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SKY-MAP.ORG / WIKISKY • View topic - Comet Encke/Lovejoy

Comet Encke/Lovejoy

Comet Encke/Lovejoy

Postby Parsec » Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:28 pm

Just a quick note here for anyone interested.

Comet Encke (short period comet) is in the western sky now.
If one has dark skies it may even be visible to the naked eye. If not a extremely easy object with binoculars.

If anyone wants to try for it.
In the western sky, after sunset, go just to the right of the constellation of Aries. If you do not know Aries then find Venus (you can't miss it, it is very bright) follow down and slightly to the right.

Remember, comets only produce the long tail when close to the sun. Other than that they are 'fuzzy' points of light. They are easily distinguishable from stars.

We also have another comet almost naked eye visible now. Comet Lovejoy is in the eastern sky climbing higher every night.
By the 26th of this month it will be just to the right of the constellation Hercules

Just as a tid-bit. This one (Lovejoy) was discovered by a guy with a SLR camera and telephoto lense (talk about luck).

Jeez, makes the rest of us wonder why we use valuable beer money on telescopes. :wink:
"We live in a changing universe, and few things are changing faster than our conception of it."
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Postby Tuguldur » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:54 am

Hi Ron,

2days ago (2007-4-19) I've observed the Lovejoy. It's magnitude is about +8.6 right now, and the human eye potential in IDEAL conditions is about +6mag. So, its impossible to view with an unaided eye even during a perfect night.

The weather conditions were poor, but the bright core and the long tail was clearly visible in my 6" f/5 rich field telescope, in 40X magnification. And tomorrow I'm going to observatory, hope I'll get some shots of it :D

Tuugii
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Postby Parsec » Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:53 am

Good for you Tuugii. :D

I have not seen it yet although I have tried. One of the other amateurs also tried the othe night and could not observe it.
Wait until I tell him you got it, I know he will cry.

In fact I was out last night until the wee hours of the morning looking for it.
I had no problem with M13 the Hercules cluster, M57 ring nubula and I could just get a faint wisp of light from M104 sombrero (too much light here to do much better with that).
So, perhaps I should have stayed out a bit longer.

Looking at the chart it will have climbed high in the sky just to the left of Hercules around the 27- 30th of the month.
I don't know what the brightness factor will be than. I hope it stays the same or even gets better.

I'll try again tonight. The weather should be clear and the temperatures are not too bad. They only get down to 0?C or perhaps a bit below.

Tuugii, when you go to the observatory with your rich field you might get some good shots.

Let me know how you make out, and good luck.

Ron
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Postby Parsec » Mon May 07, 2007 8:55 am

Tuugii,

We finally got some clear sky last night after about a week and half of overcast. It was a bit cool, the overnight temperature was down to -1.7?C.

I tried to observe comet Lovejoy, but could not get it. I scanned an area of several degrees to the right of Rastaban and Eltanin. I just could not find it.
I used the 10 inch Dob. No problem with M13 or M57. I guess perhaps the comet's visual magnitude is quite dim.

If I get a chance later in the week I may go up to the observatory and try it with the 17.5. The sky is darker there than around here. That will probably help a lot.

Ron
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