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Morning Comet Sketch

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#1 Special Ed

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 05:50 AM

Hi Folks,

For those of you who like getting out of bed at 3AM (you know who you are), there is a bright comet to look at once you shake off the sandman.

It's been so long since I've done any astronomy to speak of that I feel incredibly awkward out in the field. My awkwardness is compounded by the fact that C2009 R1 (McNaught) is low and the Moon and Sun intrude rapidly. Hopefully I'll get some proficiency back following this comet.

Sketch was done in the field using a 2B pencil and a stump. Inverted and the background adjusted during processing to recreate the skyglow.

It's a nice comet--have a go at it. The next week will be good for observing it. :)

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#2 rerun

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:17 AM

Hallo Michael,

that comet looks really good,I like your sketch very much. :bow:
Your telescop has a similar aperture like mine ,so your sketch gives me a good idea what I will see.Maybe I find another day to get out of bed early ,like I did at my observing of Jupiter last weekend.

CS

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#3 mathteacher

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:20 AM

That is a nice looking comet!

#4 frank5817

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:16 PM

Michael,

Great sketch! :bow: It looks like a comet with setting the alarm for. I was up early this morning but complete overcast and rain here. Will need to try again Thursday.
Thanks for posting.

Frank :)

#5 CarlosEH

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:17 PM

Michael,

An excellent observation of Comet McNaught (C/2009 R1). You have captured the coma and nucleus very nicely. I hope to get a look at this interesting comet soon. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

#6 Special Ed

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 02:39 PM

Thanks, everyone. :) The comet is getting bright pretty fast--I've read several reports from European observers who can see it naked eye now. It helps if you have a low horizon to the NE so you can see it early while it's still dark and there is no moon. Apparently one can see the tail (~1° long) if it's dark enough even if the comet is low. I have to wait for the comet to rise above the 3600 foot mountain (~1200 meters) that is a mile to my NE.

#7 markseibold

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 03:46 AM

Michael

Very nice sketch of Comet McNaught C2009 R1 :bow: :bow: :bow: You've inspired me to get up as soon as the clouds and rain recede in Portland. :tonofbricks:

I just looked at the Spaceweather.com info, also linking to a good map from S & T

Others might note the 2nd photo of two taken by a lady, Monika in Hungary as it is a good guide which shows the Andromeda galaxy in the upper right- The comet appears as what would be expected at almost naked eye by now *very low in the same photo. > http://www.spaceweat..._1275885456.jpg

Also note others sketches and photographs in todays Spaceweather - One image shows the comet with the edge-on galaxy NGC 891.

The S & T map >
http://media.skyandt...Naught_Path.pdf

Mark
www.markseibold.com

#8 ladip63

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 02:38 PM

Michael,
Cool comet :D Great job. :bow:

#9 nunciusaustralis

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:54 PM

I really want to have a try. Just think that will be to low
on my location. I will set the alarm. But looks a northerly object... :bawling: :bawling: :bawling:

#10 Tommy5

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:41 AM

very cool comet sketch, thsnks for showing it to us late risers.

#11 Special Ed

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:27 AM

Thanks for the compliments, everyone. I hope you get a chance to see the comet--the next few days will have no moon.

Mark, thanks for the links. The widefield shot with M31 is nice and if you magnify the first image you can see the ion tail--pretty good for a snapshot. The bright star nearby is gamma Andromedae (Almach). There is also a sketch posted on the Spaceweather site made with a 20 inch scope. (!)

Tom Polakis posted this image in the SSI forum made not long after my sketch but 2 time zones to the west. The only stars visible to me due to twilight/moonlight can be seen in Tom's image. The dim one is between the comet coma and NGC 891. The brighter one is just below it. You can see the elongation of the coma (the dust tail). Of course, I saw no sign of the ion tail or of NGC 891.

Nuncius, I'm afraid the comet is not visible from your location. See Greg Crinklaw's comet chasing page.

#12 Jef De Wit

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:37 AM

Michael, the website of Greg Crinklaw is very interesting! Thanks for the link.

#13 Special Ed

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 06:38 AM

You're welcome, Jef. Skyhound is a great website. :)

I made a new observation of R1 McNaught this am and posted the report and sketch in the SSO forum.

#14 Special Ed

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:49 AM

It was very nice to see more sketches of R1 McNaught posted by Paul and Marcus. I managed to get in another observation this morning. I was struck by how the comet looked as it came up, especially with the contrast between the sky and the dark silhouette of the mountain, so I tried to render the view.

The sketch was done in the field on white paper with a 2B pencil and inverted. I outlined the mountaintop as I placed the starfield. During processing, I brightened the sky a little bit to reproduce the view and painted in the black mountain. I also gave the coma a slight blue-green tinge. I hope you like it. :)

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#15 Jef De Wit

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:47 AM

Plan A
Inspired by all those beautiful sketches of McNaught, I took my chance this morning. After a (short) night of DSO my plan was to see the for the first time in my life a comettail. But... Perseus was just behind a big tree and impossible to see with a telescope from my garden. With only 4 hours to go before my wake-up cale, I didn't have the courage to wait another hour.

Plan B
So I took my bino and observed the comet from the attic.
The hand held bino (7x50) didn't show the tail but I was rather impressed how easy McNaught was visible, even so low in the sky (only 14° alt). The smalest star visible (right of 48 Persei) was mag. 6.8.
In my sketch McNaught is almost between mu and 48 Persei. In the sketch of Michael (some hours later) you see the comet has moved on.

17/06/2010, 0.45 UT, alt. 14°, 7x50 bino (handheld), FOV +/- 5°, NELM 4.9 (SQM 19.25)

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#16 frank5817

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:30 AM

Michael and Jay,

Very nice sketching and reporting on the morning comet. :cool: :rainbow:
I am waiting my chance.

Frank :)

#17 Special Ed

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:32 AM

Hey Jeff,

Good job! I was hoping someone would capture the comet as it went between mu Per and 48 Per. :cool: Very well done sketch of the view through that size binoculars.

#18 Jef De Wit

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:02 PM

Thanks Michael. I hope I will have another observing oppurtinity to catch the tail (like one of your beautiful sketches)!

#19 Special Ed

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 06:12 AM

Jef, I hope so, too. It's getting tougher and tougher to see detail with the comet heading in towards the Sun so low and dawn breaking so early.

I made this sketch to show the comet's movement but almost didn't pull it off because those two 9th magnitude stars in the middle of the FOV that I used as reference points vanished in the morning skyglow. Luckily, 30 minutes was enough to detect movement to the east.

The sketch was done in the field on white sketch paper with a 2B pencil and stump and inverted. I didn't detect any color in the coma.

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#20 CarlosEH

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 06:42 PM

Jef and Michael,

Excellent observations of Comet McNaught. This is an interesting little comet with it's thin ion tail. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

#21 Jef De Wit

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:58 AM

Carlos, thanks for the nice words.

#22 Special Ed

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:40 AM

Thank you, Carlos.

I made another observation and sketch this morning, June 19th. I wanted to see if I could see the ion tail again, so I went with my big binoculars (high magnification sometimes makes faint, extended objects disappear).

I had to make the sketch as soon as the comet rose, so I included the mountain again. Perhaps because of the low altitude, the stars and coma were colorful, so I added color digitally. I also inverted the original pencil sketch on white paper and manipulated the contrast to simulate the slight glow of early dawn in the sky.

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#23 frank5817

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 09:41 AM

Michael,

Another great capture. I really like these very realistic binocular renderings of the morning comet. :bow: :rainbow:

Frank :)

#24 Special Ed

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 06:37 AM

Thank you, Frank--much appreciated. The comet is just a fond memory now--too low for me to observe before twilight.






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