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Ursa Astronomical Association


Good northern lights again

19.9. September has been favorable in terms of northern lights. The third bigger show of the month arrived on 18/19.9. Sightings have arrived from the entire length of the country, from Enontekiö to Helsinki. Attached are Hanna Kanniala's and Mikko Lemola's pictures of Ii and Kouvola.

A fog arc in Hämeenkyrö

19.9. Mervi Ketola photographed an exceptionally spectacular arc of fog on Hämeenkyrö's Heinijärvi on Sunday. The series of images shows that the fog started to recede from behind the photographer. This is the optimal situation for the creation of a beautiful phenomenon when the sun shines brightly into the fog ahead.

Northern lights on the night before Wednesday

13.9. Apparently, the cloudiness situation dictated that observations of this display have only been east-oriented. In addition, one photo set has also come from Karigasniemi in the very north. Attached are pictures of Antti Taskinen and Jussi Koponen from Joensuu and Kuopio. A few observers also pointed out the mild weather for the time. "It was still warm at midnight, 18 degrees, and the lenses of the cameras didn't fog up at all," writes Petri Martikainen , who filmed at Juva.

September epsilon Perseids

11.9. The lesser-known September epsilon Perseids produced 13 tracks in the images of Harri Kiiskinen's camera on 8/9.9. at night. Parva had eruptions in 2008 and 2013, where many bright shooting stars were seen within a few hours. According to Esko Lyytinen's modelling, the next stronger maximum is not in sight before 2040, but since very little is known about the swarm, IMO it is worth keeping an eye on.

Comet Nishimura approaching perihelion

7.9. The comet discovered by the Japanese Hideo Nishimura on August 12 is expected to brighten as it reaches its closest position to the Sun on September 17. The observatory has observations of the comet on August 16. from both Finland and abroad. Attached is a photo of Petri Kuossar in Janakkala before dawn on September 7. According to the latest observations, Nishimura is 4.5 magnitude and the forecast is for a 2.5 magnitude surface perihelion.

Night cloud summer was on the waning side

30.8. Night clouds accumulated 39 pieces, which is the lowest catch in six years. And not many handsome ones were seen. Amounts dipped downwards, especially during August's meager 6 nights. This is Matali's reading in 12 years. The season ended on 19/20.8. into the night with Timo Alango's observation in Vaasa. In the previous two record-long seasons, the decision came on August 23/24, which is the latest night of observation of night clouds in Finland. The picture shows Antti Taskinen's views 10/11.8. Kontiolahti.

The Milky Way in the darkening nights

28.8. The Milky Way has already been photographed from late summer, here are two tent-themed interpretations. On the left is Teemu Holopainen's photo, which is a result of a trip at Pielavesi on August 19/20 night. "Only the lights of individual cabins could be seen with the naked eye while lying on the beach sand," he says. Satu Juvonen's more recent shot is from Ilomantsi 26/27.8. "The Milky Way glowed brightly before the mist creeping off the lake obscured the view," he writes.

Funnel clouds on Thursday

25.8. Observations of funnel clouds have been received from August 24. As shown by the pictures, Tero Lehtonen between Rauma and Uudenkaupunki on Pyhäranta and Laura Törnroos in Helsinki photographed funnel clouds. Lehtonen says that he actually saw several funnels, and the individual in the picture actually soon reached the surface of the water and began to stir it up.

Small cloud patch with big rarities in Lapland

24.8. The year's top-3 halo spectacles in high clouds have occurred in Lapland. The last of these was seen on 22.8 by Panu Lahtinen and Krista Wright in Sodankylä. The cloud was small, covering according to Lahtinen maybe about 2/8-3/8 of the sky. But among the halos seen there were veritable rarities in the high cloud category, most notably the Hastings arc, of which there are half a dozen observations in high clouds from around the world.

The Perseids whizzed by under clear skies

14.8. On the night of maximum Perseids on 12/13.8 it was a clear sky in southern Finland. Almost thirty sightings have arrived at Vaht. Harri Kiiskinen's meteor camera caught 103 Perseids in 3.5 hours, four times the number two nights ago. The preliminary ZHR value for optimal conditions calculated from the observations on the IMO website is 60-80 meteors per hour, which indicates a slightly downbeat maximum. In the picture made by Matias Takala shown is a collection of the perseids his camera caught.

A halo rarity in Juva

14.8. Among rare halos, the presence of the uppervex Parry in high cloud has gained its own special iconic status. Petri Martikainen's recent observation of the halo on 12.8 comes as continuation to single observations in 2022 and 2021. Martikainen also has other goodies, as show by the mirrored version of the stack here. The Parry-Lowitz orientation circular Lowitz arc tangenting uppervex Parry is an even more exceptional catch.

Horseshoe eddies and hole cloud

13.8. For a change, special clouds in the daytime sky. Matti Helin saw a collection of horseshoe clouds in Lieto on August 11, his second catch of the phenomenon. In Parainen the next day Markku Miettinen photographed a punch hole cloud.

Venus sickle from the daytime sky

8.8. Antti Taskinen photographed the narrow sickle of Venus at noon on August 7 in Joensuu. 2% of the planet's surface is illuminated. Inferior conjunction, the situation when the planet passes between Earth and Sun, is on August 13. During the passing Venus is 7 degrees south of the sun. After that, the planet becomes a morning star. Nicolas Lefaudeux has presented in detail the inferior conjunction he photographed in 2020. Venus passed within 0.5 degrees of the edge of the sun.

The first Perseids observed

7.8. According to the IMO, the Perseids begin already in mid-July, in Finland sightings start to arrive in August. In 2021 and 2022, the first ones were reported 3/4 and 2/3 August, this year a little later with the first observations, by Vasa VasankariTimo Alanko and Harri Kiiskinen, coming from the 5/6. night. Shown is a bright Perseid from this night at 01:33 as captured by Kiiskinen's automatic camera in Jyväskylä.

Surprise brightened comet 12P Pons-Brooks

1.8. Comets know how to surprise. Such was the case with 12P Pons-Brooks, which  brightness rose five magnitudes overnight on July 20, from about 17 to 12. Now the watchmen of Taivaanvahti have set their sights on the target also in Finland, Rauno Päivinen's picture from the night att the turn of the month shows its current horn-head shape. The comet was discovered as early as 1812 and it has an orbit of 71 years. It will be closest to the sun next spring, but will have moved to the southern sky by then.

July night clouds

1.8. The month has turned page and NLC nights are starting be imbued with wistfulness of season's end. There were a few good shows at the end of July, but what about the numbers? 25 nights brought the all-time (1995->) second place, one less than last summer. The balance of 33 for the whole summer is worse in comparison, last year at this stage there were 39 sets. So it won't be record summer but third place is possible. The photo was taken by Jani Virtanen in Lohja on 27/28.7.

The funnel cloud grew and withered away in Ilmajoki

1.8. Meteorologists have talked about favorable conditions for tornadoes now, because there are strong differences in the strength of the winds in different layers. Mauri Korpi was 30.7. attentively in Ilmajoki when noticing a funnel cloud, i.e. tornado that does not touch the ground, though there is the caveat that the funnel is blocked by trees. Korpi followed the phenomenon until the end and got a good series of its life cycle. Six and a half minutes passes from the first to the last picture.

Arcus cloud in Kalajoki

1.8. There have been a lot of observations in the categories of storm phenomena in recent days. Arcus clouds are of course one of the most spectacular of them. Juha Salo caught this roll in the fields of Kalajoki, Himanka, on the last day of July. "Then quite a lightning show started," he writes.

Trombi on Haukivesi 28.7

30.7. The third whirlwind day of the year was on Friday, when a tornado descended from a low-hanging cloud and churned the surface of the water north of Savonlinna. Sakari Ekko, who took the picture at Haukivesi, says that the cloud disappeared in a few minutes.

Tornado cloud on Vieremä on Friday

30.7. There was dark and ragged drama in the passing arcus cloud in Vieremä two days ago. "I saw a storm cloud from the window at 3:13 p.m., I immediately went outside to take pictures in the field," says Riitta Kumpulainen. As is typical, a strong wind rose up and it started to rain as well. In Kumpulainen's observation, there is another picture of the cloud's roll shape a minute earlier.