Islands. Unfortunately, the observations were strongly affected by clouds, so that only few meteors were recorded.
Leonids 2006 from La Palma
Although the sky was partially obscured by clouds, a trail of bright Leonid meteor was recorded on this wide field image, obtained from 2400m elevation Roque de los Muchachos mountain on La Palma. Image was taken on 2006 Nov. 19 (starting at 03:34:11UT) with 8mm, f/3.5 Peleng fisheye lens attached to Canon 350D DSLR camera. Exposure time was 30 seconds at camera gain set to ISO 1600.

See also this video animation taken from the same location on 18-19 Novemeber 2006. High activity of Leonids was predicted at about 5 UT, but nothing unusual was observed. Clouds and high humidity, causing water condensation on the camera, prevented creation of an uninterrupted animation, therefore only discontinuous patches could be joined together. Copyright © 2006 by J. Skvarč.

Discovery of a New Variable Star in Taurus (Oct. 26, 2006)
A new star-like object (mag about 15.2) was discovered by J. Skvarč on four unfiltered CCD images (limiting mag 18.5) taken during Oct. 26.010-26.037 UT in the course of the PIKA project with the 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki telescope at Črni Vrh. The new object is located at R.A. = 3h29m12s.26, Decl. = +12d50'17".6 (equinox 2000.0); nothing is visible at this location on Črni Vrh archival images taken on 2004 Sept. 10, Nov. 16, and 2005 Jan. 22 (limiting mag 18.5) or on several Palomar Sky Survey and 2MASS images from the Aladin database. Confirming unfiltered CCD images were taken with a 0.40-m f/3.6 telescope by R. Palčič at Rezman Observatory (Slovenia) during Oct. 26.905-26.909 showing the object at similar brightness. The discovery was announced in CBET 701

New Variable Star in Taurus
Follow-up observations published in CBET 701 indicate that the object is most probably SU UMa-type cataclysmic variable. Copyright © 2006 by J. Skvarč.

Detection of optical counterpart of GRB060904B at Črni Vrh Observatory (Sept. 4, 2006)
We observed optical counterpart of Gamma Ray Burst GRB060904B (Swift trigger 228006) using 60 cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Črni Vrh Observatory. A variable object was detected at ra=03:52:50.52, dec=-0:43:30.9. Alternating exposures using R and B photometric filters were taken. Full results are published in GCN 5511 Circular. The movie shows fast fading of this distant cosmic explosion.
Video Animation of optical counterpart of GRB060904B
The animation above was obtained with R filter and cover the time span of 47 minutes, starting 45 seconds after the trigger from Swift satellite was received. Copyright © 2006 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
GRB060904B Light Curve
First quasi real time detection of a Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) optical afterglow at Črni Vrh Observatory exhibits a peculiar light curve with a distinct peak about 10 minutes after the burst. This has been observed both using R and B filters. Copyright © 2006 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Those interesting to study our original images may download them here. It is a 15MB tar file, including 10 individual exposures. In case you intend to publish results, obtained from our images, please credit them to Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Relevant links:

Blog for Gamma Ray Bursts
Complete OPTICAL Data for 20060904B

Obisk aktivnega vulkana Stromboli v času meteorskega roja Perzeidov (Avgust, 2006)
Misel, da živimo na mirni in okolju prijazni Zemlji, se nam na vrhu aktivnega vulkana takoj spremeni v zmotno. Od nastanka Zemlje, pred 4,5 milijardami let in vse do danes, naša Zemlja ni povsem ugasnila in se ohladila. Ker njeno delovanje in s tem povezani vulkani vznemirjajo vsakega preprostega človeka, sva se z Matejem Mihelčičem v avgustu 2006 odpravila na posebno odpravo - vzpon na vulkan Stromboli in si na lastne oči ogledati njegove izbruhe.

Vulkan Stromboli je otok, ki se nahaja v Eolskem/Liparskem otočju v Italiji. Pred 160.000 leti je Stromboli pokukal iznad morske gladine in začel je nastajati otok, ki ima sedaj nadmorsko višino 924 metrov. Vzrok za njegov nastanek je enak kot za vse ostale vulkane (Etna in Vezuv) v Italiji - trk dveh litosferskih plošč.

Perseid fireball over the Stromboli Vulcano
Fireball belonging to Perseid meteor shower was recorded on 2006 Aug. 12 (22h12UT), during the nightime imaging of Stromboli vulcano (Italy) from the coastal village San Vicenza. The wanning moon illuminate the scene with constellations Hercules and Corona Borealis far in the background. Nikon D70s DSLR with 18mm, f/8 lens, 180 second exposure at ISO 400. Copyright © 2006 by Matej Mihelčič & Teja Fabjan, Kobdilj, Slovenia.
Stromboli Vulcano Eruptions
Stromboli vulcano is located in Lipari chain of islands in Italy. Its creation started some 160.000 years ago with magma ejections that continue to occurr until today. At present, the vulcano island, is composed of lava deposits that rise some 925 meters above sea level. Outstanding video animation (20Mb) about the visit of this active vulcano was composed by Teja Fabjan. Copyright © 2006 by Teja Fabjan, Kobdilj, Slovenia.

Stromboli Vulcano Eruptions
Stromboli is active vulcano with periodical eruptions occurring at about 10 minutes intervals. However, this periodicity is sometimes interrupted by stronger eruptions or even lava ejections. Due to safety reasons, visit to the top is admitted only with a qualifyed guider. The ascenscion to the vulcano begins in late afternoon, starting from the village San Vincenzo. The summit is reached after 2,5 hours and observed in complete darkness when the eruptions are visible at its best and are even most impressive. Copyright © 2006 by Matej Mihelčič & Teja Fabjan, Kobdilj, Slovenia.

Stromboli je zanimiv po svoji aktivnosti, ki se ponavlja na približno vsake 10 minut v obliki bruhanja kosov magme. Vendar od časa do časa se tudi ta »urejenost« izbruhov poruši in lahko nastopi močnejši izbruh ali celo izliv lave. Tako se je decembra 2002 zgodil izliv lave, ki je povzročil večmetrski tsunamij, ko se je lava potopila v morje. Aprila 2003 pa je močnejši izbruh lažje poškodoval vas Ginostro na jugozahodni strani otoka. Kljub temu lahko vsak, ki si želi videti Strombolsko aktivnost, pripleza na vrh vulkana. To pa samo pod enim pogojem: da te po celotni poti vodi vodič, ki je za to usposobljen. Hoja na vrh traja 2,5 uri. Na vrhu se ostane 1 uro. Vzpon se začne v poznih popoldanskih urah v vasi San Vincenzo, tako da se izbruhe opazuje v mraku oziroma že temi, saj so takrat bolje vidni in bolj impresivni. Spust pa traja 1,5 ure po mehki vulkanski mivki v popolni temi in z lučjo na glavi.

Vsekakor obisk Strombolija priporočava vsakomur, ki ga tovrstne stvari pritegnejo, saj v nas pusti poseben prečat. Besedilo, slike in avtorske pravice © 2006 by Matej Mihelčič & Teja Fabjan, Kobdilj, Slovenia.

2004 XP14 Close Flyby (July 5, 2006)
NEO asteroid 2004 XP14 close flyby
Near Earth asteroid 2004 XP14 made a close approach to our planet on July 4 2006. On the night of 4 - 5 July a sequence of images was taken with the 60 cm Cichocki telescope using 15 second R filter exposures and tracking on the asteroid. The animation consists of 134 images taken in a time span of 1 hour 40 minutes. The asteroid was moving at a rate of 15 arcseconds / minute. Copyright © 2006 by J. Skvarc, Crni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Total Solar Eclipse from Side, Turkey (March 29, 2006)
Splošne informacije o popolnem Sončevem mrku 29. marca 2006
Images of total solar eclipse were obtained near Side, Turkey very close to central line with totality duration 3min 45 sec. We used a wide range of observing equipment, including 500mm, f/8 telephoto lens and Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera, Olympus DSLR with 7.2 megapixels for taking both video and still images and Sony digital video camera which we used for making video animation of the eclipse. Beside digital cameras, we observed also with two classical cameras having ordinary film for color slides (Velvia 100). The 250 mm, f/4 lens was used for making wide field images of the corona, while Peleng 8 mm fisheye lens was used for imaging the entire sky during the totality. A 12V/220V power converter was connected to our rental car and supplied 220V current for the video and Canon 20D cameras.
Total Solar Eclipse March 29, 2006
Image is stacked from 7 individual exposures, obtained with 500mm, f/8 telephoto lens and Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera. Camera gain set to ISO 200. Copyright © 2006 Crni Vrh Observatory.

More ...

Discovery of Supernova 2006at at Crni Vrh Observatory (Mar. 9, 2006)
On images taken by B. Dintinjana and H. Mikuz in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA, an apparent supernova (mag 17.1) was detected using software for automatic discovery of static objects. Supernova was found on four consecutive unfiltered CCD images taken around Mar. 8.055 UT with a 0.60-m f/3.3 Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope.
Image of Supernova 2006at
Composite image of supernova 2006at was made by stacking four 25 second discovery frames taken around 2006 Mar. 8.055UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope, operating in Scanning Along the Great Declination Circles mode. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2006 by B. Dintinjana and H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.
Supernova Finder Interface
Image of user interface for verification of new object candidates. Copyright © 2006 by B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory.
The new object is located at R.A. = 13h12m41s.11, Decl. = +63o16'45".4 (equinox 2000.0), which is approximately 8".0 east and 10".5 north of the center of a nearby very faint galaxy. Nothing is visible at this location on three consecutive PIKA R-band images obtained on Feb. 12.074 (limiting mag 18.5) or on a Digital Sky Survey (DSS) image from 1993 Mar. 19 (limiting blue mag stated as 19.6).

Discovery was announced in CBAT Electronic Telegram No. 424 and confirmed by H. Yamaoka, Kyushu University; and H. Naito and N. Tokimasa, Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory. They obtained a low-resolution spectrum, indicating that it may be a very young supernova.

Relevant links:

International Supernovae Network
SWIFT Image of SN 2006at
SWIFT observation of SN 2006at
IAUC 8687
CBET 441 (Supernova 2006at)
Type determination for SN 2006at

NASA astronaut Russell L. Schweickart visited Crni Vrh Observatory (Oct. 2, 2005)
On September 8-11, 2005, former NASA astronaut Russell L. Schweickart visited Slovenia together with his wife Nancy Ramsey. He piloted Apollo 9's lunar module in 1969 and served as a backup commander for the first Skylab mission in 1973. He currently chairs the board of directors for the B612 Foundation. Since we have common interest in NEO asteroids, he also visited Crni Vrh Observatory.

His current interest is devoted to the NEO asteroids that are potentionally threatening our planet and plans to send the unmanned space mission trying to deflect such body and prevent it from hitting Earth. In October 2001, more than 20 like-minded engineers and astronomers, including few former and current astronauts gathered in the Johnson Space Center in Houston to discuss what they saw as the missing element in the space program - attention to the possibility of our planet being struck by a near Earth asteroid.

Russell L. Schweickart at Crni Vrh Observatory
R. Schweickart and H. Mikuz during the inspection of the 60-cm Cichocki robotic telescope at Crni Vrh Observatory. In the course of PIKA search programe, 7 NEO asteroids were discovered so far with this telescope. Copyright © 2005 Crni Vrh Observatory.

Inspecting virtual asteroid impact on Earth
R. Schweickart and B. Dintinjana in the control room of Crni Vrh Observatory, inspecting the virtual asteroid impact on Earth and its consequences. See California for a simulation of a 2004MN4 impact generated tsunami in the Pacific Ocean and same object impacting in the Gulf of Mexico. Copyright © 2005 Crni Vrh Observatory.

In order to facilitate their work, they formed the B612 Foundation, a non-profit corporation named after the home asteroid of the title character in Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince. Also they proposed to NASA a B612 Mission that would be sent to appropriate NEO asteroid with well known orbit and either speed up the body by pushing it in the direction of its orbital motion or slow it down by pushing in the opposite direction. Rather than giving the asteroid a powerful shove, they proposed the asteroid-tug concept that would deliver a gentle but constant pressure, causing a slight but large enough deflection of orbit. The space tug would need to rendezvous with a target asteroid, attach itself to the surface and show its ability to maneuver the object. Thus the goal of a B612 mission is to significantly alter the asteroid's orbit in a controlled manner. If successfull, they would clearly demonstrate that the deflection of small Solar System bodies from hitting Earth is possible.

In a recent article published in Sept.-Oct. 2005 issue of American Scientist they stressed the importance of such space mission, following a recent addition of the 330-m diameter asteroid designated 99942 Apophis to the list of small bodies that have small but real chance of striking the Earth.

2005 Perseids from La Palma, Canary Islands (Aug. 12, 2005)
During the night of 2005 Aug. 12-13, Crni Vrh Observatory team member Jure Skvarc set up his Canon Digital Rebel DSLR camera and Peleng 3.5/8 mm fisheye lens on a fixed tripod atop the 2400m elevation Roque de los Muchachos mountain on La Palma Island - one of the best observing places on our planet. He obtained dusk to dawn long series of 30 second exposures, covering nearly the whole sky. During the photo session, he recorded many meteors and two bright fireballs.

Animacija Perseid Fireball
Animation of a -10 magnitude fireball from Aug. 13 at 3h38UT and its afterglow. Copyright © 2005 by J. Skvarc.

More about Perseid Meteor Observations from La Palma

Transneptunian objects 2003 UB313 and 2003 EL61 (Aug. 4, 2005)
These objects were successfully imaged with 60-cm Cichocki Sky Survey Telescope during the July 29 - Aug. 2 period. We took a series CCD exposures on each night and co-added them to obtain a single, long exposure image of distant Solar System objects.

Transneptunian object 2003 UB313, so called 10th planet recently reported in IAUC 8577 was successfully imaged on July 31 and Aug. 2 early morning sky with 0.6-m, f/3.3 remote robotic telescope, R+W filters and CCD. The object was nearly 97 astronomical units from the Earth (current Sun-Pluto distance is 30 a.u.), slowly moving toward the S-SW at only 11 arc sec/day. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Further details are displayed on images. Copyright © 2005 by J. Skvarc & H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Transneptunian object 2003 EL61, recently reported in IAUC 8577 was successfully imaged on two consecutive nights July 29-30, 2005 with 0.6-m, f/3.3 robotic telescope, B+W filters and CCD. The object was nearly 52 astronomical units from the Earth, slowly moving toward the SE at about 50 arc sec/day. Further details are displayed on images. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2005 by J. Skvarc & H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Southern Milky Way with Nova Sagittarii 2005 No. 2 (July 22, 2005)
While staying on the Island of Cres (Croatia) for holidays, I took some wide field night sky scenes using a fixed tripod and Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera. In spite of modest equipment (lack of motorized mount), I was able to obtain surprisingly good images of the central region of our Milky Way Galaxy. By chance, the Nova Sagittarii 2005 No. 2 was also recorded 2.9 days after discovery by William Liller in Chile (IAUC 8559).

Milky Way Central Region from Cres Island
This true color view was taken on 2005 July 6.9UT. It is a composite image, made by adding four 30 second exposures obtained from a fixed tripod with Canon EOS 20D camera and 20 mm lens. In order to reduce the image smear due to Earth rotation, the camera sensitivity was boost to 1600 ASA. Stars down to -42o declination are visible just over the southern horizon (middle of frame). Some clouds moved over the horizon during the exposure, slightly reflecting the HP sodium light from the distant towns of Osor and Mali Losinj. Copyright © 2005 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.
Nova Sagittarii 2005 No. 2
Enlarged part of the above image with the Nova Sagittarii 2005 No. 2 marked. Nova was at magnitude 8.0 at the time of discovery, reaching 7.2 on July 5.0 and faded to about mag. 8.5 on the above image. Copyright © 2005 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.
Island of Cres is the largest in Adriatic sea but so far also relatively unpopulated, with only few smaller tourist centers. The light pollution is consequently low. As soon as you move in the island countryside, the night sky is very dark -- a good place for imaging the sky and the Southern Milky Way in particular. Perhaps, one of the darkest places in Europe.

Some additional testing images, recently obtained with Canon 20D are collected in our gallery
.

Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2005 FV2 at Crni Vrh Observatory (Mar. 18, 2005)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2005 FV2 discovery.
Animation image was made by stacking three 25 second discovery frames taken on 2005 March 18.90 - 18.92UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Bright trail on the 3rd image is due to artificial satellite passing through the telescope field. Copyright © 2005 by S. Maticic and B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by S. Maticic in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program PIKA on March 18, 2005 an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. After being posted on the NEO Confirmation Page, further measurements were obtained by P. Birtwhistle (J95, Great Shefford) and S. Sposetti (143, Gnosca). They provided enough observations to determine basic orbital parameters. With the semimajor axis of 2.05 AU, inclination of 19 degrees and eccentricity of 0.71, this object belongs to the Apollo asteroid family. Estimated object diameter is ~500 m. Closest approach to Earth was 0.265 AU on March 11, 2005. Further observations and orbit details are in MPEC 2005-F28.

The NEO asteroid 2005 FV2 was discovered with the drift-scan along the declination circles technique that we regularly use on the 60-cm robotic telescope. The telescope was operated remotely and the new object was automatically found by Fitsblink software.

Relevant links:

MPEC 2005-F28 with observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2005 FV2
NeoDys list for 2005 FV2
MPC List Of Apollo Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection

Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2005 CR37 at Crni Vrh Observatory (Feb. 8, 2005)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2005 CR37 discovery.
Animation image was made by stacking three 25 second discovery frames taken on 2005 February 8.14 - 8.16UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2005 by H. Mikuz and B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by H. Mikuz in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program on February 8, 2005 an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. The rate and direction of motion indicated that the object does not belong to the main belt asteroids. After being posted on the NEO Confirmation Page, further measurements were obtained by observers worldwide. They provided enough observations to determine basic orbital parameters. With the semimajor axis of 1.9 AU, inclination of 26 degrees and eccentricity of 0.46, this object belongs to the Amor asteroid family. Estimated object diameter is ~900 m. Closest approach to Earth is 0.063 AU on February 27, 2005. Further observations and orbit details are in MPEC 2005-C32.

The NEO asteroid 2005 CR37 was discovered with the new drift-scan along the declination circles technique that we regularly use on the 60-cm robotic telescope. The telescope was operated remotely and the new object was automatically found by Fitsblink software.

Relevant links:

MPEC 2005-C32 with observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2005 CR37
NeoDys list for 2005 CR37
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection

Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2005 CC37 at Crni Vrh Observatory (Feb. 6, 2005)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2005 CC37 discovery.
Animation image was made by stacking three 25 second discovery frames taken on 2005 February 6.86 - 6.87UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2005 by S. Maticic and B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by S. Maticic in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program on February 6/7 2005, an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. The rate and direction of motion (2.6o/ day in PA 113o) indicated that the object does not belong to the main belt asteroids. After being posted on the NEO Confirmation Page, further measurements were obtained by H. Mikuz and other observers worldwide. They provided enough observations to determine basic orbital parameters. With the semimajor axis of 2.2 AU, inclination of 6 degrees and eccentricity of 0.56, this object belongs to the Apollo asteroid family. Estimated object diameter is ~200 m. Closest approach to Earth was 0.0534 AU on January 27, 2005. Further observations and orbit details are in MPEC 2005-C30.

The NEO asteroid 2005 CC37 was discovered with the new drift-scan along the declination circles technique that we regularly use on the 60-cm robotic telescope. The telescope was operated remotely and the new object was automatically found by Fitsblink software.

Relevant links:

MPEC 2005-C30 with observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2005 CC37
NeoDys list for 2005 CC37
MPC List Of Apollo Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection

Bright Fireball (Feb. 6, 2005)
Bright Fireball
Bright fireball of about magnitude -10 was recorded with the All-sky camera on 2005 Feb. 6. One minute exposure was centered at 22h32m40s UT. Trace of fireball afterglow was also recorded on next image taken one minute later. Several fireballs and other phenomena were recorded with this camera since we put it in regular operation in August 2004. Copyright © 2005 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Geminid Fireball (Dec. 12, 2004)
Geminid Fireball
Bright fireball, belonging to Geminid shower was recorded with the All-sky camera in early morning of 2004 Dec. 12. One minute exposure was centered at 4h25m46s UT. Several fireballs and other phenomena were recorded with this camera since we put it in regular operation last August. Copyright © 2004 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.

Venus in conjunction with Jupiter (Nov. 5, 2004)
Venus in conjunction with Jupiter (Image Gallery)
This scenic view of conjunction was obtained from Slovenia Karst region on early morning of November 5, 2004. Canon EOS 20D digital camera and 17-40 mm lens at f/4 was used. Exposure time was 30 seconds at ISO set to 400. Dark image of the same duration was automatically subtracted. Copyright © 2004 by H. Mikuz, Crni Vrh Observatory.
Enter gallery ...
Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2004 RS109 at Crni Vrh Observatory (Sep. 10, 2004)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2004 RS109 discovery.
Animation image was made by stacking three 25 second discovery frames taken on 2004 September 10.96 - 10.98UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. A numbered main belt asteroid 86034 is in the same field and marked with a green square. Note the difference in speed and direction of motion. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2004 by H. Mikuz and B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by H. Mikuz in the course of the Crni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program on September 10/11 2004, an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. The rate and direction of motion (3o/ day in PA 163o) indicated that the object does not belong to the main belt asteroids. After being posted on the NEO Confirmation Page, confirmation measurements were taken on the Sep. 11 evening by S. Maticic and other observers worldwide. They provided enough observations to determine basic orbital parameters. With the semimajor axis of 2.34 AU, inclination of 34 degrees and eccentricity of 0.5, this object belongs to the Amor asteroid family. Closest approach to Earth is on 2004 Sep. 16.5UT at the distance of 27 million km. Estimated diameter of this object is ~1 km. Further observations and orbit details are in MPEC 2004-R61.

The NEO asteroid 2004 RS109 was discovered on the first night we used the new drift-scan along the declination circles technique on the 60-cm robotic telescope. It was operated remotely and the new object was automatically found by Fitsblink software.

Relevant links:

MPEC 2004-R61 with observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2004 RS109
NeoDys list for 2004 RS109
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection

CARA Meeting, June 19-20th 2004
CARA Meeting, 2004
Some 15 comet observers from Italy, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia gathered on a two day CARA conference which take place at Crni Vrh elementary school. The aim of conference was discussion on how to improve the quality of comet observations by using new observational techniques (remote robotic telescopes, narrow band filters and various software tools). See conference programme for further details.

On Sunday afternoon, participants visited nearby Crni Vrh Observatory where the new 60-cm robotic telescope is now in full operation. Part of telescope time is devoted also to comet observations. Unfortunately, evening remote observations were not possible due to bad weather.

See also some nice pictures, taken during the conference.

Venus Transit, June 8th 2004
Venus Transit Live, June 8th 2004
Venus transit was successfully imaged with 500 mm, f/8 lens, webcam and solar filter. Video animation was prepared by using 360 images taken at 1 minute intervals. Time recorded on images is Central European Summer Time (UT+2h). North is up and East to the left. Copyright © 2004 by H. Mikuz, B. Dintinjana and S. Maticic, Crni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

We prepared also public observation at the Crni Vrh Elementary School where B. Mikuz and J. Vales conducted observations with 15-cm Maksutov telescope and solar filter.

You can look at image archive which contain images at 10 sec intervals, starting from 5h30UT. The file name contain information on when particular image was obtained. Thus image 74154.jpg was taken at 7h 41min 54 sec.

Transit data for Crni Vrh Observatory


                  h  m   s
Fist contact      7:20:05.4
Second contact    7:39:40.1
Third contact    13:04:08.4
Fourth contact   13:23:22.4

Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2004 FF29 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Mar. 28, 2004)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2004 FF29 discovery.
Animation image is made by stacking three 30 second discovery frames taken on 2004 March 28.994 - 29.005UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 1.85 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2003 by H. Mikuž, S. Matičič and B. Dintinjana, Črni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by H. Mikuž in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program on March 28/29 2004, an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. The rate of motion (1.8 degree / day in PA ~250o) indicated that this object does not belong to the main belt asteroids. Confirmation images were taken next night by S. Maticic and object reported to the Minor Planet Center. After being posted on the NEO Confirmation Page for a day, enough observations were provided to determine basic orbital parameters. With the semimajor axis of 1.94 AU, inclination of 8 degrees and eccentricity of 0.62 this object belongs to the Apollo asteroid family. Closest approach to Earth was on 2004 Mar. 10.62UT at the distance of 25 million km. Estimated diameter of this object is ~1 km. Further observations and orbit details are in MPEC 2004-F85. Relevant links:

MPEC 2004-F85 wih observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2004 FF29
NeoDys list for 2004 FF29
MPC List Of Apollo Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection and Cover Image April 9, 2004

Discovery of NEO Asteroid 2003 SS214 at Črni Vrh Observatory (Sept. 26, 2003)
Click for animation of NEO asteroid 2003 SS214 discovery.
Animation image is composed from three 30 second discovery frames taken on 2003 September 26.88UT with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 1.85 arc sec/pixel. Copyright © 2003 by S. Matičič and J. Skvarč Črni Vrh Observatory.
On images taken by Stane Matičič in the course of the Črni Vrh Asteroid and Comet Search program on 26 September 2003, an asteroid with unusual motion was automatically detected. The direction and rate of motion (PA = 90 degrees at almost 1.1 degree / day) indicated that this object does not belong to the main belt asteroids. Confirmation images were taken next night by J. Skvar?and object reported to the Minor Planet Center. After being posted on the NEO Confirmation Page for a day, enough observers provided additional position measurements to determine basic orbital parameters. With the semimajor axis of 2.3 AU, inclination of 8 degrees and eccentricity of 0.52 this object belongs to the Amor asteroid family. At the closest approach to Earth it will be at the distance of 24 million km. Estimated diameter of this object is 400 m. Relevant links:

MPEC 2003-S76 wih observations and orbit details
NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2003 SS214
NeoDys list for 2003 SS214
MPC List Of Amor Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection

First NEO discovery at Črni Vrh Observatory (March 5, 2003)
Images of comet C/2001 RX14 (LINEAR) with NEO asteroid 2003 EM1.
On the right side image, taken with R filter the asteroid trace has unequal intensity which imply brightness changes due to rapid rotation. Copyright © 2003 J. Skvarč Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.
Fast moving object, crossing the field of Comet C/2001 RX14 (LINEAR) was found by J. Skvarc on 2003 March 5 in the course of our sky survey program with 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope. Due to rapid motion, the object left ~2 arc min trace on both 120 second images taken 4 minutes apart. NEO is just S-SW of the comet and moves toward the SW direction. After beeing confirmed by several observatories it received the designation 2003 EM1. Preliminary measurements indicate that this is a very fast rotating asteroid, probably first of this size with rotating period of less than 2 minutes. It belongs to Aten type of asteroids which have their orbit entirely inside the Earth's. Further orbit details are published in MPEC 2003-E28. Image scale is 2.49 arc sec/pixel. Dark columns in the middle of frames are due to bad CCD cosmetics. Copyright © 2003 by J. Skvarč, Črni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia.

Vec v slovenščini...

Relevant links:

NASA JPL 3D Orbit Visualization of 2003 EM1
2003 EM1 Light Curve from the Observatorio Astronomoco de Mallorca
MPC List Of Aten Minor Planets
Asteroid/Comet Connection

First Light on the 60-cm Telescope (September 2, 2002)
Early in the morning we obtained first images with the new 60-cm telescope.

We carefully assembled all telescope parts and on Sept 1st, the system was ready for first light. After the laser collimation procedure, we performed the Faucault test and adjusted the telescope back-focus to within 0.1mm off the ideal position. Then we put 1k x 1k CCD and took few images. The first one was out of focus and shows the telescope is well collimated. After some focus adjustment, we obtained second image with sharp stellar images accross the whole field.

We slewed the telescope to M33 and took a 3-min unguided exposure with R filter. Again, stellar images remain pin-point, although the mount was not yet aligned and the telescope drive constants only roughly set. Since the CCD was not used for a few months, all images have lot of ice crystalls all over the frame and are unprocessed. We just want to demonstrate that the optics, mechanics and electronics performed well. Real images will follow soon.

See also one minute CCD exposure of M15 globular cluster, using a 60-cm telescope and R filter.

60-cm Telescope Near the Completion (May 13, 2002)
Works on the construction of a 60-cm telescope are well in progress. The telescope optics was ordered at Astrooptik Co. in August 2000 and delivered in April 2001. Technical solutions and project drawings were completed early in 2001. Later, we switched our activity to observatory reconstruction. In August 2001, we received servo motors and drive electronics. At the same time, work on the completion of control electronics started. During November 2001 - March 2002, most of telescope parts were made in a local workshop and on March 22, we started to assemble all parts together.

The upper ring, containing corrector and motorized focusing device was assembled first. On April 25th, the telescope servo drives were successfully tested for the first time. The most time consuming and rather difficult process was the making of motorized flaps that cover the mirror cage and protect it from moisture and dust.

After all parts were assembled, the telescope was tested in a workshop once again on May 13, 2002. Mechanical and electronics tests passed well and the telescope was disassembled for painting. It will be installed at the Crni Vrh Observatory in June 2002.

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