York Universe’s Paul Delaney Awarded 2016 University Professorship

June 21st, 2016 by Tavi Greiner

logo_hi-res-1024x576Congratulations to AFM*Radio’s York Universe host, Paul Delaney, who has been awarded a 2016 University Professorship, by York University’s Senate Committee on Awards! You can read the full story on York University’s Daily News site, here!

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The Event ^ Horizon 2016/08/26, Proxima or Bust?

August 27th, 2016 by Nick Evetts

In this show …. we explore what the Ancients Knew and why they did things …even before Cosmology got to where it was today. We discuss Proxima B and what use it could be ? If ever any thing other than a refuelling station ? I go more Patrick than Jezza on how to learn the Night Sky…..The Chinese Mars Rovers comes up too ..We even get a 10 minute overrun

Temp podcast link https://s3.amazonaws.com/afm-originals/AFM_EventHorizon/20160827_EH_13B103B45.mp3














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The Event ^ Horizon 2016/08/19 ” Taking Over The World”

August 20th, 2016 by Nick Evetts

In this show I have a rant …over Space Shuttle Engines being  useless  compared to the Saturn 1B & V Engines,  Col Dan Dare gets a mention  in chat….. As does the  Real Buzz……





Britain’s pre-Stonehenge megaliths were aligned by astronomers

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, August 19 – 27


For I don’t take many photos so I’ll post the pictures I’m most proud of taking


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The Event^ Horizon 2016/08/12 with Special Guest Richie Jarvis

August 13th, 2016 by Nick Evetts






















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CometWatch Ep 18- The Rosetta Meeting in Austria and more on 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

August 7th, 2016 by Nick Evetts

Welcome to CometWatch! Your Hosts are Nick Evetts  & Neil Norman, Mary Spicer is on Holiday this month.     In this programme  , Richard Miles and Tony Angel join us  and I call 67P/ C-G  64P  by mistake . Tony discusses the Rosetta meeting in Austria he attended &  then we discuss the latest outburst of 29 /P Schwassmann-Wachmann.

BAA Comet Section page

BAA Comet Section Visual Observations Page

Project Alcock

D. C. Jewitt (1991), “Cometary Photometry”, invited review for Comets In The Post – Halley Era, eds. R. Newburn, M. Neugebauer and J. Rahe. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands. pp. 19 – 65. pdf version

D. C. Jewitt (1990), “The Persistent Coma of Comet P/Schwassmann Wachmann 1”, Astrophysical Journal, 351, 277-286. pdf version

The German Comet Group

Seiichi Yoshida’s page

Liga Iberoamericana de Astronomia

Comet chasing in August

International Comet Quarterly


Sloan Filters

Sloan r Filters

Backyard EOS



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The Event^Horizon 2016/07/29

July 30th, 2016 by Nick Evetts

Hi Folks  Your Hosts tonight are Nick Evetts & John Foote

All the Links  from tonight’s The Event^Horizon Thank you StarStorm !






In The Near Future Robots Will Assemble Large Telescopes in Space

Alien Life Possible on Saturn’s Moon Titan

Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift










The Abandoned Buran Space Shuttles of Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome






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CometWatch Episode 17 with Richard Miles – 29 /P SchwassmannWachmann

July 14th, 2016 by Nick Evetts

Welcome to CometWatch! Your Hosts are Nick Evetts Mary Spicer  & Neil Norman, In this programme , Richard Miles joins us and discuses   29 /P SchwassmannWachmann.

Comet 29P/Schwassmann–Wachmann, also known as Schwassmann–Wachmann 1, was discovered on November 15, 1927, by Arnold Schwassmann and Arno Arthur Wachmann at the Hamburg Observatory in Bergedorf, Germany. Wikipedia
Orbital period: 15 years
Discovered: November 15, 1927
Last perihelion: July 10, 2004
Epoch: March 6, 2006
Next perihelion: March 7, 2019
The following is from the BAA Comet page ……..

Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

This annual comet has frequent outbursts and over the past few years seems to be more often active than not, though it rarely gets brighter than 12m. It is possible that its pattern of behaviour has changed since the 1980s. In early 1996 it was in outburst for several months. In the first half of 1998 it was in outburst on several occasions and this also occurred in 1999. The randomly spaced outbursts may be due to a thermal heat wave propagating into the nucleus and triggering sublimation of CO inside the comet.  Richard Miles is developing a theoretical model to explain and predict outbursts of the comet.  This comet is an ideal target for those equipped with CCDs and it should be observed at every opportunity.  

Richard Miles reported that the comet was in outburst on 2015 February 3.76, having brightened to around 14th magnitude.  He reported that a second outburst occurred on February 26.15.1997 In February and early March 1997 the comet was in outburst, peaking at around 12th mag. It was not seen in April, but returned to visibility in early May, rising to 12th mag late in the month. I observed it at 13.7: on May 12.95 with the Northumberland 0.30-m refractor. On May 29.97 it was 12.0: in my 0.20-m T x 75, dia 1.8′, DC3. Andrew Pearce reports glimpsing it at around 14th mag in his 0.41-m reflector at the end of December 1997.

1998 Further reports suggest that the comet brightened to around 12th mag visually and then faded to 14th mag. Another outburst commenced in mid March 1998 according to IAUC 6844 and the comet is now around 13th mag, though I was unable to see it on April 28.9, when it was fainter than 13.2. It may be undergoing another outburst at around 13th mag (May 30).

1999 Andrew Pearce discovered it in outburst on 1999 March 31. It was well condensed and so relatively easy to see, but faded below 14th mag. Reports suggest another outburst to around 13th magnitude in early June. Jose Aguiar reported it in outburst once again at the beginning of July.2000 Jose Aguiar reported as possibly being in outburst on July 1

2001 The comet is undergoing another outburst, as shown by the following total magnitudes (CCD unless otherwise indicated): Apr. 22.80 UT, 15.5 (A. Nakamura, Kuma, Ehime, Japan, 0.60-m reflector); 28.44, 15.7 (A. Hale, Cloudcroft, NM, 0.2-m reflector); May 17.69, 13.2 (K. Kadota, Ageo, Saitama, Japan, 0.18-m reflector); 18.71, 13.4 (Kadota); 19.73, 12.0 (K. Yoshimoto, Hirao, Yamaguchi, Japan, 0.25-m reflector; visual); 27.77, 13.5 (Nakamura). [IAUC 7640, 2001 June 1] Further outbursts have taken place and the comet remains at around 12th magnitude into August.

2002 This comet appears again to be in outburst, as indicated by the following total-magnitude estimates (visual unless otherwise noted): Mar. 20.83 UT, [16: (T. Kojima, Chiyoda, Japan, 0.25-m reflector + CCD); 27.80, 14.4 (Kojima); May 8.46, 13.5 (A. Hale, Cloudcroft, NM, 0.41-m reflector); 9.46, 13.3 (Hale); 21.45, 13.3 (Hale); June 8.39, 12.3 (Hale; near-stellar appearance); 9.75, 12.0 (A. Nakamura, Kuma, Ehime, Japan, 0.60-m reflector + CCD; strong condensation). [IAUC 7918, 2002 June 13]

Carlos Labordena (Spain) reported the comet in outburst on November 1, at 12th magnitude with a well condensed coma. Michael Mattiazzo (Australia) also reported the comet bright, with the comet at around 14th magnitude through most of October, brightening at the end of the month. The degree of condensation was quite variable suggesting a series of outbursts, with perhaps one around October 27 and another around November 4.

2003 Salvador Sanchez, Jaime Nomen and Reiner Stoss observed the comet on the morning of May 22 with the remotely controlled 30-cm telescope of the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca. The comet looked to be in outburst. The measured magnitude was 13.5 N on 80s CCD frames at an SNR of 30. Juan Jose Gonzalez reported the comet at 13.1 on July 23.02. A further outburst was reported at the end of September.


Seichi Yoshida notes the following pattern of activity:

The high level activities in 2002 and 2004, and the low level activity in 2000 are remarkable.

  • 1997 Two outbursts occured, but faint in general.
  • 1998 After outburst in late January, it kept bright for a while though diffused. Only one outburst. Not visible visually in the latter half.
  • 1999 Not visible visually in the former half. After outburst in late March, it kept bright for a while though diffused. Only one outburst.
  • 2000 No outburst. Not visible visually almost at all.
  • 2001 Major outburst occured in August. Some other small outbursts occured, too. Every outburst was short, and it became invisible soon.
  • 2002 Outbursts often occured. It was brighter than 13 mag in many times. It became so faint temporarily in July.
  • 2003 Outbursts often occured, but small, and only 13 mag at best.
  • 2004 Outbursts frequently occured. It kept bright around 12 mag all through the year.

2005 The comet was reported in outburst in July. A second outburst was reported in mid August. Another outburst began in mid September and I estimated it at 12.1 and DC6 in the N’land refractor x185 on September 18.96 There was another outburst in mid December and it was an easy object in the N’land refractor on December 17.9

2006 The comet was reported in outburst at around 13th magnitude in mid July 2006. An image taken by Martin Mobberley on December 16.8 showed the comet at around 12th magnitude.

2007 It spent the first quarter of the year in Taurus before sinking into solar conjunction. It emerged into the morning sky of Auriga in August, reaching opposition there at the end of the year. Generally outbursts seem not to have been so frequent in 2007, however it was reported in outburst at 13th magnitude in late December.

2008 It spent the first third of the year in Auriga before sinking into solar conjunction. It emerged into the morning sky of Gemini in August, and spent the last third of the year in Cancer. Unusually there was no opposition in 2008. A major outburst occurred in January and it reached 11th magnitude mid-month. A further outburst occurred in mid September, when it again reached 11th magnitude. It seems to have spent most of this year within visual range. Another outburst commenced around December 18.

2009 The comet begins the year retrograding in Cancer and passes into Gemini around the time of opposition on January 17. It resumes direct motion around the time of the northern spring equinox and will be lost to UK observers in early May. It is in solar conjunction on August 1. For UK observers it will become observable in the morning sky in October, by which time it is in Leo.

Richard Miles notes that it was at opposition on January 17, when it had a phase angle of only 0.5 degrees and this may have lead to an opposition effect brightening. Some jet structure was observed in the coma around this time, and he further notes that it will be important to follow their evolution as the comet is reported to be a slow rotator (about 60 days).

2010 The comet underwent a major outburst in February, reaching 10th magnitude. This was around the time of opposition, when the phase angle was 0.3 degrees.

2011 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann underwent a minor outburst at the end of February reaching 12th magnitude. Another outburst took place in late March, with the comet again reaching 12th magnitude.

2014  Richard Miles is developing a theoretical model to explain and predict outbursts of the comet. He successfully predicted an outburst in early March, and predicts another around April 28 with a 50% probability of occurrence.

BAA Comet Section Homepage

BAA Comet Section Visual Observations Page

The German Comet Group

Seiichi Yoshida’s page

Liga Iberoamericana de Astronomia

Comet chasing in July 

International Comet Quarterly


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