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ServiAstro

ServiAstro is the website for public outreach on astronomy of the Astronomy and Meteorology Department (DAM) of the University of Barcelona.

It offers information about the past and future astronomical events visible from Catalonia. Also about the most important ones, no matter the geographical visibility. In some especially outstanding cases, such as planetary transits or Solar and Lunar eclipses, ServiAstro offers live webcasts which can be enjoyed anytime, thanks to our permanent galleries.

Furthermore, ServiAstro publish the public outreach activities carried out by the (DAM). Visitors will find a compilation of astronomical ephemerides, tools for astronomical calculations, news, answers to frequently asked questions and links to lots of other websites about astronomy, organized in sections.

Lovejoy comet

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Video: Cometa C2014 Q2 Lovejoy captured from Ibiza on 2015, january the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th by the Agrupaciˇ Astron˛mica d'Eivissa (AAE) using the Telescopio de Cala d'Hort (TCH).

Comet Lovejoy is still on the way to the perihelion of its orbit, which will take place on 30 January. Although at this time is moving away from Earth, it continues being an object visible to the naked eye (magnitude around 4) due its high activity.

From an astronomical perspective these days we are living the most spectacular moments that the comet can offer. Moving from state of hibernation to a frenetic activity due to increased solar radiation. This activity is visible on its comma and on the tail. + info: Article "cometa Lovejoy" from Miquel Serra Ricart, IAC astrophysicist on the blog VÝa Lßctea s/n.
*Links*:

Time-lapses of comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) observed on 2015 January 13-14-15 from Teide Observatory.

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Cometa Lovejoy on 10 January 2015. Camporells (Francia). Image: Eduard Masana

NameExoWorlds: An IAU World wide Contest to name Exoplanets and their Host Stars

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For the first time, in response to the public’s increased interest in being part of discoveries in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is organizing a worldwide contest to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars. The proposed names will be submitted by astronomy clubs and non-profit organisations interested in astronomy, and votes will be cast by the public from across the world through the web platform NameExoWorlds.
Spanish Blog

On January 13rd began the first round offering the registered clubs and non-profit organisations the chance to nominate their favourite systems to take through to the next rounds.

Picture of the day

News

2015

January

mÓxim The mouth of the beast, 28 January,
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.

mÓxim Rosetta watches comet shed its dusty coat, 28 January,
ESA’s Rosetta mission is providing unique insight into the life cycle of a comet’s dusty surface, watching 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it sheds the dusty coat it has accumulated over the past four years.

mÓxim Asteroid that flew past Earth today has Moon, 27 January,
The first radar images show the asteroid 2004 BL86 , which made its closest approach on Jan. 26, 2015 at 8:19 a.m. PST (11:19 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.

mÓxim One second more in 2015, 21 January,
The International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS), announced that on June 30th will add a second to our clock time (UTC) to adjust it with the Solar Time (UT). This Time difference corresponds to the variability of the terrestrial rotation.
Monography about the Time mesurement

mÓxim Getting to know Rosetta's comet, 22 January,
Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of surface features and with many processes contributing to its activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution.
Web about Rosetta on serviastro

mÓxim Asteroid to fly by Earth safely on January 26, 15 January,
An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in size. The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027.

mÓxim Where did all the stars go?, 7 January,
Some of the stars appear to be missing in this intriguing new ESO image. But the black gap in this glitteringly beautiful starfield is not really a gap, but rather a region of space clogged with gas and dust. This dark cloud is called LDN 483 — for Lynds Dark Nebula 483. Such clouds are the birthplaces of future stars.

mÓxim Chasms and cliffs on Mars, 7 January,
Although Mars is a very alien planet, some aspects of its geology are surprisingly familiar. This Mars Express image shows a snippet of a region of Mars filled with cliffs, trenches, faults, giant plateaus and volcanoes.

mÓxim NASA’s Kepler Marks 1,000th Exoplanet Discovery, Uncovers More Small Worlds in Habitable Zones, 6 January,
Of the more than 1,000 verified planets found by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, eight are less than twice Earth-size and in their stars' habitable zone. All eight orbit stars cooler and smaller than our sun. The search continues for Earth-size habitable zone worlds around sun-like stars.

mÓxim NASA’s Kepler Marks 1,000th Exoplanet Discovery, Uncovers More Small Worlds in Habitable Zones, 5 January,
Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This event, detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, raises questions about the behavior of this giant black hole and its surrounding environment.

2014

December

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Comet Lovejoy brightens, 28 December,
Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) has been a naked-eye object for the observers from the Southern Hemisphere. In recent days has been seen from southerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. And soon, it’ll be high in Northern Hemisphere skies!

The path of the comet can be seen in the map

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Physics Photo Contest źInternational Year of light╗

The "Catalan Society of Physics", has announced the list of the 6 awarded images

mÓxim New Horizons wakes up on Pluto's doorstep, 7 December,
After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation on Dec. 6th for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system.

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International Conference outreach Activities
Gaia Team from UB have organized outreach activities to secundary school students, and general public.

  • Guided visit to the exhibition" Mil milions d'ulls per a mil milions d'estrelles".On the ground floor of the Sciences courtyard of the Historical Building
  • Talk: "Gaia i l'odissea galÓctica". Paranimf of the Historical Building.
  • Date:2 December 2014
  • Hour: 18:00-19:30
The activities are part of the International Conference "The Milky Way unravelled by Gaia" that is going to be held in the UB Historic Building.
More deails: here
Reserves:divulgacio@am.ub.es

mÓxim Geminid Meteor Shower, 1 December,
Earth is entering a stream of gravelly debris from "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. On the night of Nov. 30-Dec. 1, NASA's network of all-sky cameras detected three Geminid fireballs over the USA (see the image). This specimen from the desert southwest was clearly visible despite the glare from the waxing gibbous Moon. Meteor sightings will increase in the nights ahead as Earth plunges deeper into the debris stream. Forecasters expect peak rates to occur on Dec. 13-14, when dark-sky observers in both hemispheres could see as many as 120 meteors per hour.