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Comet 2011 W3

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  • jbortle@aol.com
    I trust that most here appreciate that we are witnessing one of the most extraordinary events in cometary history. The manner in which Comet Lovejoy is
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
      I trust that most here appreciate that we are witnessing one of the most extraordinary events in cometary history. The manner in which Comet Lovejoy is evolving is, to my knowledge, totally unique in the comet record.

      Its brilliant, star-like, appearance this morning, when only at an extremely small heliocentric distance harkens back once again to the reports of "brilliant stars" being occasionally reported close to the Sun down through history.

      Likewise, the reappearance of the tail possibly may suggest that within two or three days a singular shaft of pale light may emerge from out of the twilight for observers in the Southern Hemisphere, resembling the ghostly tails displayed by the Great Southern Comets of 1880 and 1887.

      As for me, I remain under a thinning deck of cirrus, with little hope of it clearing off in time for me to attempt a daylight sighting of this extraordinary comet.

      J.Bortle
    • Alan Hale
      Hi John, and all, I made some visual attempts a little while ago, but didn t see anything -- not yet, anyway. I intend to try again in another hour or so . . .
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
        Hi John, and all,

        I made some visual attempts a little while ago, but didn't see anything --
        not yet, anyway. I intend to try again in another hour or so . . . The
        comet *looks* bright in the C3 images, and I'd like to think it's bright
        enough to view. We'll see . . .


        Sincerely,

        Alan
      • Thomas Dorman
        Alan I do a naked eye search for Comet Lovejoy just a few minutes ago.I saw noting will try when sun gets a litle higher in the sky. Terry great catch and
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
          Alan
          I do a naked eye search for Comet Lovejoy just a few minutes ago.I saw noting
          will try when sun gets a litle higher in the sky.
          Terry great catch and very cool comet.
          Regards
          Thomas Horizon City,Texas


          ________________________________
          From: Alan Hale <ahale@...>
          To: comets-ml@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, December 16, 2011 9:21:29 AM
          Subject: Re: [comets-ml] Comet 2011 W3

           
          Hi John, and all,

          I made some visual attempts a little while ago, but didn't see anything --
          not yet, anyway. I intend to try again in another hour or so . . . The
          comet *looks* bright in the C3 images, and I'd like to think it's bright
          enough to view. We'll see . . .

          Sincerely,

          Alan




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • costeira1
          Dear friends, Thats some attempts that I did, but NO detection: 2011 Dec 15.52 I [-4.0 10x50B Alexandre Amorim,Fpolis/SC[dia] 15.60 I [-4.0 10x50B
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
            Dear friends,

            Thats some attempts that I did, but NO detection:

            2011 Dec
            15.52 I [-4.0 10x50B Alexandre Amorim,Fpolis/SC[dia]
            15.60 I [-4.0 10x50B Alexandre Amorim,Fpolis/SC[dia]
            15.81 I [-4.0 7R10 28 Alexandre Amorim,Fpolis/SC[dia]
            16.50 I [-4.0 7R10 28 Alexandre Amorim,Fpolis/SC[dia]
            16.58 I [-4.0 10x50B Alexandre Amorim,Fpolis/SC[dia]

            []s


            --- In comets-ml@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Dorman <drygulch_99@...> wrote:
            >
            > Alan
            > I do a naked eye search for Comet Lovejoy just a few minutes ago.I saw noting
            > will try when sun gets a litle higher in the sky.
            > Terry great catch and very cool comet.
            > Regards
            > Thomas Horizon City,Texas
          • jbortle@aol.com
            Skies that had been overspread by cirrus earlier, cleared away shortly before 16:45UT, allowing for an attempt at detecting 2011 W3 in daylight near local
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
              Skies that had been overspread by cirrus earlier, cleared away shortly before 16:45UT, allowing for an attempt at detecting 2011 W3 in daylight near local noon. I employed mounted 20x80 binoculars and arranged for the solar disk to be totally obscured from the instrument.

              A careful search was made in a fairly favorable, but rather bright sky, implying that there might have been some residual moisture still in the atmosphere. Nothing was detected in about 10 minutes of searching. This would imply that the comet's head must have been fainter than -2.0 to -2.5 at that time, since I have viewed objects of that brightness with the same equipment even closer to the Sun on a number of occasions.

              J.Bortle
            • Alan Hale
              Hi John, and everyone, I just finished another series of attempts with the 20-cm SCT (same basic procedure that I utilized yesterday). Clear skies (where were
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
                Hi John, and everyone,

                I just finished another series of attempts with the 20-cm SCT (same basic
                procedure that I utilized yesterday). Clear skies (where were they
                yesterday??) -- and, unfortunately, I didn't see anything.

                I've easily seen Venus with this setup under configurations not too
                different than this, so I would say the limiting brightness is certainly no
                brighter than m1 = -4 I'd probably be willing to go a magnitude fainter
                than that, i.e., m1 [ -3 (December 16.73 UT)

                I really would have liked to have seen this comet, but unless it stays very
                bright for another couple of days, it looks like it's not meant to be . . .
                :(


                Sincerely,

                Alan
              • opisska
                Dear comet fans, I have just compared the position in SOHO and in SkyMap (based on the latest MPC) and they differ by roughly 20 arcminutes. Can anyone tell me
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 16, 2011
                  Dear comet fans,

                  I have just compared the position in SOHO and in SkyMap (based on the latest MPC) and they differ by roughly 20 arcminutes. Can anyone tell me how much is the paralax between Earth and SOHO and how much is the real shift in trajectory?

                  Thank you,
                  Jan
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