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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Comets thread (Anything and everything to do with comets)
Comets thread
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Wednesday, 13.03.2013, 03:38 | Message # 76
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Well at least you were able to view it.




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werdnaforeverDate: Wednesday, 13.03.2013, 06:57 | Message # 77
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I just had a thought. Wouldn't the oort cloud pose a risk to constant-acceleration traveling spacecraft?
 
WatsisnameDate: Wednesday, 13.03.2013, 07:22 | Message # 78
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Not really. The mass of the Oort cloud is a few Earth masses, but the region that it occupies is absolutely enormous, so the risk of actually colliding with something is effectively zero.




 
midtskogenDate: Wednesday, 13.03.2013, 11:19 | Message # 79
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If it was a risk, it would dim the stars.

Promising weather today:


But it was still not visible without binoculars. I tried with binoculars, but I didn't know exactly where to look, so I missed it. The earthshine on the moon was nice, though.


The only thing with a t(r)ail that I saw was:

Attachments: 3659733.jpg(48Kb) · 2119274.jpg(350Kb) · 3442969.jpg(75Kb)





NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI


Edited by midtskogen - Wednesday, 13.03.2013, 20:46
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 01:15 | Message # 80
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Quote (midtskogen)
The only thing with a t®ail that I saw was:


Seems about right


Watched for over an hour as the sun set and then after absolutely nothing. Clouds were only in the western sky of course so my chances of seeing anything were pretty much 0.

sad





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NovaSiliskoDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 01:36 | Message # 81
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Still can't see the stupid thing... stood outside for 30 mins in below freezing windchill with binoculars like an idiot and got nothing out of it. Sky's perfectly clear, and yet nothing. Oh well, I guess I can wait till ISON...

Edited by NovaSilisko - Thursday, 14.03.2013, 01:39
 
anonymousgamerDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 01:39 | Message # 82
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I couldn't spot it either, I'm disappointed. I really wanted to see it.




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NovaSiliskoDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 02:28 | Message # 83
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Shame we don't have 0.97 yet so we could all just pretend we've seen it tongue
 
DisasterpieceDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 02:47 | Message # 84
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Don't you just hate when clouds decide to occupy the exact part of the sky you need to be looking at. angry




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HarbingerDawnDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 02:51 | Message # 85
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I'm sorry to hear about your comet-hunting misfortunes sad

On the up side, I did manage to see it! It was almost invisible to the naked eye, but I picked it up on my camera. I was having trouble with my camera/tripod, but I did manage to get some acceptable shots. As always, click for full res.





Quote (midtskogen)
The only thing with a t®ail that I saw was

heh I shot a few of those myself cool





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WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 03:39 | Message # 86
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Yeah, it's not an easy target at all, and you have to know just when and where to look for it. Too soon and the comet is lost to the twilight; too late and it's lost to the horizon. But don't give up just yet; it's only the beginning of the period of visibility from the north and the view will continue to improve over the next several days. Even though the comet is getting fainter, it will become easier to see as it moves into darker skies. The best opportunities will be towards this weekend.

My recommendation is, before going out, use a skychart to get a rough idea of where to look for the comet, then scan with binoculars between 30 and 60 minutes after sunset (wait longer if you're farther north). The sun should be at least 8° below the horizon, and the comet should be at least 5° above the horizon. The coma is very bright compared to the tail so at first glance it may only appear as a star-like object. If you have a digital camera try taking shots with a few second exposure time. A camera is surprisingly good at teasing out the comet and tail from the surrounding twilight glow.

I really do hope ISON becomes more spectacular than this. PanSTARRS is very pretty, but it's not what I'd call a 'Great Comet'.

Edit: Harbinger, very nice shots! Congrats. smile







Edited by Watsisname - Thursday, 14.03.2013, 03:40
 
NovaSiliskoDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 04:08 | Message # 87
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Was looking through my camera... this isn't it, is it?



It's not really consistent with its expected appearance, and also is much too bright (this was an accidental underexposure shot, my camera is horrifyingly bad)

Also, to demonstrate both the camera's lack of quality and my horrible view, here's a shot from when it got a bit darker:



Edited by NovaSilisko - Thursday, 14.03.2013, 04:11
 
WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 05:26 | Message # 88
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Hmm, it's hard to say without knowing where that is in the sky. In the US and at that time it should have been about 20° below the moon and a few degrees to the right (north). It's probably near the bottom of your second photo, if not below the frame.

Is it possible to take longer exposures with your camera? I think the image quality is fine, it just needs a little more light.





 
NovaSiliskoDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 05:58 | Message # 89
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Heh, it's a compact digital camera from 2006. The only good camera I have is a film SLR from the 80s which isn't terribly convenient for astrophotography. Really need to invest in a good DSLR for these things, sometime...
 
midtskogenDate: Thursday, 14.03.2013, 07:09 | Message # 90
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Those who saw it here said that even if they saw it with binoculars, they couldn't it without it. I wasn't expecting to see the tail, but thought that the fuzzy dot would be visible. Latitude matters a lot. The further south, the more directly over the sun it is. Here the altitude difference between the sun and the comet was 13 degrees yesterday. 20 degrees further south, at 40 degrees, the difference was 15.5 degrees. That's a big difference. You in the US have a 2-3 day lead!

I'll try again today. Fortunately, I can see where it sets from the chair I'm sitting in now. It's fairly cold for the date these days, near -10C after sunset.





NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI
 
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