The Executive Committee WG Professional-Amateur Relations in Astronomy invites IAU members to register their projects at Pro-Am Research Collaboration (PARC) platform

The Executive Committee WG Professional-Amateur Relations in
Astronomy invites IAU members to register their projects at Pro-Am Research Collaboration (PARC) platform

The Pro-Am WG wants to connect professional and amateur astronomers with the aim of promoting research collaborations, delivering workshops, and promoting and facilitating the integration of professional astronomers within amateur societies.

With this goal in mind, the Pro-Am WG launched the IAU Pro-Am Research Collaboration (PARC), an initiative that promotes and facilitates professional-amateur research collaborations in astronomy.

PARC aims to enhance professional astronomy research capacity through collaboration with skilled and motivated amateur astronomers.

Throughout history, amateur astronomers have made significant discoveries and contributions to the field of professional astronomy. While many amateurs are observers using smaller optical telescopes to image the night sky directly with CCD detectors, others are engaged in making radio observations or designing and building their own instruments. Some amateur astronomers collect data on solar
eclipses and aurorae or are making astrometric and photometric observations of asteroids and comets and reporting them to the Minor Planet Center, while others are engaged in the precise timing of stellar occultations by bodies in our solar system. PARC will harness this knowledge base and interest from amateur astronomers to enhance the capacity for professional research.

There is an array of useful projects that demonstrate how Pro-Am collaborations can benefit researchers. Galaxy Cruise, from the National Observatory of Japan, and Gaia Vari from the European Space Agency demonstrate the power of amateur astronomers in processing and classifying large sets of data. Individuals can recognise patterns in ways computers can’t, and their efforts can save time and resources, expediting research processes. In some cases, amateur astronomers’ observations have led to the creation of new sets of data used by professional
astronomers. For decades amateurs have been observing variable stars and reporting data to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), and NASA uses amateur astronomers’ Jupiter telescopic images and data of Jupiter to inform the JUNOCAM mission.

Beyond the direct impact on researchers and amateur astronomers groups, the involvement of citizens in research collaborations can increase engagement with astronomy among educators, nonprofit organisations, and industry, fomenting societal support for research activities.

The Pro-Am WG calls on all IAU members who have research projects that would benefit from collaboration with amateur astronomers to register their projects on the WG website. Each project will be reviewed by the Working Group prior to posting. Once in the PARC system, interested amateurs will be able to sign up to participate, and research teams will have the opportunity to review amateur candidates prior to engaging with them as part of the research project.

For more information, please contact Clementina Sasso at clementina.sasso@inaf.it

https://www.iau.org/science/scientific_bodies/working_groups/professional-amateur/

New Comet Discovery C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) 

New Comet Discovery C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) was discovered by H. Nishimura in images taken on Aug. 11 UT, at Gomyo, Kakegawa, Japan with a digital camera. This new 10th magnitude comet is low in the eastern sky before dawn. It has been observed visually, and is said to be relatively easy to spot, even though it is low on the horizon. Interested in how this new comet discovery is being followed up? See our new comet follow up video  

C/2023 P1 (Nishimura): A morning comet visible in binoculars
This comet begins the month in Cancer at magnitude 6.6. Look for a 5.5′ coma.  FINDER CHART

LatitudeVisibility September 2Visibility September 9Visibility September 16Visibility September 23Visibility September 30Nights Visible
55o NLow in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:30Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:50Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00Not visibleNot visible1-18
40o NLow in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:20Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30Not visibleNot visibleNot visible1-11, 13-20
EquatorLow in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:00Not visibleNot visibleNot visibleNot visible1-8, 16-23, 25-25
30SNot visibleNot visibleNot visibleNot visibleNot visible1-2, 19-28

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF

Comet ZTF starts the month high in the northern sky in the faint constellation Camelopardalis and quickly moves south across Auriga and Taurus while fading to ~7.5 magnitude late in the month. Positions are nightly at 8 p.m. CST through February 14th, then switch to every three nights to reflect its slowdown. The locations of Mars and the zenith are shown for February 1st.
Stellarium with additions by Bob King (S&T)