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Ursa Astronomical Association


Rocket launch on Thursday evening

24.3. The barium cloud experiment that took place in Kiruna, Sweden had been expected since March 12 and in the evening of March 23. it finally happened. "Many evenings were spent in vain, but this evening rewarded," writes Jani Päiväniemi , who took the photo in Kuusamo's Käylä. The weather favored seeing the event, sightings have come from all over Finland. At the same time, spectacular aurora borealis were also blowing in the sky.

Markarian chain in spring night

20.3. Tero Hiekkalinna made a star photography trip to the Vironlahti in mid-March. The target was a group of galaxies called the Markarian chain. It curves from the middle to the upper left in the picture. The galaxies are part of the larger Virgo cluster, which includes about 2,000 galaxies.

Northern lights on the Thursday night

17.3. Twenty photographers have dropped in Skywarden their shots of the aurora on Thursday night. Only from southern Finland was represented this time, it was cloudy in the north. The shown picture was taken by Pirjo Koske after 1 o'clock on Thursday in Laitila. During the same hours in Juva, Petri Martikainen took stereo images with cameras located five kilometers apart. "It worked out surprisingly well for the first time," he writes.

12-22.3. A possible rocket launch in the nort

A rocket lounch will happen between 12.3.-22.3. from the Esrange space center in Kiruna, Sweden. The launch takes place between 19:30 and 20:40 on an evening that is as clear and windless as possible. So the exact launch time is not yet known. The launch will be best visible in Northern Finland, but from a completely unobstructed and clear observation site, it can be seen low on the horizon even as far as the Tampere - Sundsvall line. Observations of the launch are collected using the Rare clouds -form, from which "Rocket launch" is selected as the main target. The picture in the news is Tytti Mørkvedi's shot of a previous rocket launch from Andøya in Norway.

Elliptical halo and circumzenith arcs on Monday

7.3. This year's second elliptical halo was visible on Monday in Kuusamo's Käylä. Jani Päiväniemi's observation was the result of experience, he writes that the conditions were such that an ellipse could very well appear. On the same day, there were also better-than-usual circumzenith arcs in the sky across Finland. The shown photo of this halo was taken by Heidi Joupperi in Vantaa, at the heads-up from a kindergarten child.

Venus and Jupiter close together in the evening sky

4.3. The weather was favorable for photographing the encounter between Venus and Jupiter. The planets were closest to each other on the evening of 1.3, when they had a distance of about 0.7 degrees. The photos of Pirjo Koski and Markku Ruonala show the couple on the horizons of Laitila and Vesilahti on 1 and 2 March. "Many planetary encounters one has observed, this was one of the most impressive," says Ruonala.

A bright fireball flew over central Finland

28.2. in the evening at 20:50 a spectacular fireball was seen overcentral Finland. Ursa's fireball task force is investigating the case and more observations can be sent in by using the fireball form . So far, there have been more than 200 reported sightings of the fireball. Photo by Marko Haapala

Splendid aurora borealis at the turn of the week

28.2. Northern lights have been seen three nights in a row since Saturday night. On the night between Sunday and Monday, they shone exceptionally spectacularly. From the observations left by almost sixty photographers in Skywarden from that night, shown are Mari Jääskeläinen's and Satu Juvonen's shots from Pyhäjärvi and Lieksa. "I quite had to gasp for breath at that corona", says Juvonen.

Jupiter, Moon and Venus met

23.2. On Wednesday evening, the trio of heavenly bodies were close to each other and a target of numerous photographers. From the shots putting it one better over the other, selected here is Jarkko Alatalo's study on the subject in Raahe, where a thin high cloud gave a soft veil around the objects.

Nice diamond dust halos in Åre

22.2. On the Swedish side, the best diamond dust halo shows seem to be able to inject even more power into the game than in Finland. This display seen in Åre on Tuesday is yet another example of the neighboring country's great serving. The photos were taken by Mikko Töykkälä and Heli Molund. Diamond dust halos were also visible in Finland on the same day, but they congealed to the level of mere pillars and lower suns.

Recent observations at Taivaanvahti

17.2 . The northern lights on the left are the harvest of the corona mass eruption from the evening of the 15th, they were photographed in Kokkola by Sami Mutka . Above it is the cloud arc seen by Antti Taskinen in Joensuu and below Valtteri Suurinkeroinen's fog arc seen by drone in Lahti. On the right, on the other hand, there are twilight rays drawn in pearly clouds the night before and the zodiacal light seen later. They were photographed by Pirjo Koski in Laitila and Pyhäranta.

Northern lights on the Saturday night

14.2. Pictures have been dribbling to Skywarden from the aurora borealis visible as far as southern Finland at 10/11.2. night. Pasi Tuomainen, who spent his vacation at Posio, was able to photograph their splendour in the landscape of frost covered trees of Riisitunturi. "Really bright blaze, I could see with my own eyes how the shadow of these funny trees kept changing direction," he writes.

Mars and comet ZTF side by side

12.2. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), the absolute number one in the night sky, and Mars were closest to each other on Saturday. Jorma Mäntylä , who took the photo, says that the glare from Mars prevented seeing the comet with the naked eye. He had visually distinguished it the night before, when the celestial bodies were further apart.

A dazzling display in Kontiolahti on Saturday

12.2. Eastern Finland has been pampered with quality diamond dust again, this time the halos were visible in Kontiolahti. Of the three photographers who left a report, show is Matti Pölönen's photo. He became busy to look for an open shooting location when the car dived in icy fog. It is a typical snow gunning originated display, very likely from the biathlon stadium storage snow making. Another possibility would be from the slopes of Mustavaara ski center.

Two lighthouses and the Milky Way

11.2. In September of last year, Atte Ahola traveled with his cameras to the Estonian island of Saaremaa. "The Milky Way and, with that in mind, the rather dark skies according to the light pollution map enticed me to go," he writes in the observation he has now submitted to Taivaanvahti. The island's lighthouses were chosen as props for the starry sky, and as a final touch, a friend holding a lantern.

Muonio struck again with a PSC - aurora combo

9.2. Once it has been seen once, the next one usually doesn't have to wait long. Last winter, Jani Laasanen took the first ever photos of the co-occurrence of PSCs and northern lights. And now, a little more than a year later, Seija Olkkonen has captured a similar combo. Interestingly, both observations came from Muonio. Western Lapland is the best region of Finland for PSCs, offering the best seams for such an observation.

Halos around the Sun and lamp

7.2. The cold weather has spawned diamond dusts again. This winter Nilsiä seems to have been a particularly good place because it gave on 6 Feb already another quality display in daylight, as shown by the picture on the left taken by Hanna Hyvönen. On the evening of the fourth day of the month, Marko Mikkilä and Jari Luomanen were on Himose chasing ice fog halos, getting some nice results in beam of a bright lamp. Luomanen's picture on the right is from this trip.

Mirage in Kokkola

7.2. There haven't been any pictures of the mirages for a while, but Pentti Ketola caught a nice set in Kokkola on Monday. "I headed for the sea ice when the first favorable frosty weather was merciful after the dark autumn," he says.

A successful halo trip to Jämsä

30.1. Jari Luomanen, who drove to Jämsä to hunt diamond dust halos from snow guns, returned with an exceptional catch. In the lamp beam an odd form in resemblance of angel wings appeared flanking the pillar. It bears similarity to "sun pillar echoes", a halo of an unknown origin based only on two previous observations. In addition, in some of the other Luomanen's images the 22° ring would seem to be surrounded by a weird upward tapering arc.

Comet ZTF is visible barely with the naked eye

29.1 . Ten observers have reported C/2022 E3 (ZTF) in the "head of the comet with the naked eye" category. "With eyes the comet's head stood out with difficulty after a long time of adaptation," says Aleksi Ruotsila from Äänekoski (photo). The comet may still brighten, but the best viewing window is closing due to the Moon. In the next two nights, the Moon will set in southern Finland while the sky is still completely dark, but after this it will disturb the whole night.