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Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:28 AM

I'm looking forward to this big green comet as it moves from the Southern Hemisphere to our Northern Hemisphere soon. PannStarr has been great and has hopefully honed our comet hunting and tracking skills, not only outside, but in researching where it will be and when it will be available to observe.

from the web:
http://www.aerith.ne...ly/current.html

Quote:
Brightened much faster than expected, and it became a naked eye bright comet. Now it is so bright as 4.7 mag (Mar. 11, Michael Mattiazzo). It has a long ion tail. However, the brightness evolution has been slow down in February. It will approach to the sun down to 0.73 A.U. on Mar. 24. It was expected to brighten up to 3 mag, but actually, it will be 4.5 mag at best. It is observable in good condition in the Southern Hemisphere. It is not observable now in the Northern Hemisphere. But it becomes observable again in May, and it keeps observable in good condition after that while fading gradually.

http://www.aerith.ne...2F6/2012F6.html

It should be another fun one!!


....Ralph

#2 Tonk

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:14 AM

It will be a morning object at mag 7 when it gets north and will drop to mag 9 by start of June.

#3 aa6ww

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:29 PM

I like these comets because they aren't so easy to find and even more so because they are so low, there are not many reference points to star hop from to find them. In the case of PannStarr, the wide field gear like big binoculars or wide field scopes seem to be the choice gear to do our searching with.
We'll see how Lemmon and then later on, ISON behaves.

...Ralph

#4 aa6ww

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

I went out this morning early to hunt for comet lemmon but the skies got too bright before I could detect it. I was using my 100mm binos. Now is the time to start looking.
I'm gonna be searching for a clear site with a clear view to the east now, just before sunrise.

Since its not naked eye visible, that will separate the serious astronomers from those that are casual observers.
I hope others start looking, It should be fun, and worth hunting for.

...Ralph

#5 astrokwang2

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:51 AM

I tried this morning from 4:40 - 5:15 AM. Morning twilight washed everything out. Took a couple of photos, but no stars were visible in the area where the finder charts showed the comet to be. I'm guessing it might be visible by Friday morning.

#6 aa6ww

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:05 AM

I'm using Skyhounds star charts for comet Lemmon:

http://cometchasing....ets/2012_F6.pdf

which makes it very easy to find the location of the comet but as of now its very difficult with the morning twilight coming in.
Since we are having clear skies now, I'll be back out early Saturday morning giving it another try with my 100mm Binoculars.

Good luck to everyone!! Pretty fun stuff!!

......Ralph

#7 aa6ww

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:50 PM

Comet Lemmon is looking pretty close to Pegasus tomorrow morning, right around where Pegasus tail would be connected to his body, (if he had a tail) Its getting closer every morning to passing right into Algenib.
Its still in Pisces so I'm gonna give it a try tomorrow morning maybe around 3am. Good luck to anyone trying this, this weekend.
The skies are very clear now, and despite the full moon, the light that will be competing with comet Lemmon will be coming from the sun not the moon.

Again, good luck to anyone willing to give it a try. I'm taking out my 100mm Binoculars for this.

...Ralph

#8 astrokwang2

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:17 AM

I set up this morning about 4:15 AM. No luck with 8x40 binocs. Using the finder chart referenced above by Ralph. I did locate HIP 1249, a mag 6.9 star just north of Lemmon, but I couldn't make out the comet. I also took pics about every 2-3 minutes from 4:33 AM to 4:57 AM. The pics reveal the comet as a fuzzy blue object with no obvious tail discernable. My exposures were varied between 1-4 seconds at F/4 (using a 70-200mm lens at 100mm) with 1600-3200 ISO. By 4:46 AM, the comet blends into the background noise, thus becoming indistinguishable. I'll try again tomorrow with a 100mm refractor to see if I can get a visual confirmation.

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#9 astrokwang2

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:18 AM

This is a crop from the above image.

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#10 MessiToM

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:43 PM

neat ^

#11 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 06:08 AM

Cool. :cool: Thanks for the view.

Rich (RLTYS)

#12 aa6ww

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:01 PM

I had a friend talk me into trying a site this weekend, Sat Morning, to observe comet Lemmon. We were set up by 3:30am with my 100mm binos. The skies were very pasty along the Horizon.
I did spot PannStarr very easily with my big 100mm binos, and a few deep space objects like M81/M82, the dumbell, and andromeda, but the moon was nearly full and killing our skies.
We did see the great square of Pegasus come up but way down low at the horizon, it was just to merky and pasty to see anything dim.
In two weeks when the moon is done, we'll give it another try. Lemmon will be higher anyways, though maybe slight dimmer. Still, its gonna be tough competing with the sunlight.

This ones not gonna be easy visually!!

...Ralph

#13 astrocy

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

The comet is now an object "impossible to miss if you point a pair of binoculars to Gamma Pegasi" and I am surprised that is getting not much attention here. I have been observing the comet every clear morning for about a week now and it is impressive (for a binocular comet) with an obvious coma. I suspect that a faint tail should also be visible in larger instruments. With the moon out of the way conditions are getting even better for observation.

#14 Tonk

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:45 AM

"impossible to miss if you point a pair of binoculars to Gamma Pegasi"


I my case its cloudy so even Gamma Pegasi gets to be missed!

#15 aa6ww

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:44 PM

We have been having a series of clouds and rain over here but this Saturday morning looks clear and very promissing. I will be out doing my best to observe Comet Lemmon this weekend. Finally the moon will be gone from the sky as the comet is coming up also. Everything is lining up to be a nice weekend for comet hunting!!

Here's a simple chart on where its located. Very easy to locate if the skies are clear low in the east!!

http://astrobob.area...-chart_edite...

...Ralph

#16 astrokwang2

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:58 PM

I have an observation from the morning of 5/8/2013 from Flagstaff, AZ. I spotted the comet through my 8x40 binocs at 3:20 AM. It was just East of Algenib (gamma Peg) toward the horizon. It appeared as a conspicuous fuzzy, aquamarine-blue star. No tail was evident.

At 3:40 AM, in a 4 inch f/9 refractor, using a 16mm eyepiece (approx 56x), I observed the comet for about 30 minutes. In the 4 inch instrument, there appeared to be a defined nucleus with a lighter, outer shell. Unlike the photos online taken from the southern hemisphere, there was no "long" tail evident in the 4 inch refractor. However, there was a faint fan shape coming off the southwestern side of the comet. In other words, the fan seemed to be pointing up and to the right. I would estimate the fan was 75 degrees wide. It extended maybe twice the width of the visible comet core. The comet was located east (below) of HIP 1277 (mag 8.35 star) and north (left) of HIP 1340 (mag 7.45 star). Using these two stars as reference points, I'd guess the comet magnitude was about 7-7.4.

I also snapped a few photos on a tripod with a 200mm lens. I had to shoot at 6400 ISO and f/2.8 for 10+ seconds to barely get a glimpse of the long tail. I'll try to post a shot later if I can squeeze out the tail in processing. I'm sure somebody out there photographed this thing using a proper astrophoto rig in the last couple days.

Lemmon is definitely a binocular target, but I suspect 6 inches or more would be needed to get a decent view of the longer tail. The seeing and transparency were only average. The longer tail maybe visible in the 4 inch under better conditions.

In retrospect, considering the blue-ish color of the comet, I wonder if a blue filter would help tease out more detail in the core and the tail.

#17 guangtou

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:56 AM

Won't win any awards for this pic, but I agree a good astrophotographer at a good location and time should be able to tease out some details.

This was shot at 100mm through fog.

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#18 astrokwang2

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:36 PM

Cool! There you go. That's a brighter version of what I saw through the eyepiece. Thanks for posting.

#19 RobK

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 08:31 AM

Good luck with your viewing - this has been a fantastic comet to follow both visually and photographically from the south for several months now. Post-perihelion it has developed a short, broad, fan-shaped dust tail, and the long ion tail persists. These tails may or may not be visible, depending on your sky conditions, aperture etc. I imaged the comet this morning but did not try visual because of the poor sky conditions (smoke bands) and the very limited observing window. The comet position was nestled in against the edge of the bright wedge of zodiacal light which would probably also reduce the contrast of visual views.

Here is a good recent visual description from southern observer Chris Wyatt of NSW, Australia, using 11x70 binoculars (quoted from post in comet-obs Yahoo group):
"Coma appears circular with faint outer edges, gradual brightening to centre with bright but diffuse central condensation. Ion tail visible using averted vision to 20’ in P.A. 230 (approx.), dust tail was visible using averted vision to 13’ in length at P.A. 165 (approx.)" 10.78 May 2013.

The comet may appear like a centrally-condensed globular cluster - this certainly was the view at similar magnitudes on the approach to perihelion. My image is attached - better skies (and equipment!!) would probably have revealed more in length & detail of the ion tail.

Cheers -

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#20 krp

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 09:56 PM

I was going to give it a try this morning. But thin clouds started rolling in just as Pegasus was rising, and northeast was the worst direction for light pollution. Even without those obstacles, I doubt I could have seen it. Pegasus was still very low at 4 AM when astronomical twilight started. Maybe this will only be viewable from more southern latitudes.

#21 guangtou

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:45 AM

On May 13 the comet was still quite easy to pick out with 15x50 and 10x70 binoculars (as opposed to Panstarrs which was barely visible).

I shot this with an AT72ed. It is a stack of 20 1 minute frames.

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#22 canukLX90

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:14 PM

A beautiful picture of the comet on spaceweather.com showing
some great tail detail. If only I had a clear night sky
to observe this :bawling:

PJ

#23 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:58 AM

To All

On the morning of 5/18/13 I finally had an opportunity to image C/2012 F6 Lemmon with the SLOOH T2wf Telescope. This is my first image of Lemmon since last December (12/23/12). At this time comet Lemmon is just under 7th magnitude and fading. My image shows a bright, round coma that appears quite greenish in color with a faint fan shaped tail. This fan shaped tail appears to spread out in an approximately 75 degree arc with three components, the brightest component heading in a west southwest direction. A second not as bright and shorter component faces a south southwest direction. The area between these two components is the faintest part of the tail.

Comet Lemmon’s coma is much greener and its tail is not as prominent as that of comet PANSTARRS. At this time both comets are about the same magnitude. Hope to be able to visually observe Lemmon soon.

Rich (RLTYS)

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