Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Immediate Prospects For 2011 W3

Expand Messages
  • jbortle@aol.com
    Based on the brightness estimates from early this morning, reported here on comets-ml, it would tentatively seem that comet 2011 W3 is currently only slightly
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 18, 2011
      Based on the brightness estimates from early this morning, reported here on comets-ml, it would tentatively seem that comet 2011 W3 is currently only slightly fainter than was Comet Ikeya-Seki at about the same interval post-T and holding its newfound intrinsic brightness. If this is anywhere near correct and that the tail development evident from spacecraft images is at least fairly respresentative of what might be seen visually, then observers should begin seriously searching for the comet's bright tail projecting up out of the morning twilight beginning at dawn tomorrow.

      The tails of some of the major sungrazing comets have been extraordinarily bright. So much so, in fact, that even their exact terminus, usually a vague and extremely ill-defined feature for more typical bright comets, can be clearly evident to the unaided eye. In the case of the Great March Comet of 1843, the Great September Comet of 1882 and 1965's Comet Ikeya-Seki, the tails appeared rather like segments of a bright searchlight beam, so high in their surface brightness that their total length was distincly obvious to most observers.

      Comet Lovejoy's apparition has been so bizarre up to this point that it is truly difficult to anticipate just what might happen next. Even more hazardous would be to attempt to accurately predict the exact sort of tail it will unfurl in the morning sky. However...in my opinion the potention is there for something quite unusual, perhaps even extraordinary, to present itself, particularly by virtue of the current geometry between the comet and Earth, as it presents the most favorable circumatances possible for observing the tail of a Kreutz sungrazing group comet.

      I personally await with great anticipation the first reports of Comet Lovejoy's tail as the comet exits the twilight and begins to traverse the morning skies of the Southern Hemisphere. Please...be complete, accurate and as detailed as possible in describing what you see, the coming event may prove historic.

      J.Bortle
    • P. Edward Murray
      John, thank you so much for your remarks...this is getting exciting as I missed Comet Ikeya-Seki:) Based on the brightness estimates from early this morning,
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 19, 2011
        John, thank you so much for your remarks...this is getting exciting as I missed Comet Ikeya-Seki:)


        "Based on the brightness estimates from early this morning, reported here on comets-ml, it would tentatively seem that comet 2011 W3 is currently only slightly fainter than was Comet Ikeya-Seki at about the same interval post-T and holding its newfound intrinsic brightness. If this is anywhere near correct and that the tail development evident from spacecraft images is at least fairly respresentative of what might be seen visually, then observers should begin seriously searching for the comet's bright tail projecting up out of the morning twilight beginning at dawn tomorrow."

        Ed Murray



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.