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Comet 168P/Hergenrother bright with binoculars

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#1 timokarhula

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:03 PM

Comet Hergenrother has undergone an outburst and is visible now in binoculars. This is my observation from tonight.

2012 Oct 05.78 UT; m1=9.5; Dia=3’; DC=7; 18x50B [Timo Karhula, Virsbo, Sweden]

I first found comet 168P surprisingly bright with 25x100B. Small, condensed and with a 11.5 mag stellar pseudonucleus. Estimated afterwards with Canon 18x50 IS binoculars. No tail visible. My magnitude estimate (9.5) might even be on the conservative side.

/Timo Karhula

#2 Special Ed

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 06:53 AM

Timo,

Thanks for the report. I was just reading about Comet Hergenrother in this online S&T article. This should be a good one and well placed for northern observers in Pegasus. :cool:

#3 Tonk

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:20 AM

Yes the outburst was reported last week on Yahoo Comets-ml group. I'm preparing to go to my dark site for a few days to image this one now that the moon is backing away from that region. First "bright" comet for 6 months after Comet Garrad faded away in March this year

#4 Astrodj

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:17 AM

Suh-weeet! Just give me a clear sky...

#5 Centaur

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 01:41 PM

I’ve created an overhead view of the comet's orbit from north of the ecliptic plane and an ephemeris based on osculating elements from Aldo Vitagliano’s Solex numerical integration program. They can be seen toward the bottom of the page at www.CurtRenz.com/comets

#6 canukLX90

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 01:47 PM

Thanks for the report. I have been imaging the comet for
the last two nights before the moon rises. I'll post the
results once I get some processing time. The subs do show
a short tail and the comet is bright enough to guide on
using my TMB92L.

Cheers

PJ

#7 timokarhula

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 05:12 PM

I had a quick glance at comet 168P/Hergenrother before moonrise tonight. With Canon 18x50 binoculars I estimated it as magnitude 9.3, coma diameter 2'.5 and DC=7 (Oct. 6.77 UT). I could also glimpse comet 168P/Hergenrother with hand-held 10x50 binoculars where it was in the same FOV as Alpha Andromedae.

/Timo Karhula

#8 Special Ed

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:04 PM

Here is a sketch by Jef de Wit showing the current appearance of the comet with a telescope.

#9 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:42 PM

Here's an image of Hergenrother I made on the 6th. Based on this image Hergenrother should be close to 9th mag.

Rich (RLTYS)

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#10 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:51 PM

Here is a widefield image of Hergenrother made on the same night.

Rich (RLTYS)

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#11 Astrodj

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 06:35 PM

Nice little debris tail, and nice images. Thanks.

Tonight and tomorrow night it should be close to 5th magnitude Psi Peg.

#12 Starhunter249

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

Finally had somewhat clear skies tonight early evening. Clouds and haze roll through my skies currently in central Illinois and there are pockets of good viewing. I located comet 168 but appears that it has dimmed a bit. I am viewing in a 8 inch reflector but I can still detect it only because I was looking for it. If I had just been star hopping, it would easily have been missed.

Can anyone confirm it's current magnitude? I estimate around mag 12. There are mag 9 stars nearby and appears much dimmer. Mag 6 Hip 136 is just south of it.

I was a little disappointed that it was not as distinguishable as comet Garrard was. The weather just has been so bad this week when it was first reported to be unexpectedly brighter.

Thirty minutes until draconid meteor peak. Haven't seen a meteor since sundown. Maybe get lucky with a sudden sky show.

#13 canukLX90

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 12:39 AM

Just as the moon was rising last night I took this series
of images. The bright star up in the top left hand corner
is HD224907 Pegasus a magnitude 6.6 star. 168/P is 0.4AU
from the earth and 1.4 AU from the sun. The image shows
a bright condensed nucleus, definite coma and a faint tail.

Thanks to all those posting your observations of this fuzz
ball.

Cheers

PJ

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#14 Bill Weir

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:35 AM

OK I'll have to admit I've been asleep at the wheel on this one. I had no idea it was up there. It's fabulous. I was out at the school observatory with my Starmaster planning on busting up some galaxy clusters but to start things off I wanted to look at the "Taffy Galaxies" UGC 12914 and UGC 12915. They are a nice interacting pair. I started the star hop on psi Pegasi and almost immediately it was Whoa, what's that?

At 193X with a 10mm Ethos there was alot of structure to be seen in this comet. Wide fanning tail, very bright condensed core and a dazzling stellar pseudo nucleus. At 320X with a 6mm Ethos I was gobsmacked. It was quite some time before I eventually carried on with my galaxy quest.

Later in the evening some instructors from the school and a couple of visiting university profs wandered up the hill so I showed it to them.

Bill

#15 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:49 AM

Finally had somewhat clear skies tonight early evening. Clouds and haze roll through my skies currently in central Illinois and there are pockets of good viewing. I located comet 168 but appears that it has dimmed a bit. I am viewing in a 8 inch reflector but I can still detect it only because I was looking for it. If I had just been star hopping, it would easily have been missed.

Can anyone confirm it's current magnitude? I estimate around mag 12. There are mag 9 stars nearby and appears much dimmer. Mag 6 Hip 136 is just south of it.

I was a little disappointed that it was not as distinguishable as comet Garrard was. The weather just has been so bad this week when it was first reported to be unexpectedly brighter.

Thirty minutes until draconid meteor peak. Haven't seen a meteor since sundown. Maybe get lucky with a sudden sky show.


According to one bright comet web site, Hergenrother, as of 10/6, was estimated at mag 9.1.

Rich (RLTYS)

#16 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:09 AM

Here is another image I made of Hergenrother on the morning of 10/8 with the Slooh T1 scope.

Rich (RLTYS)

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#17 Starhunter249

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:13 AM

Finally had somewhat clear skies tonight early evening. Clouds and haze roll through my skies currently in central Illinois and there are pockets of good viewing. I located comet 168 but appears that it has dimmed a bit. I am viewing in a 8 inch reflector but I can still detect it only because I was looking for it. If I had just been star hopping, it would easily have been missed.

Can anyone confirm it's current magnitude? I estimate around mag 12. There are mag 9 stars nearby and appears much dimmer. Mag 6 Hip 136 is just south of it.

I was a little disappointed that it was not as distinguishable as comet Garrard was. The weather just has been so bad this week when it was first reported to be unexpectedly brighter.

Thirty minutes until draconid meteor peak. Haven't seen a meteor since sundown. Maybe get lucky with a sudden sky show.


According to one bright comet web site, Hergenrother, as of 10/6, was estimated at mag 9.1.

Rich (RLTYS)


After the waves of high cirrus clouds left later in the night, comet 168p in Pegasus seemed a lot brighter than my earlier observation. Pegasus was also closer to zenith. Perhaps unseen haze in between clouds had lessen it's magnitude. It's nucleus, small and dim, along with a coma, and a short tail were a white to grayish in color. Garrard I remember being more greenish.

I am most amazed by how fast this comet is moving. Just in a few hours it had traversed 4 to 5 arc minutes. I viewed it right after sundown til about 8:15. High hazy clouds had rolled in, so I went inside to post my observation on cloudy nights, unsure about its brightness. By 10 PM, the clouds were gone and had a perfect clear sky. It was much brighter than before but the comet's position had changed so much. It was side by side with a star north of the original position I had observed a few hours ago.

Hope for clear skies again tonight so I can watch it move inside this large constellation.

#18 Achernar

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:40 PM

I just picked it up with my 15-inch from the driveway in the middle of a medium sized city. It has to be between ninth and tenth magnitude for me to find it so easily with a street light about 25 or 30 meters from me. it was quite small at 227X, but there is definitley a starlike inner coma and an elongation that suggests the beginnings of a tail.

Taras

#19 SabiaJD

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:45 AM

Skies cleared for a few hours allowing my first view of 168P on Saturday October 6, 2012 EDT.

Comet was bright with a elongated coma, and bright, larger inner condensation as seen at 103x and 206x with RC20 f/8.1 scope at TGCO.

Attached the STL-1001E camera to the scope as I had plan to do this evening. This was my first target before increasing clouds.

Stacked image of 20 exposures of 1 minute each.

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#20 Mike Lynch

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:53 AM

Has this comet dimmed any in the last couple of days?

I see that some of you have glimpsed it with binoculars.... In my back yard (with a fair number of lights visible), I tried 15x70's, 20x80's, and my 80mm spotter and saw no evidence of it. This was last night, Oct. 8.

Perhaps light pollution was my problem..?

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#21 Starhunter249

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:33 PM

Has this comet dimmed any in the last couple of days?

I see that some of you have glimpsed it with binoculars.... In my back yard (with a fair number of lights visible), I tried 15x70's, 20x80's, and my 80mm spotter and saw no evidence of it. This was last night, Oct. 8.

Perhaps light pollution was my problem..?

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA


I tried to find it with my 10 x 50 binoculars and 80mm goscope with no luck. Its very small. I could only locate it with my 8 inch reflector at a power of 38x with averted vision. Its just a spot of haze. I would have missed it if I was just star hopping and not actively looking for it. It isn't very spectacular at low powers. Views start getting good around 100x. 200x was about the best look at the comet I could get with my skies.

Trick is to find Alpheratz first. Then slowly move your telescope to the right, follow a series of small stars, almost like a trail until your find the orange colored star Psi Pegasus. This comet is moving quick. Right now its just north-west of Psi Pegasus in the range arc 20 to 30 arc minutes.

David Fuller, a cloudy night member, has an astronomy website. He posts a weekly video of the comings and goings in the sky. Its near the end of this week's 5 minute video. Click link below.

http://www.eyesonthesky.com/

#22 Tom and Beth

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:57 PM

Has this comet dimmed any in the last couple of days?

I see that some of you have glimpsed it with binoculars.... In my back yard (with a fair number of lights visible), I tried 15x70's, 20x80's, and my 80mm spotter and saw no evidence of it. This was last night, Oct. 8.

Perhaps light pollution was my problem..?

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA


I was wondering this myself last night. I've observed this the last 3-4 nights.
EDIT: It's 1:30 AM on the 10th, just came in from observing. The Comet does seem to have faded a mag or two from end of last week. Bear in mind, this Comet is moving rapidly, so much so that you'll notice movement in 5-10 minutes against the stars. That said, with the wide FOV of binocs you should have been able to pick it out.

#23 Sasa

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:06 AM

Here is a quick sketch I made yesterday

Posted Image

My estimate of comet brightness was about magnitude 9.5-10.0 (this is my first estimate of comet brightness so don't take it too seriously)

#24 MessiToM

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:05 AM

I would currently guess 9 or 10 as well. I got to see this through my 12" newt last night from an orange zone. wasnt bad

#25 Special Ed

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:49 AM

I looked for but did not detect Comet Hergenrother early this am (0500 UT) with my 12x36 image stablised binoculars. Pegasus was near zenith, transparency was close to 6/6, with no moon and rural WV dark skies. I could easily see the Double Cluster and M31 with the unaided eye.

This comet is pretty small so 12x36 may not be enough to make it visible. I hope that the outburst is not dimming already.






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