NOAK Observatory (L02)

Latest news of the Observatory



Ιntegration of NOAK into ESA's Meerkat early warning system


A very important development concerning the NOAK observatory and the Greek data in general took place a few days ago. The ESA (European Space Agency) sector responsible for the planetary security of the Earth Planetary Defence Office (PDO) and in particular the NEOCC (ESA NEO Coordination Office), approved the observatory's request to join the Meerkat Asteroid Guard (Automated Imminent Impactor Warning Service) early warning system.

This approval will result in the observatory receiving real-time alerts for any object considered to be a threat to the safety of Earth, even if its orbit is not accurately determined. The NOAK will therefore be able to contribute directly with its measurements to improving the orbit and, if it is an object that will collide with the Earth, to find the point of impact!

It should be emphasized that the observatory is now able to communicate directly with ESA services.

Since the creation of ESA's Meerkat system it has given early warning of the arrival of 3 objects to Earth and due to the very precise measurements made by astroscopies from around the world, even the area where they fell was determined.

It is the object named 2022 EB5 that was 2 meters in size and fell southwest of Norway. Also in 2022 WJ1 was determined to fall near Lake Ontario and at the end of 2024 BX1 which came down 50 Km from Berlin.

More information can be found here:

https://neo.ssa.esa.int/















The first results from the observation campaign of the occultation of the star Betelguese by the asteroid Leona! Of the 5 total observations made in Greece, 2 belong to the NOAK Observatory!

https://twitter.com/iotaeuropeansec/status/1768944776164913477?s=12&t=1dAmnSufJBctWM3tkf3tdg

https://sodis.iota-es.de/
















An amazing meteor was recorded by the station GR0003 of the NOAK Observatory and the station GR0005 of my friend Dimitris Georgoulas which belong to the Global Meteor Network:

https://globalmeteornetwork.org/

and from the stations belonging to the AllSky7 system and the University of Athens in the early hours of 02-18-2024. Several sites and television media of the country reported the event since it was visible in a large part of mainland Greece. The object exploded and broke into 2 or 3 pieces, at a great height and above the wider area of Ioannina! The images and recordings from the cameras of stations GR0003 and GR0005 installed in Ioannina are impressive.















Undoubtedly the astronomical event of 2023 was the occultation of the supergiant star Betelgeuse by the asteroid Leona (319). The occultation took place at dawn on 12/12/2023 and its path passed through Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey, the countries where most of the observations and measurements were made. Betelgeuse belongs to the constellation Orion at a distance of 640 light-years from Earth and is in its final stages of life. It is estimated that within the next 10,000 years it is going to explode and turn into a supernova that will even be visible from our planet. Asteroid Leona (319) is located in the outer regions of the Main Asteroid Belt at a distance of 280 million km from Earth and has a diameter of 50 km. The star's brightness decline was about 1.5 mag. The results will help scientists to understand what happens to a star in the latter stages of its life. The phenomenon occurs from approximately 1:12:32 to 1:12:38. Further information here: http://noakobservatory.gr/Occultationsen.html .















Last week was the "rain" of the Leontides. These are the remnants of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which has a rotation period of 33 years. They are called Leonids because their radiant is located in the constellation Leo. The phenomenon was maximised on 17-18 November and is generally observed between 6-30 November. The most spectacular of these ( and more) are shown on the page

http://noakobservatory.gr/meteors.html

Also a very important addition to the observatory site is the database with which we can determine the closest distances of numbered asteroids and comets to Earth. The data is provided by NASA. You can find it here:

http://noakobservatory.gr/Closedistance.html

Finally, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the hundreds of thousands (!) of visits to the site during the 8 months of its operation. It fills me with joy and responsibility. We continue!
















MinorPlanetCenter announced on 01/11/2023 the discovery of a Halley-type comet named C/2023 S3 (Lemmon). It was discovered on September 25 by the Mt. Lemmon Survey. Its distance is currently at 0.65 A.U. with a brightness of 17.6 mag and we can locate it in the constellation of Eridanus. Its period is about 152 years. The NOAK observatory was involved in its discovery and identification.

Also as announced at the 17th IAWN (International Asteroid Warning Network) meeting, the results of the campaign conducted to study the 2005 LW3 asteroid are available at Planetary Science Journal:

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/PSJ/acfd22.

For more information on the discussion items of the previous meetings, you can find here: https://iawn.net/meetings.shtml .















An amazing night on 14-10-2023 and an opportunity to engage in astronomy and asteroid and comet hunting. The observatory participated in the discovery and identification of two asteroids and one comet. Asteroid 2023 TU9 APOLLO (NEO) has a diameter of 39-304m and a period of 666 days. At the time of the measurements it was at a distance of 0.035 AU (1AU= 150,000,000 Km) with a brightness of 18mag. Asteroid 2023 TL8 of type APOLLO (NEO) has a diameter of 16-127m and a period of 943 days. At the time of the measurements it was located at a distance of 0.024 AU with a brightness close to 18mag. The comet, codenamed C9KD7J2, is expected to be identified in the coming days. Astrometric measurements of asteroids 11638 and 35527 were also made. Finally this period we can observe two comets (telescope needed), 12P/Pons-Brooks and 103P/Hartley. Their astrometric measurements have been made. Interesting is the odd shape of 12P, as shown in the 1 hour long photo in the Comets section.
















A very successful evening 2023-09-08, as the observatory participated in the identification and eventually the discovery of two very interesting asteroids. Asteroid 2023 RJ3 is a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) of Apollo type. Its diameter is estimated at 220 metres and its brightness on the day of observation was 20mag. Its closest distance to Earth was on 22 August at a distance of 0.176 A.U. or 2,640,000 km. It was discovered by the PAN-STARRS detection system installed in Hawaii. Its discovery was announced with the following MPEC: https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K23/K23RA9.html .















2023 RN3 is a Centaur-type asteroid, i.e. an asteroid whose perihelion or semi-major axis lies between that of the outer planets (Jupiter and Neptune). Its diameter is estimated to be close to 25000 meters and its brightness on the day of observation was 18mag. It took about 300 observations from a double-digit number of observatories to determine its orbit, and for several days! It was discovered by the ATLAS system installed at Haleakala. Its discovery was announced with the following MPEC: https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K23/K23RB5.html .





















The observatory was involved in another comet identification-discovery. This was comet P/2023 M4 (ATLAS). It was discovered by the South African ATLAS system and 450 measurements were required to determine its orbit. It is a Jupiter family comet with a period of 12.73 years. For more information on the page: https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K23/K23O51.html .





















ΤThe observatory participated in the largest event organized in Greece by amateur astronomers. It is the Panhellenic Expedition of Amateur Astronomers. This year we all met in Parnonas from 14-16 July. The Astronomical Association of Sparta "Dios Kouroi" was responsible for the organization. Over 800 people packed the venue for the 15th consecutive event (outside the COVID season), which was a great success! The photos are by Antonis Farmakopoulos, Nikos Tremoulis and Ilias Bounas.





















On 19 May 2023, Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki discovered the explosion of a supernova in one of the spirals of the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101). This is the visually closest supernova in recent years. The distance of M101 is 21 million light years. A photo of the supernova from the NOAK observatory.



















After months of inactivity due to the very bad weather conditions in Ioannina, the observatory was engaged in astrometric recordings of asteroids and comets.

* The object with the provisional name C3R8U21 was identified as 2023 MH2. It is an Apollo-like asteroid ranging from 100-200m in size that was first observed by the Catalina Sky Survey on June 21, 2023. The asteroid was in the constellation of Ophiuchus when the observation was made with a brightness of 18mag. Finally its closest passage to Earth will be on 2023-06-26.

* Comet C/2020 R7 ATLAS was located between the constellation of Hercules and North Stephen, at a distance of 519,568,247 Km and with a brightness of 17mag.



















Asteroid 2023 DZ2, the asteroid of the decade for most people, since it is the one that will approach the Earth at a distance of only 170,000 Km and with a size ranging from 40-100m as shown in the graph. It was recorded on March 2, 2023, with its brightness close to 15mag and its velocity approaching 7.8Km/s. Fast in the field as well at 40"/min. On March 25, 2023, it made its closest pass at 21:50 relative to Earth, but will be quite low at about 17 degrees , and its brightness will be close to 10mag. An astrometric recording was made and the results were submitted to MPC for orbital refinement. Also after study it was calculated that its rotation period is about 6.3min as shown in the graph below. The measurements were submitted to ALCDEF database and Minor Planet Bulletin and published in Issue 50-3 (2023 Jul-Sep) and can be found at:

https://mpbulletin.org/issues/MPB_50-3.pdf

Finally, it is an object of study of the IAWN and a campaign has been organized to study it astrometrically, photometrically, spectroscopically and with the use of radar, where NOAK is a member of the photometry team..



















My photograph "Medusa Nebula" was selected, after an evaluation, as part of the main exhibition of [Figura 1.A.] 2022 and was exhibited at the "Forum de l'Hôtel de Ville" gallery in Lausanne, Switzerland, from 21 September to 3 October 2022. I am pleased to inform you that my photograph is on display at the Centre Otium in Geneva from 31 January 2023 to 30 April 2023. Most of the proceeds from its sale will be used by the Otium Centre. The Otium Centre is an institution that offers support to cancer patients by proposing activities and events, thus providing a safe environment for physical and mental rehabilitation. Very great joy in these difficult times.



















NOAK Observatory participated in the 16th IAWN meeting. The meeting was held at the International Centre in Vienna on 7 February 2023. It was hosted by the UNCOPUOS Scientific and Technical Committee of the United Nations (Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space).

https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/copuos/index.html

More than 20 countries participated online. There was an update on ongoing projects by NASA and ESA people and a working discussion on a hypothetical scenario of an asteroid falling to Earth and ways of dealing with it. Further analysis will take place in April at the 8th conference of the International Academy of Astronautics.

https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/pd/cs/pdc23/

https://iaaspace.org/event/8th-iaa-planetary-defense-conference-2023/

Finally, an analysis of the observation and recording campaign of the asteroid 2005 LW3 carried out by IAWN last November was made. Information on previous IAWN meetings can be found here:

https://iawn.net/meetings.shtml

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF). I couldn't help but make my attempt at a comet that visited us again after 50,000 years! Very difficult photographic conditions. I'll just say that the comet became visible with binoculars above 40o . I stressed the photos a lot (I may have gone over the limit to be able to show the tail and structure). Just happy to have photographed and visually observed him!

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) 2023-01-298 22:00 UTC Ioannina Greece, Skywatcher ed80 15x120s .



















This morning 10-01-2023 the objects with temporary codes A10P1Zt and C8H2792 were identified as comets C/2022 W2 (ATLAS) and 2022 W3 (Leonard). C/2022 W2 (ATLAS) was discovered by the ATLAS-HKO system in early November 2022 and required 197 measurements to determine its orbit. It is located at a distance of 2,817 AU (421,418,000 Km) and has a period of 5676 years. It can be observed between the constellations of Cepheus and Ursa Minor with a brightness of 18.8 mag. C/2022 W3 (Leonard) was discovered by G. J. Leonard on 26 November and it took 170 measurements to determine its orbit. It is located at a distance of 1,865 AU (279,000,000 Km) and has a period of 5291 years. It can be observed in the constellation of the Big Dipper with a brightness of 18.5 mag. NOAK Observatory participated in their discovery but observing them was very difficult, as it was done under a full moon, fog and smog! The discoveries were announced with the following MPECs:

https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K23/K23A28.html

https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K23/K23A29.html



















The potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) 2005 LW3, type APOLLO, was the target of the second campaign organised by the IAWN (International Asteroid Warning Network). It is an asteroid first observed by the Siding Spring Survey on 2005-06-05 with a diameter of 124-278m. Its closest pass by Earth was at a distance of 1,100,000 Km on 23 November. Its brightness was 13.4mag and its velocity was 50"/min. The images were taken on the evening of November 24, 2022, 2 hours before the IAWN deadline due to bad weather conditions! The purpose of the new campaign is to test whether observatories have been able to improve the accuracy of object acquisition and recording times, following the conclusions drawn from the first campaign conducted a year ago.



















Just yesterday the discovery of comet C/2022 S5 (PANSTARRS) was announced and the NOAK Observatory contributed to its identification. It took almost 1 ½ months and measurements from the Northern and Southern Hemisphere to accurately determine its orbit, shown in the graph below (credit NASA). Of course, the comet was first observed on August 8, but was spotted again on September 24 and has been "under surveillance" since then. It is a Halley-type comet with a period of 92.43 years, which made its closest pass by Earth on October 5 at 2,256 AU (about 340,000,000 Km) . The observations were taken on 1 October and the comet had a brightness of 19.5 mag. The sheet (MPEC) announcing its discovery is given by the link below:

https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K22/K22V02.html



















October was full of events related to Astronomy. From 14-17 of 2022, the 12th Panhellenic Conference of Amateur Astronomy was held in Patras with great success, where the work and work of amateurs was presented. to the general public, the collaborations they have with professionals and how important their role is now, which is recognized by all. The keynote speaker of the conference was Mr. Stamatis Krimizis, one of the creators of the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft.

The next day after the end of the conference, NOAK Observatory represented Greece for the second time at the 15th meeting organized by the IAWN (International Asteroid Warning Network). Recall that IAWN is the first line of defense of the Earth against threats from space, such as asteroids and comets. The meeting was web-based and lasted two days for a total of 6 hours and was moderated by Ms. Kelly Fast (NASA, PDCO). There was an update from the head of the Planetary Defence Coordination Office of the US, Mr. Lindley Johnson on the DART experiment and the conclusions reached so far, as well as from one of the managers of the LICIACube of the Italian space agency. It is the spacecraft that followed DART and recorded the collision and even presented us with a video stitching of the images they took! Indescribable event! Speakers were also from JPL, ESA, ESO and we had a workshop on improving the stacking of images. There was a presentation by the ESO person in charge of the Dark Skies project and the actions that are underway, but also that things are difficult for astronomers since telecommunication giants will also launch STARLINKS-style satellites with large dimensions.

Finally on October 29 at 4:15 a.m. the asteroid Gemini occulted the star TYC 182-022791 and its path of transit was passing 2km south of the NOAK Observatory site. With the help of Alexandros Siakas (whom I thank very much), a member of the team of Professor Kleomenis Tsigani of AUTH, the equipment was moved and set up at a suitable location in order to observe the phenomenon. We were given exact coordinates a few hours before. Unfortunately, as is often the case in such cases, we were unable to observe the phenomenon since the target was not in our field for only a few minutes of the squadron. Never mind (teasing) and we continue..



















It is my great pleasure and honour to be part of the paper on the characterisation of asteroids, which are members of primordial scattered families in the Main Belt of the Solar System. This is truly a very difficult task, requiring the cooperation of many people from around the world to accomplish! NOAC Observatory participated with the recording of the asteroid Modestia (370) and is committed to more recordings, weather and work permitting. The project is coordinated by Dr. Cosmas Gazea and PhD candidate Dimitris Athanasopoulos. Information about the program here:

http://users.uoa.gr/~kgaze/research_asteroids_gr.html

The publication is available here:

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/PSJ/ac7224

At the 12th Panhellenic Conference of Amateur Astronomy, there will be a more extensive presentation of the work carried out by Mr. Gazea.



















The binary system of Didymos - Dimorphus.

The system of the two asteroids after the collision of Dimorph with the DART spacecraft. As we can see the asteroid is leaving behind material, resulting in 3 tails, the longest of which is 10,000 km long! That is, it has turned into a kind of artificial comet! Its brightness was at 14.8 mag and yesterday it was at its closest distance to Earth at 10,667,051 Km. The duration of the shot is an hour in the evening of 05-10-22 and was taken the day before yesterday under difficult conditions (lots of humidity and the target being at 13 degrees altitude at about 3:00 am). Look more carefully at the tail of Dimorphus to see its length which reaches 100,000 Km!



















The show NATURAL is coming back for the new season 2022-23, with new content! The favorite science and technology show of thousands of Greek-speaking cyber viewers around the world starts the new season on October 4, 2022. Starting this year, the broadcast will take place every Tuesday night at ten o'clock (22:00). The first broadcast will be on Planetary Defence, with a focus on kinetic impact missions, such as NASA's DART missions of 27 September 2022 and ESA's HERA, currently under development. With the participation of Professor of Dynamical Astronomy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and distinguished member of the international DART team Cleomenes Tsiganis and Physicist and Amateur Astronomer Nikos Sioulas, who will discuss with Physicist Spyros A. Kanouras on Planetary Defense issues and evaluate the first results from the 27 September impact. The video of the broadcast is available here:

https://youtu.be/DaYoxL0RdGo



















The IAWN campaign conducted in November 2021 , ended essentially a few days ago and the conclusions drawn from it were published in The Planetary Science Journal :

href= "https://journals.aas.org/planetary-science-journal/

The publication is available at the following link :

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/PSJ/ac7224

Its aim was to test the accuracy of the measurements of observatories involved in finding and identifying asteroids and comets, and ways to improve them. You can understand the importance of the paper just by looking at the observatories that participated in this campaign. A more detailed and comprehensive presentation will be given (as it is well deserved) at the 12th Panhellenic Conference of Amateur Astronomy in Patras. See you in Drymona Thermos, Aitoloakarnania in a week at the Pan-Hellenic Excursion!



















Very useful the night before last 07-07-22 for me, since I managed to resolve some important and chronic technical issues I had with my equipment. This resulted in contributing to the identification-discovery of two celestial bodies with high precision measurements which is necessary, as discussed in IAWN ( https://iawn.net/ ), of which I am a member. The first object is the asteroid 2022 NR. It was discovered on July 06 by the Catalina Sky Survey. It is a Near Earth APOLLO type asteroid with a diameter of 25 meters, which will make its closest pass by the Earth on July 10 at a distance of 384,000 km (equal to the distance between the Earth and the Moon) . The discovery was announced with the following MPEC:

https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K22/K22N43.html

The second object is comet C/2022 N1. It was discovered by Attard - Maury from their observatory in Atacama, Chile. It is currently located at a distance of 1.7 AU (about 255 million km) from Earth, with a brightness of 18.5 mag. Its rotation period is 152.95 years. It took 89 observations from 13 countries to identify it! The discovery was announced with the following MPEC:

https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K22/K22N47.html



















Finally...After months of inactivity due to weather and work, last night 22-06-22 I was involved with my beloved Astronomy. An evening that involved a lot of testing, as the equipment hadn't been used for a long time and I also had to test some new things... There is still a lot to be done before I get to the desired point.. However, I managed to contribute to the discovery-identification of an asteroid. It was 2022 MP, a NAR-Earth Object with a diameter of 47-106 meters, which was located at a distance of 4,000,000 km. Its closest pass from Earth will be on June 27, 2021 at 2,500,000 km. The asteroid is located in the constellation Lyra and is around 18mag in magnitude.

https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K22/K22M35.html



















20-02-22. The vindication of my efforts all these years with Astronomy has arrived! Reaching a point that even I had not imagined, the NOAK Observatory, after an application submitted in October 2021, became a member of the IAWN (International Asteroid Warning Network), after a vote among the members of the Steering Committee! The IAWN was established in 2013 as a result of recommendations from the United Nations UN and specifically the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), for an internationally-coordinated response to a potential threat of a Near Earth Object ( NEO ) and the creation of an international group of organizations responsible for the detection, monitoring and characterization of NEOs. The IAWN has been tasked with developing a strategy, using well-defined communication plans and protocols, to assist governments in analyzing the consequences of asteroid impacts and planning responses. Its members are the world's major space agencies such as NASA, CNSA, ESA, ESO, INASAN, ISA, universities, organisations and some individuals whose work makes a major contribution to the discovery and identification of objects in the Solar System and thus to the protection of the Earth from such threats. The first meeting I attended (there have been 13 in total since 2013) was held online and lasted 3.5 hours. We discussed various ongoing projects, and there was a briefing by the UN COPUOS Programme Manager on procedural issues. My pleasure is indescribable, but at the same time for the first time there is also a responsibility, as I am representing my country at such a high level.

https://iawn.net/index.shtml

https://iawn.net/about/members.shtml

https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/topics/neos/iawn.html



















NOAK Observatory, as the only observatory in Greece that participates in the discovery and determination of the orbits of asteroids and comets, took part in the campaign organized by IAWN (International Asteroid Warning Network) which took place in November 2021. IAWN is an organization approved by the United Nations, whose main objective is to coordinate the efforts of observatories, organizations and individuals from all over the world as a network, so that the study and recording of asteroids and especially Near Earth Objects can be in the best possible way. For this reason, IAWN chose the asteroid 2019 XS as its target, to check the accuracy of the measurements that each observatory will report separately. 67 observatories from all over the world participated as can be seen from the pdf uploaded by IAWN. From this graph we understand that the vast majority concerns professional astronomy and only a few amateur ones! There were 3 teleconferences via zoom (the last one was held last Tuesday), with the participation of people from NASA (and even from HQ) as well as astronomers from the world's largest observatories. We exchanged views on what we can do to improve our measurement response time and accuracy. Incredible school for me where I really learned techniques on software and hardware that I was unaware of. The last thing left of the process is to send an email to each observatory separately from the people in charge, where they will be notified of the errors in their measurements and possible ways to deal with them.



















Near Earth Asteroid 2019 XS. Discovered in 2019 by Mt. Lemmon Survey and its diameter is estimated at 40-100m. Two days ago it passed the closest point of its orbit, in terms of the Earth, at a distance of 567,536Km (ie 1.5 times the Earth-Moon distance) with a speed of 10.7 km/s or 38,520km/h. When I photographed it it was 14.5 mag and moving at 100"/min. This asteroid was chosen by the IAWN (International Asteroid Warning Network) to test the time accuracy in the measurements of asteroid observers worldwide. All measurements were submitted to MPC. The gif shows the movement of the asteroid in about 1 min in the center of the image.



















My second publication on 10-31-2021 with the Exoclock Project team on Arxiv and the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series! These are measurements related to the more accurate recording of the transits of specific exoplanets, so that they can be used in the ESA's Ariel mission. Congratulations to everyone and especially to the Greeks participating in the project, as well as to the creators of the whole project, Anastasia Kokori and Angelos Tsiaras.

href= "https://arxiv.org/abs/2110.13863

href= "https://www.exoclock.space/



















Thank you for hosting Sunday's newspaper Eleftheros Typos and for the detailed presentation of the Observatory's work.

href= "https://eleftherostypos.gr/tech/838284-to-stayraki-ioanninon-sta-rantar-tis-nasa-ti-leei-ston-e-t-o-kathigitis-fysikis-nikos-sioylas



















My first entry into identifying a comet with the Pan-Starrs system was on 09-10-21. Comet C/2021 S3 Pan-Starrs was discovered on September 24 by the Pan-Starrs monitoring system located in Hawaii and is the first line of defense along with the Catalina Sky Survey and Palomar in detecting asteroids and comets. My readings were taken last Saturday morning and entered into the automated recording system of the Minor Planet Center based at Harvard. The comet was at a low altitude and that is why the measurements from the Southern Hemisphere, Chile and Australia.. If everything goes well (although it is very early) in 2024 its brightness will reach 7mag. Its discovery was announced yesterday morning with M.P.E.C 2021-T166.



















09-28-2021. For the second year in a row I was a speaker at one of the largest conferences held worldwide. The Europlanet Science Congress 2021 which this year hosted online 800 delegates from 47 countries. The subject of my talk was about the publication I issued a few months ago in the MinorPlanetBulletin and it was about recording, studying and analyzing data to determine the rotation period of the asteroid Sabine 665.

href= "https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2021/EPSC2021-616.html



















09-08-2021. HAT-P-32b is an exoplanet located 944 light-years away. Just to mention that if we wanted to get there by traveling with Voyager we would need 17,000,000 years. Discovered in 2011, it is a Hot Jupiter planet, with a mass roughly equal to that of Jupiter, but with twice the radius. Its rotation period is 2.15 days, while its temperature reaches 1000⁰C. This planetary system consists of two suns and at least one planet. The duration of the occultation was 186.5 min and the luminosity dip of the parent star was 0.0244 mag. Total shooting time around 4h with adverse conditions since the temperature reached 27⁰C and the moon close to 85%. The measurements were submitted to the European Space Agency's (ESA) Exoclock database to more accurately determine the transit times of 1000 exoplanets that the ARIEL spacecraft will use in its 4-year mission when it launches in 2029. More information here:

href= "https://arielmission.space/



















Another Greek participation on 06-23-2021 with the NOAK Observatory (MPC-NASA code L02) in the identification and determination of the orbit of a comet, so that the unique service in the world for the identification of all objects in our solar system MinorPlanetCenter (funded from NASA ), to announce his discovery. Comet C/2021 L3 was discovered by Gennady Borisov about a week ago in the Crimea region. For those who don't know him, he is the man who also discovered the first interstellar comet (not from our own solar system) named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). The comet was initially given the temporary name gb00279. Measurements from 11 countries were required until its orbit was fully determined. It is a comet with a period of about 1738 years, which will make its closest pass from Earth in February 2023 at a distance of 1.2 billion km. When I photographed it, its brightness was 20.2 mag! Just observe a bit of its orbit relative to our solar system to draw a conclusion as to how far it reaches! Its discovery was announced with M.P.E.C 2021- M75

href= "https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K21/K21M75.html



















Occultation of the star TYC 1401-00444-1 by the asteroid Melpomene (18). The duration of the occultation was calculated at 5.72sec, while the drop in its brightness at 1.3 mag. Skywatcher 250mm and ASI 290mm telescope (patent cooled). SharpCap download program (*.ser file) and to export the curve the programs PYMOVIE and PYOTE. The occultation took place on Wednesday May 19, 2021 at 21:23:10 UTC in the constellation of Cancer. Occultation of the star TYC 1401-00444-1 by the asteroid Melpomene (18). The occultation phenomenon occurs when a celestial body (e.g. asteroid) passes in front of a second celestial body (star) and blocks the light it radiates. In this way we can draw useful conclusions about the shape and diameter of the asteroid. One such occultation, of the star TYC 1401-00444-1 by the asteroid Melpomene, I had studied some time ago, as I informed you. With the help of my measurements and other observers who were in the path of the occultation, the agency responsible for the coordination and study of these measurements in Europe, managed to produce a 3d (DAMIT Model) model of the particular asteroid. As we observe my string, that is, how long the star "extinguished" at the location where I observed the phenomenon, is ultimately accurate and matches the proposed model. (Chord 3).



















This June 2021 is a month of comets. Therefore, on Saturday I also found the opportunity to take two photos, to prevent the coming bad weather.. The first one I photographed is the C/2020 T2 Palomar. It is located in the constellation Bootis at a distance of 220,000,00 km. Its brightness is 10.6 mag although NASA's JPL gives us a value closer to 13.5 mag. Its rotation period is 5,610 years! The duration of the download is 1 hour. The second and most difficult to photograph is 7P/Pons-Winnecke. The difficulty is that it rises late (after 3:00) and is therefore at a very low altitude. Also its brightness is determined at 11.2 mag. It is located in the Capricorn constellation and its distance from Earth is 66,000,000 km. The speed is about 120,000 km/h. Its rotation period is 6.35 years. The duration of the download is also 1 hour. All measurements were submitted to the Minor Planet Center to determine their orbit more precisely. My only observation is that the orbit of 7P exhibits a deviation. I believe it is due to the outburst seen a few days ago. Photos in Comets-> Comet identifications and photos.



















Asteroid Apophis 99942. I couldn't wait for it until 2029 when it will pass again at a distance of only 31,643Km from the surface of the Earth and I decided to photograph it yesterday despite the bad weather in Ioannina on 08-03-2021. It was named after the Egyptian god of chaos Apophis. This is the most famous asteroid, because for several years it was considered as a maximum threat to the security of the Earth. Its speed relative to the Earth is 4.7 Km/s and its distance when I photographed it was approximately 17,500,000 Km. Its diameter ranges from 340-370m and its brightness approaches 16mag. This period it is in the constellation of Hydra. Photos in the Asteroids section-> NEW identifications and asteroid photos.



















Another asteroid that I helped determine and identify its orbit and species, thus contributing to the defense and protection of Earth on 02-07-2021. It was discovered by the Canterbury Mount John Observatory, which is New Zealand's leading astronomical research observatory and is located at a height of 1,029 meters. This is the asteroid 2021 CB2 which was initially given the temporary code name C4TJHC2. It is an asteroid with a diameter of 100-200m located at a distance of 6,900,000 Km. It is an Apollo-type Near Earth Asteroid. It also belongs to the category of potentially dangerous objects (Potentially Hazardous Object) because its orbit is very close to that of the Earth. At the time I photographed it, it was 19.22mag. Its discovery was announced by MinorPlanetCenter with MPEC:

href= "https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K21/K21C71.html

I also tried to detect another asteroid discovered by the Haleakala Observatory, but it was not possible. After research I found that this asteroid is either lost or a system error. Then the weather in Ioannina went bad...



















On Sunday 17/1/2021 at 18:00 I will guide you through the discovery and study of asteroids and comets. The presentation will be broadcast live on the ΑΑΕΔΕ – (Ηρακλής):

href= "href= "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8vKhmZ7CUo&pp=ygUuzrHPg8-Ez4HOv869zr_OvM65zrEgzpHOkc6VzpTOlSDOl8-BzrHOus67zq7Pgg%3D%3D

Σας περιμένω..



















Finally 16-12-2020! The first publication concerning the measurements made for the ARIEL program is now a fact! This is the first wave of measurements because we have time until 2028 when the spacecraft will be launched. The main goal of the project is the more accurate recording and analysis of the transits of exoplanets in front of their parent star. Congratulations to all participants and especially the creators of this effort, Anastasia and Angelo!

href= "https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.07478



















It is with great pleasure and great honor that I announce my participation in the Europlanet Science Congress 2020. It is the largest European conference on Planetary Science and one of the largest in the world with approximately 1000 participants annually. This year the conference was to be held in Granada, Spain, but due to Covid-19 it is being held online from September 21 – October 9, 2020. It is purely a scientific conference, but one part of it gives the stage to us amateur astronomers to present our work (which in some places reaches the limits of professionalism). In the following link is presented a summary of my work and its presentation. It concerns the field of Astrometry and how I contribute to the discovery and identification of new asteroids (and comets) and especially those that could potentially pose a danger to the Earth (Near Earth Objects).

href= "https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2020/EPSC2020-24.html?fbclid=IwAR2cCpoK9Liunwr8qiiGr3IUvQsaFxJsk3QR09fkT9O15pFk0Xyqm6mvEmc



















Photometric recording of the exoplanet Kepler-447b on 07-27-2020. Finally after a long time the weather conditions (and not only) allowed me to deal with a field of astronomy that I love and consider very evolving. The exoplanets. The specific recording concerns the exoplanet Kepler-447b. It is a planet similar in size to Jupiter and even belongs to the category of Hot Jupiters because it is very close to its star. It was only discovered in 2015 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. The brightness of the star is about 12.5 mag and its maximum dip was at 26mmag. The duration of the planet's passage in front of its parent star (its Sun) lasted 2.72h, but the observation reached 3.5h! This particular solar system may have other planets, but they are still difficult to distinguish. The measurements will be used to more precisely determine the transit times of 1000 exoplanets in ESA's ARIEL mission in 2028. Quite a difficult goal after all….



















One of the most beautiful sights I have seen in the sky in several years! Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE on 2020-07-13. It reminded me of comets we had seen several years ago.. I set my alarm for 4:45 but I didn't need to.. I woke myself up in anticipation of seeing him.. Very bright with an impressive tail arriving (from where I was). at 2 degrees. Can one find him very easily in the northeast since he is visible with the naked eye!! Having survived its close pass by the sun, withstanding enormous temperatures and at a distance of 133,000,000 km it travels towards the reaches of our solar system in the Oort cloud. Shot with a humble (but not despised) Canon 600d and 18-55mm lens. Whatever equipment you have with a little experimentation you will photograph it.. As long as you can because it will visit us again after 6000 years. Are you still sitting? Two more selfie photos of the now famous comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE. One emphasizing more the tail and the other the core. Unfortunately, Mitsikeli here in Ioannina does not allow me to photograph him earlier. The photos were taken using a CCD astronomical camera. Each photo covers an area of 1.2 square degrees. Finally a small animation literally the dawn and what is its position at this time in our solar system! Photos in Comets-> Comet identifications and photos.



















One of the last things I missed in astrometry was helping to determine the orbit of a comet. And it happened! Saturday night, early Sunday morning at 4:00 am I photographed the comet in the constellation of Andromeda. An observation.. We just founded our astronomical club in Ioannina called "Andromeda"! Random? Comet C/2020 K3 (Leonard) was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey (703) on May 22, 2022, and to determine its orbit, observatories from 9 countries took part. The sheet (MPEC) with which the discovery of the comet is announced is given by the following link:

href= "https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec /K20/K20KF9.html

Its current distance from Earth is 1,586 A.U (ie 238,000,000 km) at 18.3 mag and its perihelion on June 1 is at a distance of 1,583 A.U with a projected brightness of 17.1 mag. My observations had an average error of only 0.4 arcsec! The measurements were made at the amateur observatory NOAK Observatory (IAU code L02). And the journey continues... Photos in Comets-> Comet identifications and photos.



















On the morning of April 29, 2020, asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 will approach Earth at a distance of 0.042 AU (about 6 million km or 16 times the Earth-Moon distance). This distance is not particularly small for asteroids of this type, what is unusual in this case is the small absolute size, H=15.8, which implies a diameter of the order of 2 km for a reflectivity of 25%. This means the asteroid will be particularly bright, of apparent magnitude 10 or 11, as it streaks across the sky at up to 16 arcseconds per minute of the hour (!) in late April. The last time we had a chance to witness this kind of approach was in December 2017, when the 6 km diameter asteroid (3200) Phaethon approached us at a distance of 0.069 a.m. As it approaches us, OR2 will reach 12th magnitude on the 22 of the month and 11th on the 27th or 28th. It will initially appear high in the western sky just after sunset and will be visible during the first half of the night. As the days pass, it will move towards the southern hemisphere of the sky, until it disappears below the horizon in early May. Photos in the Asteroids section-> NEW identifications and asteroid photos.



















Observing once again comet C/2019 Y4 on 2020-04-17, it seems that it does not want to surrender its weapons. Photographing it yesterday for an hour I noticed a big change in its position from where it should be according to its orbital data. This is clearly due to its fragmentation into at least 4 pieces. However, I could not make them out and I conclude that they must have moved away from the main core-piece, which probably still seems active. Its brightness in the last 3 days seems to be increasing a bit, which makes sense since it is getting closer to the Sun. By zooming in on the remaining main piece, you can also make out part of its structure. C/2019 Y4. A disintegrating comet. Great moment and the important thing is that even a simple amateur astronomer can record its fragmentation. As can be seen in the image I took last night with clouds and humidity its decay is evident even with an average telescope (10 inches) from an urban area. With only 45min shots, since the cloud cover did us no favors, it seems that a piece of the comet has detached. It seems to have gone to <>! A while ago today I read that with larger telescopes it looks like the comet has broken into 4 pieces! They will turn the Hubble towards the end of April because until then it is scheduled with other work. Astrometric measurements are also urgently requested to determine the exact orbit of the pieces. Photos in Comets-> Comet identifications and photos.



















05-04-2020. I have no words to express my joy about the fact that my measurements related to exoplanet research were used at the conference organized by ESA (European Space Agency), that is, the European NASA, held in Noordwijk in the Netherlands a while ago Cairo. This is a project related to the mission of the ARIEL spacecraft, which will take place in 2028. Many thanks to Anastasia Kokori and Angelos Tsiaras for the honor of presenting them to me.

href= "https://sci.esa.int/web/ariel/



















Another successful participation of the amateur observatory NOAK (L02) on 12-01-2020, in the NASA sponsored MPC (a service of the IAU) effort to map all the objects found in our solar system. This time it is about recording and determining the orbit of asteroid 2019 XY6. It was discovered by the ATLAS-MLO observatory, Mauna Loa on December 21, 2019 and its magnitude was 19mag in the constellation Perseus. It received the code A10iY9L and was initially thought to be a comet and indeed a Jupiter family comet! This was to remain in the respective tables for confirmation for 3 weeks and 234 (!) measurements were made from several observatories throughout the Northern Hemisphere as shown in the attachment below. Ultimately and after much discussion and individual observations this object was thought to be an asteroid after they failed to determine that it has a tail much to our general dismay. No worries! Next time! Its discovery was announced yesterday with all its orbital data in the M.P.E.C. 2020-A111

href= "https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K20/K20AB1.html

However, I find (and not just me) that things for us amateur astronomers at this level are getting more and more difficult and the techniques we use have to become more specialized. Most of the brightest objects have been recorded and we are moving to fainter as well as faster bodies, making it increasingly difficult for someone to get their name on an MPEC. Finally, I am also uploading an .avi on youtube with the orbit of this particular asteroid, which I created with the very valuable (and for educational purposes) program CELESTIA.

href= "https://youtu.be/1lVrWsxWV-U



















Another photometric recording of an exoplanet on 08-22-2019! This is Qatar-1b located 610 light years away. A planet about the size and mass of Jupiter that was discovered in 2010. The method I used to observe it is the Transit method, which has seen the most exoplanet discoveries (4057 confirmed in total, so far). This method is based on the fact that when a planet passes in front of its star (its Sun), the brightness of the star decreases and this is shown in the graph. We can glean a lot of information from this fall. The measurements were submitted to the Exoclock system of ESA's Ariel Space Mission. It is a database-records of the transits of exoplanets in order to be used in the specific space mission. This mission aims to record the atmosphere as well as how 1000 exoplanets were created with a 1m diameter telescope!



















Leaving asteroids and comets for a moment... Photometric recording of the passage of the exoplanet CoRoT-2 b from its parent star. The recording was made on Tuesday night, early Wednesday on 8/7/2019. The exoplanet CoRoT-2 b was discovered in 2007 and is located 700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Aetus. It is a planet that has a mass 3.31 times the mass of Jupiter and 1.43 times its radius. Its temperature reaches 1500K and its rotation period 1.74 days. The particular solar system consists only of the particular planet and its star! In this particular passage the planet's projected entrance start in front of its star is at 21:45 UTC, while its projected exit is at 0:02 UTC. The measurements were processed with the Muniwin program. The recording was made at the NOAK Observatory (NASA-MPC code: L02) in Ioannina.



















20-06-19.Two other asteroids that I helped locate and orbit were confirmed by MinorPlanetCenter. The asteroid with the temporary code name C0C2N31 got its final name which is 2019 LU5. It is an Apollo class asteroid, which when I photographed it was at 18.6mag and now at 22.5mag, with a brightness that is constantly decreasing and a diameter of 40-90m. Discovered on June 8 by Pan-STARRS 2, Haleakala and its closest pass was on the same day at 5.4 million kilometers from Earth. The second one I photographed that night is the 2019 LS5, codenamed C0C24D1. An Amor class asteroid, at 18.8 mag two weeks ago and now at about 21 mag with a diameter of 24-183m. It was discovered on June 5 by the Catalina Sky Survey and its closest pass occurred on June 7, 2019 at 5.2 million kilometers from Earth. Their discovery announcements are shown in the following MPEC's, as is the standard procedure followed by the MPC for new objects being discovered.

href= "https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K19/K19M53.html

href= "https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K19/K19M52.html

Of course, a technical problem on the MPC servers resulted in not being able to issue MPEC's for two weeks. They happen to the best of families, and let's not forget that the MPC is funded by NASA. Once the data was recovered, data flow resumed normally. Photos in the Asteroids section-> Identifications and asteroid photos.



















And one last update... The asteroid with the code name C05T6Y1 that I had observed, finally got its final name which is 2013 EX27, since its orbit has now been determined. It is an asteroid with a diameter of about 50m and a distance of 90,000,000Km. On the website

href= "https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K19/K19G04.html

we see the sheet announcing the asteroid, all the measurements taken, the observatories involved in determining the orbit as well as the physical characteristics of the asteroid. Finally, the deviations of the measurements of each asteroscope from the final orbit are also noted, which are measured in sec of arc (!!) and we see that even though I had the smallest diameter telescope, the deviation was very small. With these measurements I managed to join the club of astroscopes (professional and at least amateur) all over the world who are looking for asteroids and comets as shown in the link below:

href= "http://neocp.jostjahn.de/?fbclid=IwAR3x-7h2vdwLmGc_XgXaXfMO4yTZMyrlgNGSHFJCjOSTlw4g-UgsTcLxTkA



















So to get a little out of the ordinary on 2018-08-18...A screenshot of the process I followed in studying comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner which is in the constellation of Cassiopeia and is moving towards that of Giraffe. The duration of the download is 1h 10''. Using several astronomical programs and specific methodology I astrometrically determined its position when I photographed it, as well as its magnitude, coma, tail length and position angle.. All measurements were submitted to MPC, COBS Database and Cometas_Obs for further scientific use .



















For the first time in Greece on 31-03-2019 both at amateur and professional level, a NEOCP (magnitude 19.2 mag) was recorded by the NOAK observatory (MPC-NASA L02), i.e. an asteroid that was discovered just the day before yesterday by the large automated telescopes such as CATALINA SKY SURVEYS and ATLAS -MLO. These objects get a temporary name and from there on NASA, various observatories from all over the world, and even amateur astronomers, make measurements to determine as accurately as possible the orbit of the specific object. If indeed the orbit crosses that of the Earth, it enters a high priority list. When its orbit is fully determined, it now receives its official name and all the observatories that contributed to achieving the goal are also registered. At the following address you can watch a representative video, which shows exactly how I participate in NASA's effort to record all the objects found in our solar system.

href= "https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/video/how-does-nasa-spot-a-near-earth-asteroid/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nasajpl-edu&utm_content=edunews_20181213

Με τον τρόπο αυτό γίνεται μια χαρτογράφηση όλων των αντικειμένων που υπάρχουν στο ηλιακό μας σύστημα ώστε να γνωρίζουμε αν κάποιο από αυτά αποτελεί κίνδυνο για τη Γη. Μέχρι στιγμής δεν έχουμε βρει κάτι ανησυχητικό!! Therefore: EARTH is SAFE!



















Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner on 2018-07-23. A comet that on the night I photographed it had a magnitude of 13.84 mag and was at a distance of 106,460,000 km from the Earth. The picture was taken at the 12th PEEA held in Drymona, Etoloakarnania. Dedicated to my friend Kostas Astrofilos.



















With great joy and special honor today 30-07-2017, I announce to you that after 3 months of preparation and 2 ½ weeks of waiting for the results, my request was finally approved by the MinorPlanetCenter, for the granting of an Observatory Code, for the location where I have my telescope and specifically my house! The MinorPlanetCenter as it states on its page is the only service, worldwide, responsible for studying measurements of the position of asteroids, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of the major planets. The MPC is also responsible for identifying, characterizing and calculating the trajectory for all these objects. The MPC operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, under the auspices of Directorate F of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). All MPC operating funds come from a grant from NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program. Much of the IT equipment used by the MPC is provided by the Tamkin Foundation. The task was quite difficult, as it required measurements of several bodies with an accuracy of less than arcsec, as well as the fact that these measurements would have to be submitted in a certain way, otherwise they would not be accepted! My own measurements after the necessary control I did, had a deviation of the order of ± 0.2 arcsec. This means, beyond my moral reward, that along with the rest of the world's observatories engaged in this kind of measurement, research centers, various agencies and laboratories, my home(!) will be in their databases and that data announced, for any object, will be automatically integrated for the geographical coordinates of my location. Also, the various astronomical centers around the world will know that there is an "active" observatory in the specific area, which, if needed, can participate in some international project. Finally, any measurement I make, whether astrometric or photometric, will be automatically registered in their system. This also applies to any organization that uses these codes. My location was saved with Observatory NOAK code, Stavraki Ioannina Greece, with code L02 (it will be added to the corresponding list in the next few days), but I already got data using my code.



















20-01-2016.It's not one of my best photos, but I couldn't let him leave us like that..A photo taken with 70% Moon, aiming right over the light-polluted and smog-ridden Ioannina with the temperature at -3C! ! I did what I could..weather permitting I will try again....Only his tail is a bit faint I am happy! Support: CG5-GT Advanced C/2013 Catalina US10 Telescope: Skywatcher ed80 Camera: Canon 600D modified Finderscope drive 9x50- ASI120mm. Downloads: 10x120sec lights, 10 Darks. Nebulosity, DeepSkyStalker, Photoshop CS6. Photos in Comets-> Comet identifications and photos.