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News 2022

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) brightening

26.12. Christmas brought several observations of the #1 comet of the winter, C/2022 E3 (ZTF). The object discovered in March with the equipment of the Zwicky Transient Facility is getting brighter and may become visible to the naked eye at the turn of Jan-Feb. Here are the pictures of Tapio Lahtinen (on the left) and Petri Kuossari, the former captured with the Fregenal de la Sierra remote observatory telescope.

Surface helic arc

26.12. The cold season also brings surface halos. A rare yet every wintery surface helic arc caught Marko Mikkilä's attention on Christmas day in Nivala (right). The following night, Lasse Nurminen snapped the phenomenon in the car headlights (left). Opportunity to see the surface solar arc is when the snow surface is "hairs erect" from crystals grown by the moisture in the air.

A piece of Spaghetti nebula

23.12. Between the constellations of Auriga and Taurus is the fibrous supernova remnant Simeis 147, or the Spaghetti Nebula. Vesa Vauhkonen, who took the photo on December 19, says that the object is particularly challenging for amateur equipment. This nebula with a diameter of three degrees did not fit completely into the image field, the link contains previous observations where the object can be seen in its entirety.

Cloud cover opened for the Geminids

16.12. The second maximum night of the Geminids 14/15 Dec happened to have open skies. Harri Kiiskinen has posted the catch of the Nyrölä (photo) and Nenäinniemi meteor cameras in Jyväskylä, which were 29 and 20 Geminids, respectively. The night was also exceptionally active in terms of fireballs, with sightings from most hours. Presumably most of these have been Geminids.

Diamond dusts across Finland

15.12. With the arrival of colder weather, diamond dusts have returned and in the last few days there have been halo sightings all over Finland. At the top right, halos in the slope lights in Ruka by Jani Päiväniemi on 13 Dec. Below it are light pillars seen by Matti Helin in Lieto on the same day. And on the left 14 Dec Jessica Jyränkö's photos of outdoor lights projected overhead onto the sky in Inari.

Geminid maximum coming up

11.12. One geminid was reported to Vahti already a week ago, they have switched on a bigger gear from December 10 reaching peaks on 14.12 at 15:00 Finnish time. Radiant remains constantly above the horizon, reaching a altitude of 63 degrees in Helsinki at 02:00, at Utsjoki 10 degrees lower. After maximum the number of meteors is halved every night, but on the other hand Moon rises to disturb later. Geminid in the animation was photographed by Samuli Ikäheimo in 2018.

Moon almost eclipsed Uranus

8.12. December's two eclipses of the planets behind the Moon, Uranus and Mars, are done. The only observation at the moment is the attached picture which Matti Helin took due to arriving clouds about an hour and a half before Uranus would have been occulted on 5 December. At the time of the eclipse, which took place around 19:00, it was already completely cloudy, Helin says. Uranus is the blue dot on the left. Mars was occulted on morning of 8.12., maybe there are observations coming later.

December started with PSCs

2.12. The winter's first PSCs were seen on the first day of December. Jani Päiväniemi and Voitto Pitkänen saw them in Kuusamo. Exceptionally, as the accompanying photo by Ari Mäkelä shows, an observation was also made from an airplane. Although these kind of NLC resembling PSC's have been seen before, the sun seems to have been unusually low this time, no less than 10 degrees below the horizon in Kuusamo observations. The Mäkelä observation probably had even lower elevation.

Mars approaches the opposition when the Moon covers it

25.11. There are again good chances to spot Mars when it is closest to Earth on 12/12 and 8/12. in opposition. Here are two recent pictures, on the left from Lasse Ekblom on 18.11., on the right from Antti Taskinen on 23.11. In opposition, Mars also hides behind the Moon in the morning. The event can be seen everywhere in Finland.

Auroral arc in pictures on Sunday

22.11. On Sunday the aurora borealis didn't offer a big show, but Mikko Silvola arranged the landscape elements in Pyhäjoki to get an atmospheric picture of a peaceful auroral arc. A finalizing touch is given by The Big Dipper which, as Silvola writes, is suitably positioned at end of the road. Another version of same subject, by Tommy Lågland on the seashore in Kokkola, is not bad either.

Hard-core halo day on Sunday

20.11. Sturdy diamond dust shows were on the offing in different parts of Finland on Sunday. The view on the top left was captured by Anne Niemistö at Pelkosenniemi, next to it is a shot by Esa Pekka Isomursu from Pudasjärvi, below is a photo by Jouni Kiimalainen from Kuopio. On the lower left are pillars from the outdoor lights in Muinio the night before, photographed by Erkki Koski-Lammi  Freezing weather in high pressure conditions will continue, so diamond dust halos may well be seen in the coming days.

The Leonid maximum is at hand

16.11. The normal maximum of the Leonid shooting stars is predicted at 01-02 Finnish time on 18 Nov. Numerous other peaks have also been calculated. 19 Nov. at 8:00-8:30 the most numerous Leonids may be seen. Two weaker maxima are predicted for 18 Nov at 9 and 21 Nov at 17. Of course, these times are not the best for spotting in Finland, but predictions are never certain. In Utsjoki, the radiant is above the horizon around the clock, in Helsinki after 21:33 . (photo Stellarium)

Arcs in fog

14.11. On Sunday evening, Lasse Nurminen lit a bright lamp in Masku in the fog and went into the spotlight with camera. The picture taken towards the opposite direction of the lamp shows primary and secondary fogbows with interference arcs on both. "The most spectacular case for me," says Nurminen. There was still room for improvement, though, because the photographer says he left the turbo power of the lamp unused, which would have further strengthened the contrast of the phenomenon against the background.

November rainbow in Rovaniemi

13.11. Although Rainbows in November are not yet a great rarity, the snowy foreground is an unusual prop for the phenomenon. The photo was taken by Sari Tammela in Sonka, Rovaniemi. According to Vahti's statistics, rainbows have been now seen on 22 days in the last 12 years in November. In December and January the numbers are already half as low, and February is even scarcer with only five sightings.

Horseshoe cloue day in Ilmajoki

13.11. On Saturday, the conditions favored horseshoes twisted from the clouds at Ilmajoki. Mauri Korpi first noticed a few individual horseshoe clouds, but eventually there were as many as three of them in the sky at once. The camera must not be far away when the horseshoe vortex hits as they are very short-lived.

Half a dozen fireballs on 12-13 Nov night

13.11 . There were an exceptional number of sightings of fireballs on Sat-Sun night. Cameras caught them at 1906, 2025, 2338, 0047, 0553, and apart from a single report at 0313, visual observations agree with these times well. This was the maximum night of the northern Taurids, known for its fireballs, so at least some may have belonged to the meteor shower although no connection has been brought up in any observations. The animation, from Timo Kantola, shows flight of the night's first fireball.

Diamond dust halos already seen

8.11. So far, there have only been reports from Jani Päiväniemi from Ruka. The first diamond dust halos were visible from the slope lights on the morning of November 1. Another sighting from Päiväniemi is from 7/8 November night, when the halos kept company not only with the lamps but also with the Moon. Now the weather is taking a warmer turn to such an extent that even in the north no diamond dusts can be expected for several days. Update: A great solar halo occurred in Ruka on 8 Nov, a fresh image from Päiväniemi has been changed.

Video shows the reflection subsun variation

1.11. For the first time, a time series has been obtained of a slivered reflection sub-sun. From the material recorded in Juva by Petri Martikainen, it becomes clear how part of the phenomenon is replaced by a shadow as the Sun moves on. "The reflection paints on the sky an accurate picture of the lake landscape", writes Martikainen. Stripes occur in an area larger than the sun's disc, which means that the water was not dead calm. The phenomenon was visible relatively long, about 25 minutes.

IC 5146 in Cygnus with dark nebulas

28.10. Samuli Vuorinen has used autumn's meagre weather windows to gather 10 hours of light from the Cocoon nebula, IC 5146, in Cygnus. "Often, only the bright red emission nebula is shown, but with such a wide field of view, there was also a lot of surrounding dark nebula, which cannot be seen unless you expose the object for a very long time," says Vuorinen.

More fireballs in the coming weeks

26.10. The southern and northern Taurid meteor showers, known for their fireballs, are now active at the same time, thus adding up. In addition, the Taurides may have a now every seven-year increase in activity. At least in 2008 and 2015 significantly more fireballs were observed from the swarm. Taurides are visible until the beginning of December and do not have a clearly distinguishable maximum. Photo by Jari Luomanen.

Partial solar eclipse on 25.10.

25.10. monitoring of the partial solar eclipse that took place was best in the central and northern parts of Finland. In southern Finland, the view of the phenomenon was hampered by a strong cloud cover and rain. Observations about the event are collected using the blackout form . In a successful bonga, the title is chosen Partial solar eclipse . Those caught under the clouds can record a negative observation under the title Maximum eclipse behind the clouds . Photo: Pentti Ketola

A new northern lights phenomenon was found in the sky watcher's reports

24.10. The sky watcher's observations have led to the discovery of a new form of aurora borealis. Red Arc with Diffuse Aurora (RAGDA) was published as a scientific study in the journal JGR Space Physics. In Finland, the new phenomenon is told in Tähdet ja väjä 7/2022. In the initial phase of the research, more than 70 Sky Watch observations were included. When searching for an explanation of the phenomenon, the observations were compared with the data of the researchers' satellite and terrestrial measuring devices. At this point, there were two Skywatch observations and one observation from Canada. In the picture, on the left, RAGDA: On the right, Professor Toshi Nishimura from Boston University and Skywatch developer Emma Bruus. Photos by Heidi Rikala and Carlos Martinis / Stars and space

Aurora borealis and fireball on Sat-Sun night

23.10. On the night between Saturday and Sunday, the northern lights were filmed across the length of the country. Aino Piirainen was on the alert in Rovaniemi in the evening and recorded, as the photo shows, impressive sights. That same night in Utsjoki, Tiina Salonen's video caught a fireball with a strong flash. Elina Penttinen's camera also recorded this in Rovaniemi.

Orionids in the sky

21.10. The picture show meteors from Harri Kiiskinen's meteor camera on the night of 19/20 Oct when the sky only cleared in the morning. "Taking into account the observation times, the camera recorded 7.6 meteors/h on the night between 19-20.10, while the previous night between 18-19.10 there were 3.8 meteors/h," says Kiiskinen. The maximum of the Orionids meteor shower is on Friday 21.10. at 20 Finnish time, but better opportunities for observations are later at night when the radiant is higher.

Less targeted WR 134 as the subject matter

17.10. Rare gems of the deep sky are available again, this time in the form of Jarkko Järvinen's publication. It is the nebula blown by the star WR 134 in Cygnus. Järvinen says he photographed the object for 36 hours. "A total of 12 Gigabytes of data was accumulated, so it took a while to process," he writes. There are only two previous observations of WR 134 in Warden, by Tapio Lahtinen and Erik Pirtala .

Jupiter spectacularly on Thursday

14.10. Jerry Jantunen hasn't been impressed by the conditions for planetary photography this fall, but yesterday "unsually good weather" arrived. While normally Jantunen has managed to stack at most 30% of the video frames, now the seeing in Helsinki was so auspicious that he could use a whopping 90% of the 6700 frames. The result is a sharp Jupiter that also allowed publication in an exceptionally high resolution.

Little photographed nebula with three telescopes

12.10. Erik Pirtala started photographing the Sh2-112, that is located next to Joutsene's head, last spring and continued the work again when the skies darkened in the fall. He says that the 20-hour exposure image is combined data from three telescopes. This is a less frequently visited object. In fact, Pirtala's take on it is the first in Taivaanvahti.

A multiple corona in the sky of Joensuu

12.10. Antti Taskinen photographed spectacular corona ring formations around the Moon in Joensuu on Monday's first hour. Taskinen notes that although usually the appearance of clouds in the sky in the middle of an observation session mostly causes negative feelings, this time the corona formed by them was perhaps the night's best offering. Multiple rings are formed when cloud-droplets are roughly the same size. The two additional images in Taskinen's observation show the changing nature of the phenomenon.

Cranes flew across the Sun

11.10. On Sunday, while doing repairs in the yard, Matti Helin heard the shrieks of cranes and fetched the camera. He also grabbed a solar filter just in case the birds would cross the Sun. Fortune favours the prepared: "At that moment, a crane formation, which I had not noticed, swept over the disk of the sun," writes Helin. "Burst mode to sing and pocket about ten pictures".



On Monday, a Russian rocket launch was visible in the eastern sky

10.10. in the morning Skywatch has received a few observations about the Russian rocket launch. This text will be updated when more pictures and information become available. (Attached photos Jaana Koukkula).

The Moon and Jupiter were close together

9.10. During the night between Saturday and Sunday, a handful of photographers captured the Moon and Jupiter, which were close to each other. Here is Lasse Nurminen's picture from Kaarina. The targets were 3 degrees from each other, on the next night the distance will be increased to more than 10 degrees.

A fine photo of a fireball in Kajaani

9.10. In Kajaani in the evening of 8.10. Taisto Komulainen who was out with his camera and got lucky when a spectacular flight of a fireball was caught on one frame. "I was about to go to another destination, but I continued to take photos with with the remote shutter release, and then a fireball appeared," he writes. Among the twelve observations as of now in Skywarden, there are also two automatic camera recordings.

A cloud border as if drawn with a ruler

6.10. In recent nights, there have been northern lights, but the clouds have plagued. That was also the case in Laitila on Tuesday, where Pirjo Koski writes that the evening was literally hunting for a gap in the clouds. But the gap from which the aurora borealis was then visible turned out to be quite dramatic: the altocumulus cloud raft in the pictures is like being cut with a knife. In Koski's observation are more photos of the evolution of the cloud – of course of the aurora.

Fine reflected cloud rays in Rovaniemi

6.10. On Wednesday morning Olli Sälevä, while taking his car for maintenance in Rovaniemi, saw better-than-usual display of reflected cloud rays. "Perhaps the most impressive show that I have encountered", he writes. The phenomenon requires a light source reflected from the surface of the water, and is therefore much less often seen than normal cloud rays.

A better than usual halos on Monday

3.10. Today Monday southern Finland had a notch better high cloud halo show. Crystal cloud area seems to have been at its best around Tampere, from which Johannes Dahlström's photos are shown on the left and above right. The third photo was taken in the Lohja region by Eero Savolainen . Halo displays of this level in high cloud are typically no longer seen in October.

Heart nebula in restrained tones

3.10. Antti-Jussi Pyykkönen published Heart Nebula, which he had photographed a month ago during one night. The target appears in his interpretations in gentle shades of blue and yellow-green. "For this picture, I also practiced JP Metsävainio 's tone mapping technique and now I realized in practice what a wonderful process it is," he says. The nebula, that is known also as IC 1805, is a popular target with close to a hundred observations in Skywarden.

The Milky Way glowed spectacularly in Rovaniemi

2.10. There have been pictures coming of the Milky Way over the course of late summer and autumn, all the way from Australia. Here is a selection from the domestic photo harvest from the end of September in Rovaniemi. "Captured on a moonless night on a bog frosted by a few below-zero degrees as dim aurora borealis glowed in the northern sky", writes Samuli Rosenberg who took the photo.

A bright fireball illuminated southern Finland

27.9. in the evening at around 20:23 a bright fireball was seen in southern Finland. Observations about the incident can be sent using the fireball form. More than 110 fireball sightings have been received so far, most of which were from Uusimaa. The fireball was also captured by several all-sky cameras. Ursa's fireball team has modeled the trajectory of the object based on the received observations. A small number of meteorites may have ended up in the border area of ​​Vaalimaa (published by Tähdet ja avaruus). Photo: Otto Vehviläinen

Jupiter approaches opposition

21.9. Jupiter is in opposition on 26 September, i.e. directly behind the Earth as seen from the Sun. In opposition, the planet is at its brightest. In the case of Jupiter, oppositions occur every 13 months, and this time the planet is closest to Earth for more than half a century. The picture was taken by Lasse Ekblom in a good seeing window on August 26.

A lone anthelion in Kaarina

18.9. In the morning of 17.9. Hannu Lahtonen was paying attention when he managed to spot a solitary anthelion in the mixed-cloud sky in Kaarina. The phenomenon, when it occurs at low sun elevantion range, is actually part of the diffuse anthelic arc, its brightest core. In a typical situation anthelion is a part of a complex halo display, but Lahtonen does not mention that other halos were in the sky in this case.

The disintegration of Monday's fireball on video

16.9. Several eyewitnesses recounted the Monday evening fireball on 12. September having split into two or three parts. The disintegration was also recorded in the images of the Nyrölä meteor camera. Harri Kiiskinen published a video showing how the fireball gives birth to a dimmer, shortlived fragment. Kiiskinen says that the fireball is visible in the camera images for 11 seconds, but says that the actual flight was longer because the beginning was not recorded on the camera.

Plenty of observations from Monday night's fireball

13.9 . The observatory has already received 59 observations on September 12. from the fireball seen at 21:42. The observations are focused on the southwestern corner of Finland. Several reports say that the fireball split into two or three parts, with estimates of the duration of the phenomenon being mainly around 5-7 seconds. In the photo, the observation of the fireball by the camera of Ursa Kevola observatory in Turku.

2022 was quantitatively the best NLC summer

5.9. Noctilucents were visible on 53 nights, which broke the previous record from the previous year by two. The number of night in June, July, and August were 13, 26, and 14, respectively. June shared the previous record, July was two better and August was one worse. In terms of magnificence, the season may dwarf in comparison to some other years. "Quite plenty of NLC nights, but scantly particularly spectacular ones", writes Markku Ruonala. The shown shot by Satu Juvonen is from the night of 9/10.8.

Good rainbow day 30.8. In Turku

31.8. A bundle of rainbow sightings were made in Turku yesterday. Although the views on the opposite side of the sun were great, Matti Helin's shot of the 3rd and 4th rainbows, that are found on the sun side of the sky, won the selection this time. Good photos are few and far between (especially of the fourth), but in Helin's color channel extracted image segments of these circles stand out exceptionally well. No naked eye observations exists yet, if such an observation ever surfaces, a video clip taken at the same time would autenthicate the claim.

Butterfly nebula in Hubble palette

30.8. IC 1318, or Butterfly nebula, was the opening target for Erik Pirtala's Deep Sky season. "The sun was at its lowest at only 13 degrees, but in narrow band you can get quite usable data from bright objects even if the sky is not completely dark," says Pirtala. The exposure for this much photoraphed object was just under 28 hours. Pirtala used the classic receipe of Hubble palette and RGB stars.

Arc of fog and glory above the fog

25.8. At the dawn of autumn, sightings of fogbow tend to increase. An example this time is a specimen photographed with a drone in Kruunupyy on Wednesday. As a bonus, in the middle where the drone shadow is, is a tiny but distinct glory. The operator was Sami Mutka.

Wall cloud rolled over Kuopio

25.8. The Puijo tower offered a different perspective for seeing a wall cloud. "The cloud was low and seen from above it looked almost unreal," writes Minna Glad, who took the photo yesterday shortly before 6 pm. Soon after, the cloud swallowed her in and heavy rain forced retreat from the viewing platform.


Plenty of lightning on Friday

21.8. Finnish Meteorological Institute says 19.8. was among the top ground lightning days ever recorded in Finland. And the pictures that have been posted in Skywarden are not any the worse. From the images putting it a one better one after another, and evoking even scifistic vibes, is shown here a shot by Pirjo Koski in Laitila on Friday at 03:35.

Noctilucent clouds still kicking

21.8. The last NLCs were heard of was on the night of 12/13.8 and for a while it already seemed like it's a wrap. Anything but! On 20/21.8. Jani Päiväniemi photographed bright NLCs in Kuusamo. When the area of NLC's shrinks further north in late summer, observers in northern Finland always have the opportunity to pick up the season's last ones. In 2021, the final act was on August 23/24.

Recent thunderstorms

18.8. Thunderstorms have been on the offing since Tuesday and according to the forecast this will last until Friday. In Kempele Marko Haapala hopped on his fatbike to welcome the arriving stormfront by the sea. "With the help of a tailwind biking to Vihiluoto happened quite speedily", he says. Several strikes were captured on camera, this one occurred at 20:47.

Diffuse anthelic arcs from an airplane

16.8. Kalle Helenius dug out from the recesses of the desk drawer a nice halo which he had seen from a plane over Estonia on 26 May this year. "Immediately after takeoff, a scan through the cloud layers illuminated by the morning offered about one hundred seconds of halos at the sun's opposite point below the horizon," writes Helenius. It is a rare halo known as the diffuse anthelic arc. In both shown pictures the shadow of the airplane can be distinquished at the central spot.

Fireball on Tuesday just after midnight

16.8. On Tuesday at 00:07 a bright fireball flew across the sky. Of the 21 sightings that have come to Skywarden so far two are photographic. Based on Ari Jokinen's two sky cameras, the duration of the fireball was 7 seconds, the brightness that of the full moon. Several eyewitnesses say that the fireball broke into pieces at the end, and Jokinen writes that this can also be seen in the camera images. You can watch the flight of the fireball on Vesa Puistovaara's video.

Starlink satellites' pearl string

15.8. There have been more than 20 sightings of the Starlink satellites line seen at 2:07 on Sunday, but fewer where the satellites appear as separate points. In Samuli Vuorinen's photo, the individual satellites stand out. Watch also the video in Vuorinen's observation. Taivaanvahti has one visual observation of the same line of satellites the following night at 2:30 am.

Weather favors observations of Perseids

15.8. Clear skies allowed the Perseids to be seen on both sides of maximum on several nights. Based on the observations of Harri Kiiskinen's meteor camera, the night after the predicted maximum night 12/13.8. was even better. Of the three Perseids in the picture collage, the upper ones come from Matias Takala, the lower one from Jari Luomanen. The green color is visible in the initial phase when the meteor starts to burn up in the atmosphere.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket was seen on Saturday

13.8. In terms of getting plenty of footage, the timing of SpaceX's rocket launch couldn't have been better as it happened on the night of Perseids maximum. There are currently in Skywarden half a hundred sightings from the southern coast to Rovaniemi of this phenomenon that was seen seen for a couple of minutes shortly before 2 am in Saturday. Here are pictures by Jari Luomanen (left) and Esa-Pekka Isomursu from Tampere and Oulu.

August full Moon photos

12.8. Moon looming low at the horizon is always an evocative sight. Here is a selection of views of the full moon that have arrived at Skywarden in the last few days. The blue background photos were taken by Tuomas Salo, top left by Kari Hassisen and bottom right by Mikko Peussa .

In July, halo variety was on the cards

11.8. Although there were a commendable number of 29 halo days in July (variation 22-30 in 2012-2021), the number of different halo forms remained low as only eleven were seen (variation 16-25). Rarities were observed on five days (variation 1-13), in four cases they were 23° plate arcs, in one case 120° parhelion. Petri Martikainen was the most active rarity observer, catching them on 4 days (his photo here shows 23° plate arc). Paula Mattila and Jukka Oravisaari caught most often halos, on 19 and 12 days.

Plenty of planets photographed

11.8. Close-up portraits of the planets have been coming to Skywarden since mid-July. The pictures of Tauno Ihalainen, Antti Taskinen and Ari Haavisto have been selected, from top down, for Saturnus. Ihalainen's picture of Jupiter is on the top right, Taskinen's picture below it and Lasse Ekblom's picture on the left - whose production also includes a picture of Mars.

The darkening nights kick off the DS season

9.8. The exercises for the deep sky season started in Finland in the last days of July and more pictures have arrived in August. The pictured North America nebula was photographed by Eemil Pietilä on August 8. in Järvenpää. The picture has an exposure of about one and a half hours. "I had to throw some of the pictures away, because at around 1 a.m. a light layer of clouds appeared in the sky," tells Pietilä about the conditions during the night.

NLCs and aurora borealis

8.8. After the summer break, the first northern lights were seen on the night between Sunday and Monday. There are 25 observations so far. At the same time noctilucent clouds were also visible, although the cloud area was so llimited that some of the observers referred to them in singular. Attached is Pirjo Koski's picture of the view in Laitila at 1.30 am.

ISS passed across the Moon

6.8. In Ulvila, Vesa Puistovaara tried to photograph the Moon transit of the International Space Station on Thursday. The narrow field of view of the equipment did not allow for mistakes, but everything went according to plan when at 16:20 the ISS passed across the image field. The event was over quickly: Puistovaara says the transit lasted about 0.2 seconds. "The appearance of the object is not first-class, mostly pixelated, but I think I succeeded quite well," he says.

Three views of the Sun on Thursday

5.8 A humdinger of a protuberance got observers pointing their telescopes towards the Sun on Thursday. "A such a memorable sight on the surface of our nearby star", writes Petrus Kurppa, who took the middle photo. On the left is a shot by Tapio Lahtinen and on the right by Santeri Peltola. Kurppa states that as the solar maximum approaches, eruptions of this class will be seen relatively often.

July continued the record-breaking NLC summer

4.8. The good rate of NLCs in June continued into July as well. Sightings came from 26 nights, which is two more than the previous record from last year. August has started with nightly observations, so 2022 may well in the end be the quantitatively best summer so far. Shown is a photo by Markku Ruonala from the night of July 30.

The Perseids are already visible

4.8. The first Perseids have been photographed. Harri Kiiskinen's meteor camera registered six members of the shower in the night between August 2nd and 3rd. This year the maximum is timed quite well for Finland as it is expected to take place at 4 am local time on August 13. On the other hand, the Moon which is full on 11. August will interfere.

Rocket launch late Monday night

2.8. Half an hour before midnight on Monday, a rocket launch was visible in the sky. It was a Soyuz rocket that took the Kosmos-2558 satellite into space. Shown is the other one of the two observations currently in Taivaanvahti, a photo taken by Mika Jormakka in Saari at 23:34.

Lenticular clouds in the Turku sky

1.8. Layered Lenticular clouds were seen in Turku on Monday, as shown by the close-up portrait of one such cloud by Mikko Peussa. "Lenticular clouds, which are rarely seen in the Turku region, had spread over a wide area today, and a few were quite spectacular," writes Peussa.

Skies darken as NLC season peaks

30.7. The darkening nights are starting to bring drama to the NLCs in southern Finland. Janne Pellikka photographed these clouds on Friday around 1 a.m. in Järvenpää. At the turn of August, the season's end inevitably is starting to loom in the horizon. Last year the last display was seen on the night of August 23/24, which was unusually late. Typically, the final show is between the 10th and 20th of August.

Thunderstorms on July 22 and 23

23.7. Thunder fronts swept across the southern half of Finland during Friday and Saturday. The picture shows the first observation of the episode in Taivaanvahti, Satu Rajamäki's shot of lightning in Vaasa in the early hours of Friday.

Noctilucend are starting to look better

18.7. The noctilucent cloud season is approaching its peak at the turn of July and August, and the level of displays is clearly improving. These were photographed by Matias Takala in Hamina on Sunday night. "In the end, I decided to ride up to the observation site," writes Takala, who first thought of taking pictures with his phone and then go to sleep. In July, noctilucent clouds have been seen up until now on 14 nights, which is three nights more than in the last year's record abundant summer.

Upward streamers were caught in Nurmes

14.7. Among the latest thunderstorm harvest in Taivaanvahti is this lightning strike, which Eero Karvinen photographed in Nurmes shortly before midnight on Tuesday. In the close-up faint, short streaks of light stand up from water surface next to the main strike. These are upwards streamers which were "left on the shore" by not managing to connect with the downward leader.

A corkscrew rose from the Sun

11.7. It seems like there a dress rehearsal in the sun for the coming up maximum, writes Petrus Kurppa. During his solar photo-session in Turku on Sunday, he caught on the sun's edge a spiral of an eruption from which subsequently plasma precipitated back down into the chromosphere. "It was amazing to watch this on the computer screen as a climax of about 15-20 minutes," says Kurppa. A video of the eruption can be found in Kurppa's observation.

Recent rainbow sightings

10.7. July has spawned nice rainbow specialties. On the upper left, Petri Martikainen's picture of the 3rd and 4th rainbow. Next to it, Reima Eresmaa's catch of the top of the reflection rainbow. It has only been seen once before in Finland. Underneath it, Mikko Peussa's special feature, where next to the segment primary rainbow, there is a secondary reflection rainbow without the "mother bow". Peussa's handwriting is also the second lower picture. There is nothing special about it except that the show is exceptionally well formed.

Mammatus and a shelf cloud in the southwest

10.7. Saturday was an excellent day for mammatus clouds in southwestern Finland. Attached are pictures of the phenomenon by Mikko Peussa, Tero Lehtonen and Kimmo Harjunpää. "The view was a bit like something from a fairy tale and the redness was strong," writes Peussa, whose photo at sunset is on the upper left. In addition, Matti Helin caught a handsome storm cloud with lightning.

Lightning in Turku on Tuesday

6.7. Storms have swept across our country during Tuesday and Wednesday. Paula Mattila was receiving the first ones on the small hours of Tuesday in Turku. "A nice, long-lasting early morning thunder, the second half of which I could watch from the upstairs balcony," she writes. As a memento of the night, she got a photo of lightning cutting the dark landscape.

Halowise, June was unremarkable

5.7. Rarities were see on 4 days and 15 different halo forms were reported. When the range for these metrics in the 10 previous years is 2-12 for the former and 10-33 for the latter, there was no rush in June. Most active observers were Paula Mattila and Jukka Oravasaari. They spotted haloes on 19 and 13 days respectively. When looking at all observations, halos were seen in Finland on June on 26 days (variation 25-29).

Thunderstorms on Sunday

4.7. The second day of thunder in a row hit this time northern Finland and the eastern flank of our country. Eero Karvinen, who stationed himself on Sunday in the observation tower in upper Valtimo, says that the lightning was mainly cloud lightning. But he also caught a few handsome strikes to the landscape below.

Plenty of noctilucent clouds in June

4.7. The summer of noctilucent clouds is rolling along nicely. They were seen last month on 13 nights, which represents the highest number in the statistics of 26 years. However, the record is shared, as this much noctilucents were captured in June in 2018 and 2019 as well. Last year's excellent noctilucent cloud summer accumulated one less night in the same period. The photo is by Pertti Arpalahti in the early hours of the morning 27.6 in Helsinki.

A drone photo of Saturday's thunderstorm rainwall

3.7. One of the Skywarden phenomenon categories is rainwall. Judging by the photos taken by Timo Alanko, these come into their own best when a drone is used. The shown rainwall in Vaasa was from latest thunderstorm on 2 July. As Markku Siljama states in the comment on Alanko's observation, drone photos show the proportions of things.

Wednesday storm on the west coast

1.7. On Wednesday, a handful of spotters were greeting the thunderstorms that rose over the west coast area. The high price of gasoline forced Pirjo Koski and Riku Poskiparta to station themselves in the neighbor's barn in Laitila, but as you can see from the picture, the decision was not bad. "It must be said that it was a quite an incredible day here in the southwest, so far thunders has circled Laitila from far away," the observers write.

Good crepuscular rays Friday night

26.6. A surprisingly large number of observations of twilight rays was reported to Skywarden on the Friday night. The slightly less frequently reported component of the phenomenon opposite the sun is called the anticrepuscular rays. Mikko Luoto got a great picture of them on Friday at 23:40 pm from a ski resort tower in Vaasa.

A notch better case of reflected cloud rays

21.6. On the night between Monday and Tuesday, Kuusamo's summer night painted the underside of the cloud deck with splendid reflected cloud rays, that rank easily among the top examples of the phenomon in Taivaanvahti. The photo was taken by Jani Päiväniemi in Juuma. Cloud rays are alternations of light and shadow, the rarer reflected type arising from light whose immediate source is reflection from water surface.

Sun in three ways

20.6. "Our near-star with three different wavelengths, which is dubbed the 'trifecta' among sun enthusiasts," says Petrus Kurppa of his photo. Calcium II K on the left, in the middle full spectrum of visible light, on the right Hydrogen alpha. The wavelength of hydrogen alpha 656 nm is in the deep red part of the spectrum, while the wavelength of calcium II K 393 nm is close to ultraviolet.

The first night thunderstorms captured

19.6. On the night between Saturday and Sunday, the first night thunderstorms of the season roarred over southern Finland. A couple of observers had set off with their cameras, Petri Mäkinen's picture show lightning in Masku immediately after midnight. "It was great to watch" says Mäkinen.

Pine pollen corona in the Rautalampi evening

18.6. After the lame birch pollen coronas this year, the season always ends with the always dependable pine. The first observation came from Turku on June 1, and more observations are still being reported to Skywarden. Among the best of the collection is this sunset pollen corona, which Vesa Vauhkonen photographed on June 10 in Joutenlahti of Rautalampi.

First noctillucent clouds seen

7.6. The noctillucent clouds seen on the night between Monday and Tuesday were noticed at least in Vantaa, Helsinki and Porvoo. Attached is Pentti Arpalahti's picture of Helsinki near midnight. The start date can be described as typical, the earliest start in 25-year statistics is May 7, the latest June 27. Last year offered an excellent noctillucent cloud summer, let's follow how this summer will turn out.

An elongated hole punch cloud on Sunday

6.6. A champion hole punch cloud is round but sometimes no curved shape is visible, instead the cloud is straight. This is what was seen by Pia Simonen in Orimattila on Sunday. In particular in such cases there is reason to suspect that aeroplane has caused the freezing, and this is what indeed seems have happened here: "The direction of the cloud is northeast of Hki-Vantaa, which would match the Kuopio plane that flew earlier," writes Simonen.

April and May halo comparison

5.6. May was clearly better than April this year. Rarities were seen on 6 days in April, 11 days in May. The number of different halo forms caught was respectively 18 and 25. Total halo days were respectively 28 and 30. Compared to the previous ten years, April 2022 had low number of rarity days (variation 4-15), while May was the best so far (variation 3-10). In the picture are halos seen in Korsnäs by Jukka Kotiranta on 29 April.

Roll clouds and pine pollen coronas

5.6. In the last few days, a few roll cloud observations have arrived in the SkyWarden, shown is an individual seen by Jyrki Turunen in Pyhtää on 4 June. Jani Päiväniemi in turn photographed picturesque Undulatus asperitas clouds in Kuusamo on the first day of June. And Mikko Peussa's sample from Turku shows that the time for pine pollen coronas is at hand.

Dust devil well on a dye field

29.5. Dry weather in the spring brings out nicely whirlwinds when the hit on a field. This case was recorded on 25 May In Kokkola Tony Furubacka. He says the phenomenon lasted about a minute.

Reflection rainbow from front and back reflections

29.5. On Saturday night, Minna Järvenpää hit on a rarer type of rainbow in Lappeenranta. The specialty of the picture is the reflection rainbow, which in itself is a rare sight. But it is made even more exceptional because the arc is caused by light reflected from both the front and back of the observer. Normally only the reflection rainbow born in the former way which results in a segment occuring below the plane of the sun is seen, not the segment of the arc above the plane of the sun which is born the latter way.

The Sun during lunch breaks

27.5. Tommi Ropponen has used work breaks for taking impressive photographs of the Sun. Shown is his take during lunch on May 24th. "Weather was just ok and if I had had time to shoot material for the animation, the result would certainly have been impressive," says Ropponen. High resolution images can be found on Astrobin.

Great halos in the sky on Wednesday and Thursday

20.5. On Wednesday, fine halos were seen mainly in Muurame and Jämsä. From the latter location on the right is an image by Petri Martikainen showing Wegener arc. On Thursday, in southwestern Finland an exceptionally good odd radius displays was visible as shown by Lasse Nurminen's picture. The quality is also indicated by the fact that some observers saw the 35° halo with the naked eye. Normally, this halo is only detected in the images afterwards.

Deep sky from southern Europe

17.5. Two observations from southern lands. On the left, an image by Otto Vehviläinen from the area of Antares and Rho Ophiuchi "in completely dark sky" in Madeira. On the right, UGC 9749, or Ursa Minor Dwarf Galaxy, photographed by Tapio Lahtinen with Spanish remote telescope in the Fregenal de la Sierra. "I've photographed some of these Milky Way dwarf galaxies, and now in the spring I saw a picture of this rather challenging galaxy online," Lahtinen explains the background for his photo.

Lightning in Nurmes started the season

16.5. The first lightning strikes in the spring were reported to Skywarden on Sunday, when Eero Karvinen got a few pictures in Nurmes. Coincidentally, 15 May was also the first lightning day last year in Warden. Of course, lightning has been seen much earlier in some years, even in January. These are caught on film much less often, but the lightning that took place on 13 January 2012 in Mikkeli was captured by Aki Taavitsainen's fireball camera.

Recent events in the lower atmosphere

14.5 . The birch pollen corona photographed by Petri Martikainen in Juva on the 13th is the summer's first from this tree. On the same day, Kati Pursiainen noticed a fine mammatus in Helsinki, where also a first-class rainbow was visible. This observation was left by Terhi Hirviniemi, who says the picture was taken by her child. And the day before, Antero Ahola reported the season's first roll cloud to Taivaanvahti at the bird tower in Jyväskylä.

A significant elliptical halo observation from Juva

10.5. A long-awaited high-quality time-lapse of an elliptical halo occurrence has finally been obtained, thanks to the pictures taken by Petri Martikainen in Juva yesterday. The pictures show how the display lives continuously: the size of the ellipse changes and sometimes two of them appear. Of course, we have seen indications of such behaviour before. But now the blocker series Martikainen took made it possible for the first time to accurately align the images with respect to the Sun and thus allow follow in much more detail the evolution of the display.

Nebulas in the Orion constellation

5.5. Orion's area is featured in this picture by Eemil Pietilä, to which he added on top of an earlier data a couple of hours more exposure in April. "Actually, the results of those nights in the beginning of April were the most surprising, I didn't expect them to add much more to the picture," Pietilä writes. Three bright stars mark Orion's belt. In the vicinity of the lowest Alnitak you can see the Flame Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula. On the right is Orion's the Orion nebula M42.

Mercury and the Moon close together

3.5. The encounter between Mercury and the Moon seen yesterday has made a few observations in Skywarden. Tapio Lahtinen took the picture at 22:20 at the Tampere Ursa Observatory, where a small group had gathered to watch the event. The celestial bodies were about 2.5 degrees apart.

April 25 fireball was likely space junk

2.5. According to the analysis, the fireball that appeared near midnight on April 25 at 00.54 has apparently been space debris, comments Markku Siljama from Ursa's fireball team. According to eyewitness observations, the subject disintegrated into several parts, in one video its slow passage takes about 15 seconds. "It came from the west, hit the atmosphere around Seinäjoki and bounced back into space around Pieksämäki," writes Siljama, who said that space debris had a speed of more than 8 km / s. The picture is from Harri Kiiskinen.

Subhelic arc in Juva, elliptical halo in Turku

2.5. The turn of the month began with a notch harder-to-reach halorarities. On 30 April a strip of better halo activity extended from around Korsnäs to the Juva region. In the latter, Petri Martikainen bagged the subhelic arc (arrow in the right picture), which in recent years has been caught a few times a year. On May Day, Paula Mattila happened on a brief elliptical halo occurrence in Turku (left picture). Both rarities mark their first sightings in 2022.

Conjuncture of Venus and Jupiter in the daytime sky

1.5 . Venus and Jupiter have just been in conjunction. The distance between the planets was at minimum 0.2 degrees, which is less than half of the 0.5 degree angular diameter of the Moon. Since the planets did not appear in the night sky in Finland, Eeva-Kaisa Ahlamo picked them up from the day sky on May Day. Attached is a picture he took in Turku at 11.20, at when the distance between the planets was 0.3 degrees. “The duo was found bafflingly easily by measugin with finger from the sun and horizon”, Ahlamo writes.

An exemplary punch hole cloud in Vantaa

1.5. On the eve of May Day, two pairs of eyes in Vantaa caught a representative example of a punch hole cloud. On the left Kristiina Varttinen's picture of the phenomenon, on the right Jimi Aulonen's. The circular freezing of a cloud of water droplets occurred in a typical manner in altocumulus, and in the center of the opening is seen ice-crystalline cirrus cloud from this process.

The spring's first rainbow

30.4. After two rainbow days in January, there has been complete silence in the Skywarden, but now an observation has been made of the spring's first rainbow. On Thursday, Markku Ruonala saw a fine rainbow in Valkeakoski half an hour before sunset. Since 2012, the highest number of April rainbows has been reported in Vahti in 2016, when they were seen on 10 days. In 2019, on the other hand, no observations were made.

The rocket launch from Plesetsk was visible in the Finnish sky

29.4. at about 11 p.m., a rocket phenomenon related to the launch of the Plesetsk cosmodrome was seen. The Angra 1.2 rocket launched at least one military satellite into the sky. The rocket phases and the spherical exhaust cloud were monitored over a wide area . The picture in the news is a sample of Ismo Komulainen from Sotkamo.

Miraging in Kustavi

25.4. "A better than average mirage day", says Pekka Parviainen about the conditions on April 21st on the rocky shores of Kustavi. This time there were also superior mirages which, according to Parviainen, are so rare that despite active monitoring, you can go all year without a single decent show. Parviainen photographed mirages also the day before.

Lyrids captured by the Nyrölä meteor camera

23.4 . The maximum of the lst observable meteor shower in Finland before the summer break, Lyridis, was just recently. Harri Kiiskinen published compilation images from the Nyrölä meteor camera from last three nights. On the the Wed-Thu night, auto-detection found 5 lyrids, the next night 10 and the following night 8. The operation time on all nights was about four hours. The image shown is a sum image of meteors on Thu-Fri night.

Nice sunspot groups visible now

21.4. The spectacular sunspot groups 2993 and 2994 on the surface of sun are now for a front-row seat view, as shown by these photos that Antti Taskinen took yesterday in Joensuu. The spots are not just looking impressive – they have spewed strong X-class flares that have caused radio blackouts in Asia and Australia.

Comets are getting dimmer

21.4. "Almost all observable comets are on their way out and the brightness curves point downwards," writes Harri Kiiskinen. On the evening of April 18, Kiiskinen photographed six comets using the Hankasalmi Observatory telescope. One of these is brightening, though, the ZTF discovered in 2020. Currently at about 14 magnitude, it is projected rise over 10 mag in December. Kiiskinen says he photograped in all 18 comets during the winter.

All-sky display in Kajaani

18.4. On Saturday, better-than-usual halo display was visible in the central and eastern parts of the country. The views seem to have been best in Kajaani, where Juho Pöllänen (picture) spotted a full parhelic circle with nice 120° parhelia. This rarity was also captured by Jarmo Moilanen in Vaala.

A group of sunspots drifting from behind the edge

18.4. "A large group turning out from behind the edge," wrote Marko Myllyniemi, whose picture of  the Sun on Sunday at 10.05 am is on the left. Almost exactly 24 hours later, in the picture taken by Harri Kiiskinen, the sunspot group has already become better visible. "The sky was cloudless for a while and I used it to take a few pictures of the Sun with a 3D-printed SolEx spectral heliograph," says Kiiskinen.

Auriga targets at the end of the DS season

7.4. Several objects from the constellation Auriga are on display in Erik Pirtala's newest deep space image. These are the Flaming Star Nebula IC405, Tadpole Nebula IC 410, Spider Nebula IC 417 Fly Nebula NGC1931. The last one, visible at the bottom right of the image, is also referenced as a miniature version of Orion Nebula. "Amongst the last projects of the photography season," Pirtala writes. He collected exposure for a total of 28 hours in the image.

Haloh April started with basic halos

The Atmospheric Optical Phenomena Group is once again running the traditional Haloh April campaign . During the month, it is planned to actively detect and describe as many visible halo phenomena as possible and report them to the Sky Guard. This time the campaign has started nicely. In the early days of April, there will already be ice ice in artificial lights and cloud clouds in the Sun. Photos by Mikko Peussa 3.4. and Ella Ervasti 4.4.

March surprised with the number of halo rarities

1.4. March was exceptional in halo displays with rare halos. Rarities caused almost exclusively by pyramidal crystals were photographed on eight days and two night. Much of these numebrs are thanks to Petri Martikainen, who was the sole photographer of rarities in five displays. Photos Martikainen, Tero Sipinen, Panu Lahtinen, Jukka and Aapo Ruoskanen.

Galaxies M81 and M82 in the IFN background

30.3. When Samuli Vuorinen aimed at the galaxies M82 and M81 during three March nights, the intention was to capture them embedded in the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN). These dim clouds on the outer edge of our galaxy are not illuminated by the individual stars of the Milky Way, but by the common light of the stars of the entire galaxy. "It did turn out surprisingly well in the end", says Vuorinen of his photo, which has 13 hours of exposure.

Monday's fireball ended in Ladoga

21.3. the modeling of the bright ball seen has been completed. The results were reported by the Stars and Space magazine. According to modeling by Ursa's fireball team, the meteoroid survived a 100-gram main body and several smaller bodies. The initial mass was estimated to be 10-20 pounds. According to Jaakko Visuri , the fireball working group, the meteoroid's solar system was of a rare type. Unfortunately, the flight of the fireball took it across the eastern border and the space stones were lost to Ladoga.

Gorgeous fireball on Monday night

21.3. more than a hundred observations have already been made of the fireball seen at 8:03 p.m. "At the end of the flight, it flashed yellow and went out. A very impressive sight," described Ari Jolkkonen from Joensuu. The findings focus on Taivaanvahti's updated map south of Oulu. Pictured is a photo of a fireball from Harri Kiiskinen 's Ursa fireball team.

Bottlinger's rings in diamond dust

22.3. A remarkable halo observation has come from Ylläs. In the pictures Jaana Koivikko took on 22 February, the subsun sun that is cut off by the slope has two "hoods". These are Bottlinger's rings. Although the phenomenon itself is very rare, this observation is made special by the fact that the image was taken from the ground in diamond dust and the light source is sun. Bottlingers are seen practically only in middle clouds virga from an airplane. One previous observation is in diamond dust, but that was a special instance of the phenomenon in outdoor lights.

Pollen coronas came record early

21.3. The first pollen coronas in 2022 were caught by Lasse Nurminen (pictured) in Raisio and Matias Takala in Helsinki on March 17th. This start is the earliest in Taivaanvahti, and with a good margin at that, as the previous record date shared by years 2017 and 2019 was March 23rd. Vahti has pictures of pollen coronas since 2003. Early spring pollen coronas are most likely from alder.

More aurora observations from the turn of the week

16.3. Plenty more pictures of the northern lights on the night between Sunday and Monday have been published in Skywarden. There are now 74 observations from Muonio to the southern coast of the country. In the animation korona is fluttering in Kontiolahti as photographed by Karri Pasanen. “I threw myself on my back on the snow and got to enjoy the finest northern lights show in many years,” he writes.

Lobster claw nebula from moonlit sky

16.3. There are fewer observations of the deep space object Sh2-157 or Lobster claw nebula. Eerik Pirtala took this object on the border of Cassiopeia and Cepheus as his latest target now in March, collecting data for 25 hours. “Photographed entirely over the past week, growing and almost full moon,” he says.

Northern lights last night all the way to the south

14.3. On the night between Sunday and Monday, it was possible to see the northern lights from southern Lapland to Turku. Currently 22 observers have submitted reports to Skywarden. Attached are photos of Voitto Pitkänen and Jani Päiväniemi from Kuusamo. Pitkänen says that the aurora filled the whole sky. “Great to watch”, he notes.

Geostationary satellites in two ways

7.3. Geostationary satellites follow the rotation of the earth and thus remain seemingly stationary in the sky. Pekka Parviainen published an illustrative pair of images showing them with and without star tracking. Parviainen says that he has been photographing geostationaries for 28.5 years. "Maybe many are the same eyes lurking there from year to year, but by some compulsion I need to check them every fall and spring."

Odd radius halos in southern Finland

6.3. One of the signs of spring in celestial phenomena is the appearance of multi-form odd radius displays. This year's first was spotted yesterday in Kouvola by Tero Sipinen and by Petri Martikainen in Juva. The picture shows a stack made by the latter. Although no top rarities can be seen, the 9 and 24° upper parhelia deserve a mention.

A friend's data helped to flesh out the Lower's nebula

4.3. Erik Pirtalan's latest project, Sh2-261 or Lower's nebula, got finalized with a help from a friend. He got six hours of an unused narrowband data from 2018, photographed by Jari Saukkonen. "There was some work in combining the data that had been taken with different focal lenght and exposures, but the sharp data was of a great help", says Pirtala, who himself photographed the nebula for 13,5 hours.

Surface halo in Liperi

2.3. On the last day of February, Antti Taskinen photographed a fine surface halo in Liperi. He noticed the phenomenon as, attracted by the sunny weather, he made a stop at a lake on his way home. "It was nice to watch a little longer," Taskinen writes. This is 22° halo. It is confined to the horizon because the crystals on the surface favor a certain orientation. Taskinen's observation has images of a broader view.

A bright fireball was seen on Sunday night

28.2. There are 36 observations in Taivaanvahti of the fireball seen at 19:59 yesterday. A handful of the sightings came from behind the steering wheel, and one dashboard camera video is also available. Sami Korkeamäki, who was driving in Huhmarkoski, says that the firefight lasted 2-3 seconds and disintegrated into three or four parts before going out. Attached is a photo from Harri Kiiskinen's meteor camera which shows the fireball through a thin cloud cover in Jyväskylä.

Zodiac light shines in the sky at the dawn of spring

21.2. There have been rare observations of zodiac light since January 22, when Pirjo Koski opened the season in Laitila. This is a phenomenon that betokens spring. Although there are individual photos in Taivaanvahti from autumns, in the last three years all observations have been made during January-April. This picture of the zodiac was taken by Lasse Nurminen on Sunday night in Naantali.

Quintuple lunar corona in Joensuu

14.2. Antti Taskinen says that the northern lights remained dim on the night between Saturday and Sunday, but it was nice to watch the corona around the moon. “The coronas I have seen in the past have been modest compared to this,” he writes. And no wonder, for it is rarely that one can seen in the sky coronas with as many as five colored rings. According to Taskinen, there may be even a sixth faint rings in the processed image.

Moon crashing rocket stage was visible in the sky

10.2. According to predictions, on March 4, the Moon will be hit by a part of SpaceX's rocket that has been in space for 7 years. Tapio Lahtinen says there has been call for observations before the collision and he managed to photograph the object in Tampere on February 9 at 00:50, when the weather suitably cleared after midnight. Lahtinen says the distance to the rocket stage was 50,000 kilometers.

Slow flight of a fireball in the twilight sky

7.2. Jorma Kuusela has published a video of a bolide captured by an automatic camera in Utsjoki on February 1. "After Panu Lahtinen's observation, I checked my own camera and it had hit good," he writes, referring to Lahtinen's earlier observation from Inari. The fireball appeared at 4.50 pm and was exceptionally long lasting. Kuusela says it is seen in the video 10.5 seconds before disappearing behind a tree.

Orion belt items

6.2. Aleksi Ruotsila published views of the surroundings of Alnitak, the easternmost star in Orion's belt. The hallmark of the area is the Horse Head Fog visible in the middle. Alnitak shines as the brightest star in the image, just to the left of it, and below it is the Flame Nebula, NGC 2024. The image was collected by Ruotsila last spring and October for a total of 5 hours.

Subsun in a light ice chrystals as seen from the air

4.2. Some diamond dust halos can be easily observed from the air. On Thursday in Juva, there was a light precipitation of ice crystals, with a weak sun pillar visible individual glitter, writes Petri Martikainen. As Martikainen lifted his drone into the air, at a height of 120 meters a decent subsun solidified out of this diamond dust.

Monkey head nebula and Dolphin nebula

2.2. Two latest deep sky publications in Skywarden are NCG 2174 or Monkey head nebula (left) and Sh2-308 or Dolphin nebula. The former was photographed by Tomi Kurri on 28 January, the target was new to him. The latter is Tapio Lahtisen's improved version of his earlier image with Spanish remote telescope. "I wasn't happy with the result so I took more exposure", he writes.

An evening with 10 comets

30.1. During one single evening, Harri Kiiskinen tried to photograph all the comets that were visible in more than 20 degrees hight. The operation was carried out 25.1. within an hour and a half with the remote controlled telescope of the Hankasalmi observatory. Kiiskinen says that unexpected brightenings or break-ups make observing interesting. "You never know what's going to happen next to the comet." The image is of one of the night's main targets, comet C / 2019 L3 (ATLAS), visible in the constellation of Gemini.

Rainbow is the hardest to come by in February

30.1. Jussi Koponen saw the pictured rainbow in Kuopio yesterday. What Skywarden's statistics tell about the occurrence of these rare winter rainbows in Finland? From November to March, February comes out as the month with least rainbows. Only five occurrences are found in the last eleven winters. The title of the month with second least rainbows is shared between December, January and March, each with 10 rainbow days. November's number is 21.

Nacreous clouds with northern lights in Muonio

27.1. Jani Laasanen, while returning from a shopping trip on January 25 in Muonio, photographed a simultaneous occurrence of nacreous cloud and northern lights. It is possible that this is the first such image taken. In general, this day and the one before it were good nacreous cloud days, observations were made all over Finland, but mainly in the northern half.

James Webb telescope at its destination

27.1. The James Webb telescope performed an engine burnout on Monday at 9 p.m., which parked it at its destination on an orbit around the L2 point. On Tuesday night, Jorma Ryske photographed the telescope in Artjärvi, it is shown as a moving point in the accompanying 15-minute animation. "It's already dim, the brightness of the JWST measured from the image is mag 17.34," writes Ryske. Also Arto Oksanen photographed the telescope on the same evening.

Impressive mother of pearl clouds in Enontekiö

18.1. The second PSC period of the winter began on Sunday, reports of clouds have come from Juva to Utsjoki. The picture below is from the finest show that Merja Paakkanen watched in Enontekiö on Monday. The first period took place a month ago on 15-17 December. Additionally, a single occurrence of PSC's was photographed on 23 December.

The best northern lights play in the winter brought even dunes

14.-15.1. Almost the whole of Finland experienced the northernmost play of northern lights so far. Some of the observers were able to see the rare northern lights, which provided more data to help the researchers. Congratulations to everyone who photographed the dunes. At the maximum stage of the play, the northern lights chandelier, which dominated the sky, was active and the sky was more than half covered by a fire. (Photo by Ida Andersson)

Intersection of Minnaert cigar on snow

12.1. Lasse Nurminen photographed a surface 22° halo with bright lamp. Instead of the lower part of the 22° halo around the lamp, a closed loop appears on the snow. This is the cut surface of a three-dimensional 22° halo called also as Minnaert cigar, and created due to the divergent light of the lamp. Nurminen's video shows how the loop of the 22 ° halo shrinks as he walks closer to the lamp and disappears when Minnaert's cigar no longer touches the snow surface.

Pioneering Finnish halo statistics from 2021

11.1. Petri Martikainen took it as his task to stack all halo display he saw last year. The stacked image typically brings out halos that are invisible to the human eye and one could say it tells the "truth" of the display. Now, based on theses stacks, Martikainen has published the numbers for individual halo occuurrences. The work is first of its kind in Finland and as an unique addition, Martikainen's list comes also with a comparison to what was visible to the naked eye.

A long-lasting smoke trail captured by meteor camera

10.1. Timo Kantola published a video of a shooting star and the long-lived smoketrail it left behind on 15 November last year. "What makes the case interesting is that the smoke of the meteorite can be observed in the pictures for about 20 minutes," writes Kantola, who wonders what material the meteor might have been.

Two images of Heart nebula

10.1. Here are two most recent views of the Heart Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. On the left Antti Taskinen's early December, on the right Erik Pirtala's recent photo. 40 hours of exposure and 17 shooting nights broke Pirtala's previous records. “I was able to use automation to capture individual frames from small openings over several nights,” he writes. Taskinen gathered light for his image during one night, 8 hours in total.

A great night of Northern Lights 8/9 Jan

9.1. Observers were pumped up about the aurora show on Saturday night. Jari Ylioja, who took the image, says this was one of the best sets he has seen. “The bright substorm lasted almost an hour,” he writes. Some, who were under overcast skies but saw the promising satellite data, managed to see the lights after a car chase for a gap in the cloud.

Bright fireball in the evening of 6 January

7.1. As of now, there are 37 sightings of this Thursday night fireball in Vahti. Observation times vary, probably it was seen between 7:15 and 7:20 pm. A few people report a strong flash. "The finest fireball I've ever seen because of that brightening / explosion," writes Eija Saarni from Loppi. Despite abundant observations, no photographs of have yet surfaced.

A quartet of deep sky objects

4.1.Erik Pirtala fitted four different types of objects in the picture he exposed on midwinter nights. The center is dominated by a dark nebula Barnard 175 with a reflection nebula vdB 152 at its apex. In the lower right is the old planetary nebula DeHt-5. The red strands are supernova remnant SNR 110.3 + 11.3, which at 1300 light-years away from us is one of the closest of tis kind. Exposure time is 22 hours.

Patterned northern light in Sodankylä

4.1. Ritva Metsälampi saw in Sodankylä's Sattanen a peculiar aurora formation on 3. January. "Turbulent aurora began to emerge from the horizon, which quickly grew into a long segment which seemed to have several individual spherical parts", she writes. The attached images, which are taken at 00:28:28, 00:28:40 and 00:29:01, show the phenomenon's progression. In the last picture of the sequence on the right, the patterning has already disappeared. Exposures are 2.5 seconds.

Zeniitti 5/2021: Asteroids and satellite triangles

The last Zeniitti online magazine in 2021 was published on New Year's Eve. The magazine serves information about the Finland 100 Asteroids project, the lunar eclipse in November, satellite triangles and observations from the lunar terminator.  Images: Tähtikallio Observation Group, Mikko Peussa and Jari Kankaanpää.

Quadrandites peak tonight not interfered by moon

3.1. On the other hand, the cloud situation does not look auspicious. But should there be opening, a good time to watch is at 11 pm local time, which is the predicted maximum. The calculated number of shooting stars under optimal conditions is then 120. The peak is sharp, the time when the number of meteorides is more than half the maximum is only 4 hours long. Moon is not a problem because new moon was 2. Jan. In the photo are shooting stars captured by Satu Juvonen's camera during 2020 quadrantides.