RESULTS: 42 possible new objects found!

Vulcanoid News

Hello everyone,

It is 6 days ago now that the moon covered the sun. The eclipse was very well visible from my location in Turkey. This was the first time I experienced a real total eclipse. An utterly dramatical moment in my life.

I can announce that my part of the Vulcanoid search has been quite succesful. More than 40 unknown starlike objects i found on the pictures. Most of them are at the limit of visibility and therefore doubtful. But 5 objects are very certain (they appear in every frame) and another 12 are also well recognizable as stars. March 31st i posted my results to the Minor Planet Centre. This is the text i sent them:

Dear Sir,
I am participating in the search-program for Vulcanoid Asteroids (see details on ) For that reason I have taken pictures of the starfields surrounding the sun during the solar eclips of 29 march 2006. After a quick analysys of the pictures I have found several new objects, possibly asteroids or sungrazing comets.

The pictures were taken with a DSLR-camera Canon 300D digital rebel and 100-300mm telelens, which was set on f=199mm. No filter was used. This corresponds with a field of 6 to 4 arc-degree. Pictures were take of the starfields both east and west of the sun, with the ecliptica as central line through the field. The center of the field is 7,5 degrees away from the center of the sun. The enclosed pictures are compressed to JPEG.

*Picture 1: New objects east of eclipsed sun,*
Centercoordinates (2000.0) of this field is RA 00h57m and Dec 6°40' Stack of 3 pictures, Exposuretime 9 seconds each. Stacked in Registax and processed in Photoshop. The 3 pictures have each a slight dislocation (stars have moved a bit). This is very helpful for getting a decent end result: after realigning the pictures on the stars, the few hot pixels on the CCD are mostly excluded. Limiting magnitude is about 9,5.
Time: 10h55m28s UT / 10h56m02s

After close examination and comparing images several unknown objects are
visible. These objects are not present on the starmap, and are also not present on referencepictures I took 6 weeks ago of this area. The letters are placed directly above the objects.
- Objects marked as a red V are starlike and quite certain.
- A green V? is uncertain.
- Objects marked as a red V! do also appear on two other images. Those two pictures were not included in the stackingprocess, because they were partly spoiled by thin clouds which formed during totality.
- One object marked with a C has a cometlike appearance.
- And one object marked with V(Yuri) refers to Yuri from Kiev, Ukrain, who saw it first on the screen.

*Picture 2: New objects East of eclipsed sun*
Same as picture 1, but including a transparent Starmap to magn 11,0 and the Ecliptica (source: SkyMap Pro v10.0.5).

*Picture 3: New objects West of eclipsed sun*
Centercoordinates (2000.0) of this field is RA 00h02m and Dec 0 49' N At the end of the totality I was able to shoot a few pictures of the westside of the sun as well. Picture 3 is a stack of two pictures, Stacked in Registax and processed in Photoshop. Because of the increasing light, the limiting magnitude is about 8,8. Exposuretimes are 9 seconds and 7 seconds. There are some hints to new objects, but those are all doubtful. Time 10h58m46s UT

*Picture 4: New objects West of eclipsed sun incl starmap*
Same as picture 3, but including a transparent Starmap to magn 11,0 and the Ecliptica (source: SkyMap Pro v10.0.5).

Mr.Landon Noll (USA), who initiated the search, has done a similar photosession from Lybia. By half of april he will start analyzing his own results. He has concentrated on the west side of the sun. Although my results of the westside are not reliable, it may possibly still be of use in combination with the results of Mr. Noll. Furthermore, I heard about another team which also operated from Lybia.

*My Observing location*
Eastside of city of Side, Turkey, Europe.
Lat 36 45' 58,86" North
Long 31 23' 35,02" east
Altitude: 10 meters above sealevel Mediterranean Sea.

So far my message to the MPC.
I have not enclosed the pictures yet. I will do this soon.

Best regards

Harro Treur
Van den Berghlaan 52
2132 AT Hoofddorp
Tel 0031- 6246 11978

» next forum topic | 929 reads
Submitted by Harro Treur on Tue, 2006-04-04 06:42.

The minor Planet Centre has answered my message on April 2nd as follows:


* From:
* To: terramail
* Date: Apr 2
* Subj: new objects near the sun - EMAIL 1 of 2

Dear Mr. Treur,

We received your data files.  However, we cannot do anything without accurate measurements of the unidentified objects.  Even then, with observations from a single site observing an eclipse, there may not be a great deal we can do.  This is the kind of project, I think, where you need to prepare your own paper, with as full an analysis as possible, and submit it to a standard astronomical journal.

Yours sincerely,
Brian G. Marsden


It is no surprise that my results are of no use for the MPC.
My observation is only from one location on one certain moment.
The photographed objects could be anything: Vulcanoids, sungrazing comets, "normal" asteroids behind the sun, or even supernovae. And some of them may be image artifacts.

From now on it is very important that all available results from different obeservinglocations in the world are collected and analysed.
I am sure that this website can play a central role over here.

The first activity that I can do now is to do the required measurements of the positions and brightness-estimates.

Harro Treur

register to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.