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Bill Barlow
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/03/07

Loc: Overland Park KS
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6177262 - 11/05/13 12:07 PM

Very good job, Ralph. It doesn't get much better than that for comet hunting/viewing. Seems we only get to see maybe one comet every year or two, but four at once is almost unheard of. I have visually observed several comets over the last 5-6 years or so, but haven't got up early enough yet to try and find these.

Bill

Bill


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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #6177693 - 11/05/13 04:04 PM

Thanks Bill, It actually took quite a bit of planning to accomplish this. Even the site I went to, I found on Google earth because I wanted to find a completely flat area to the East. I sent in a long detailed description of the efforts it took to plan for this even, along with my findings, in an article to cloudy nights, but they have yet to release it. I don't know what the delay is, maybe it wont get accepted. Either way, I wanted to report my findings here, because it actually took me a month of planning to accomplish this.
I think observing 4 comets in one night, especially these incoming ones, were quite an accomplishment.

Thanks again!

....Ralph


Quote:

Very good job, Ralph. It doesn't get much better than that for comet hunting/viewing. Seems we only get to see maybe one comet every year or two, but four at once is almost unheard of. I have visually observed several comets over the last 5-6 years or so, but haven't got up early enough yet to try and find these.

Bill

Bill




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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6177965 - 11/05/13 06:34 PM

I observed all three of these comets on the morning of Monday, November 4. ISON was really quite faint. I had clouds the past two weeks and it looked little improved, except for the elongation becoming a slightly more obvious tail. The mag estimates I have see of 8-9 mag seem very generous. It was easy to find because it was near a little curve of 6-8 mag stars below Mars.

Encke was very easy to find, being almost on top of a star of about mag 3-4. It was not too well defined but easy to see. I'd put it around mag 7-8. I had never seen Encke before, despite being at this since the 80s.

Lovejoy was a surprise. It was easy to see, mag 6-7. Green/blue color was apparent. I was so surprised, when I first saw it, at how well defined it was.

I hopped to the comets using charts previously prepared with MegaStar. I use a 50mm finder and put it right on the comets' position. Very fast for me.

I was using a 4"/900 SkyWatcher ED with a cheap 38mm eyepiece. Skies here are 6.5 overhead, but not so hot down low. I did see Lovejoy in 80mm binoculars as well. 35 binoculars did not show it. I could not get Linear. It was just too low and then morning twilight began. Glen


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #6177970 - 11/05/13 06:37 PM

Quote:

Very good job, Ralph. It doesn't get much better than that for comet hunting/viewing. Seems we only get to see maybe one comet every year or two, but four at once is almost unheard of. I have visually observed several comets over the last 5-6 years or so, but haven't got up early enough yet to try and find these.

Bill

Bill




I believe the most I have heard of, reliably reported, was around 15 or so in one night, by well-known observer Seiichi Yoshida. GW


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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Glen A W]
      #6179076 - 11/06/13 11:50 AM

I've gone out to dark sites before and seen half a dozen or more comets at one time, on a night where me and my friends are just in the mood to hunt down comets in the sky, some as dim as mag 14, but they were not incoming or anything worth mentioning. I don't think this is uncommon at all.
Seeing four incoming "Rock Stars" is a completely different issue though. Before its all said and done, these should all be visible in small binoculars very shorty, which in itself is pretty cool!
Comets are just fun to track down and observe. They are so unpredictable.

...Ralph

Quote:

Quote:

Very good job, Ralph. It doesn't get much better than that for comet hunting/viewing. Seems we only get to see maybe one comet every year or two, but four at once is almost unheard of. I have visually observed several comets over the last 5-6 years or so, but haven't got up early enough yet to try and find these.

Bill

Bill




I believe the most I have heard of, reliably reported, was around 15 or so in one night, by well-known observer Seiichi Yoshida. GW




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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6179113 - 11/06/13 12:10 PM

Indeed, seeing many (8, 10, even 12) comets in a single night is no longer that unusual, like it was back in the 60's and 70's. Far more faint examples are discovered and remain visible over prolonged periods. Most are of very little consequence, remaining vague bare smudges, in even large amateur instruments.

The truly extraordinary rarity is to see more than one comet with the unaided eye in the sky at the same time. The grandest example of this likely was way back in October 1911. Around mid month observers saw yellowish 1st magnitude Comet Beljawsky, together with greenish-blue 2nd magnitude Comet Brooks (both with beautiful tails), along with 5th magnitude Comet Quenisset between and above them, in the western evening sky!

BrooksObs


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Nick Anderson
super member


Reged: 04/21/13

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6180377 - 11/07/13 05:34 AM

I caught all four comets in my 8-inch Dob (three in just 10x50 binoculars) on November 3 from a 6.2-6.3 magnitude site in North Carolina before the partial solar eclipse at sunrise. These are my first observations of C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) and 2P/Encke, as well as my first without the Moon for C/2012 S1 (ISON) and C/2012 X1 (LINEAR). Below are my logs, all times in EST (the switch happened earlier that morning). Seeing and transparency were both good.

ISON continues to be a dud, but its tail makes it a small bit redeemable. In contrast to my observations 8 days prior, ISON was easier to catch than LINEAR, but this may be merely a side effect of astronomical twilight (I caught LINEAR 2 minutes before it started last time). I did not attempt LINEAR in binoculars.


Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy): first spotted at 4:14 am; currently located in southwestern Cancer; neat binocular comet; appears in binoculars as an easy averted vision object as a small round glow; in the telescope it is an easy averted vision object (just below the threshold of direct vision) with a stellar nucleus, which is moderately brighter than the surrounding coma; the diffuse coma is around 2-4 arcminutes in diameter and possibly slightly extended to the WNW; best in binoculars or at 48x; also viewed at 96x

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON): first sighted in telescope at 4:38 am when it was about 26 degrees above the horizon; has drifted further west in Leo toward the Virgo border; moderately difficult averted vision object in binoculars, and just a faint smudge; moderately easy averted vision object in telescope; coma is no more than 2 arcminutes in diameter, surrounding a slightly brighter stellar nucleus; a tail is seen with concentration and stretches to the WNW about 15 arcminutes; viewed at 48x and 96x

Comet 2P/Encke: first sighted in telescope at 4:52 am when it was about 13 degrees above the horizon; currently located in Virgo; moderately easy averted vision object in binoculars and almost stellar; easy averted vision object in telescope; coma is 1-2 arcminutes in diameter; no tail visible; viewed at 48x and 96x

[Astronomical twilight began at 5:02 am]

Comet C/2012 X1 (LINEAR): first spotted at 5:15 am when it was about 18 degrees above the horizon; has drifted across the border of Coma Berenices into Boötes; moderately difficult averted vision object; 3-5 arcminutes in size; very diffuse; severely impacted by twilight minutes after initial observation; viewed at 48x and 96x


-Nick Anderson


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Aquarellia
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/27/12

Loc: Provence, France
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #6180918 - 11/07/13 12:17 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

What a good post, I appreciate this !
Here a double sketch with the comets, Lovejoy and ISON. Both made this morning of November 7th, 3:30 to 4:30 UT.
The sketch on the left shows the easy comet C/2013 R1 - Lovejoy, close to M44.
The sketch on the right, shows the comet C/2012 S1 - ISON, the brightest star is Zavijah, beta Virgo. The ISON’s tail is quite difficult to detect.
After an episode of strong wind, the sky was particularly pure above our provencal ground. The material used is a 102/1000 refractor with a magnification of 25x to 40x. The drawings are made with pencil and inverted while scanning. I don’t succeed to observe 2P Encke nor 2012X1 LINEAR.
Clear sky to you all !

Edited by Aquarellia (11/07/13 12:18 PM)


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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Aquarellia]
      #6182369 - 11/08/13 07:28 AM

I went out about 3:30 AM local time today and observed Comet Lovejoy with both 10x50 and 15x70 binocs from my suburban location (skies Mag 4.5). Very easily seen with direct vision. The other comets were too low in the sky and not visible from my location at that time.

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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: djeber2]
      #6182435 - 11/08/13 08:31 AM

Got my first visual observation, this morning 11/8, of C/2013 R1 Lovejoy with my 10" refl. What was surprising was that despite observing from a white zone I was able to see Lovejoy in my scopes 10x50 finder and my 12x63 binoculars as a small, faint patch of light.

Rich (RLTYS)


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dan777
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/16/07

Loc: Indiana
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6183322 - 11/08/13 05:20 PM

This morning was my first attempt at these four comets. I observed from the border of a red/orange zone. Looking east I was looking into the light dome from the city (red zone). Additionally, there were some industries with bright lights due east. Scope is 8” Dob, transparency was 3/5, seeing was 2/5, astronomical twilight started at 5:44 am EDT.

C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) - Easy to spot high (54°) in the SE sky at 4:02 am. Nice coma (8’) and core, but no tail. Viewed at 85x and 120x. Only 3½° from the Beehive cluster. Off to a good start!

C/2012 S1 (ISON) - No trace until it reached 24° at 5:33 am and then it was a very faint smudge using averted vision. It never improved. Viewed at 50x and 85x.

C/2012 X1 (Linear) - Worked on this intermittently from about 5:00 until 6:30. No luck.

2P/Encke – Same as Linear. No luck.

I would award comet of the century to PanSTAARS before I give it to ISON


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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: dan777]
      #6184048 - 11/09/13 03:39 AM

Just saw what I am 99% sure was Comet Lovejoy! Put the telescope in the car and went to bed at around 10pm @EST, set an alarm for 1am, headed out to a little league field nearby, aligned my finderscope and telrad (first time using!) to Polaris and aimed at Cancer. When I failed to find M44 or the comet I used my custom degree circles, Wixey level and Skyeye app to find M44. There was the cluster centered perfectly! Used the telrad and a chart I printed with degree circles to get the approximate spot. Move the scope around a little and there it was! A blurry spot!

I was pretty sure that was it, but then looking at the sketches everyoneposted, I am sure it is! Thats Comet #2 for me and my first telescope (Panstarrs being first)

I also looked at Jupiter, the Pleiades, M43 (Orion nebula), M1 (Crab nebula) and a few stars. Betelgeuse is brilliant!

Then I had a whats that moment while looking around...aimed my telrad at it and saw a nice cluster. Just tried to look it up and couldn't find it. It looked like an open cluster between Leo and Cancer, it was higher in the sky than Leo's head. Maybe it wasn't a cluster, but just grouping of stars...any thoughts?


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brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: stargazer424]
      #6184056 - 11/09/13 03:54 AM

Nice observations!

Quote:

Then I had a whats that moment while looking around...aimed my telrad at it and saw a nice cluster. Just tried to look it up and couldn't find it. It looked like an open cluster between Leo and Cancer, it was higher in the sky than Leo's head. Maybe it wasn't a cluster, but just grouping of stars...any thoughts?



M67?


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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: dan777]
      #6184060 - 11/09/13 04:06 AM

Hi Dan,

I like your quote on PannStarr being more of a comet of the century vs comet ISON, which somehow, someone decided was going to be the comet to fantasize about. But don't forget comet Holmes. Now that was impressive for this century, so far!!

...Ralph

Quote:

This morning was my first attempt at these four comets. I observed from the border of a red/orange zone. Looking east I was looking into the light dome from the city (red zone). Additionally, there were some industries with bright lights due east. Scope is 8” Dob, transparency was 3/5, seeing was 2/5, astronomical twilight started at 5:44 am EDT.

C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) - Easy to spot high (54°) in the SE sky at 4:02 am. Nice coma (8’) and core, but no tail. Viewed at 85x and 120x. Only 3½° from the Beehive cluster. Off to a good start!

C/2012 S1 (ISON) - No trace until it reached 24° at 5:33 am and then it was a very faint smudge using averted vision. It never improved. Viewed at 50x and 85x.

C/2012 X1 (Linear) - Worked on this intermittently from about 5:00 until 6:30. No luck.

2P/Encke – Same as Linear. No luck.

I would award comet of the century to PanSTAARS before I give it to ISON




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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6184085 - 11/09/13 05:05 AM

Has anyone had a chance to use a Lumicon Swan filter on any of these comets including comet Linear yet? I keep forgetting to try mine out. I'll be going out tomorrow night for an all nighter with my C14 to try my 2" Swan filter.

...Ralph


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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6184203 - 11/09/13 08:33 AM

Observed Lovejoy with my 15x70 binocs this morning at 5:50 AM local time. To me the comet looks clearly brighter than nearby M67, maybe a half magnitude brighter?.

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ilovecomets
member


Reged: 09/21/12

Loc: New England
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: djeber2]
      #6184446 - 11/09/13 11:00 AM

Observed Lovejoy and ISON from a yellow zone this morning. Lovejoy was barely naked eye visible. Looked great in 4 and 20" scopes. Distinctive green but no tail visible. Just a coma. ISON on the other hand was difficult to see, even with the 20" scope. However there was a faint 2-3 degree dust tail that made up for the dimness. Hoping ISON brightens as it gets closer to perihelion.

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Nick Anderson
super member


Reged: 04/21/13

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #6184899 - 11/09/13 03:17 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

I drove out to my usual 6.3-6.4 magnitude site for another view of the four comets in my 8-inch Dob and 10x50 binoculars. Seeing and transparency were both excellent, and temperatures were in the mid-20's with no winds. The zodiacal light was faintly visible in the east.

Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) revealed a definite broad tail this morning, seen with difficulty stretching about 25 arcminutes to the west. It is fainter than ISON's tail, and I'd suspect that any significant light pollution would render it completely invisible. I estimated the coma at 8-10 arcminutes in size. The comet is now direct vision at the eyepiece. Reports are coming in that this comet may be visible to the unaided eye, but I regrettably did not attempt this.

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) looks much the same as before, but with perhaps a slightly longer tail. I estimated it at 15-20 arcminutes. The coma remains the same in size.

The mountains blocked my view of the other two comets longer than I had hoped, but I still managed to catch both of them. I even managed to see Comet C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) in 10x50 binoculars as a difficult averted vision object (4/5). Its coma is very diffuse, so I opted not to sketch the comet (as planned) due to the start of astronomical twilight.

My sketch of Comet 2P/Encke is attached.

-Nick Anderson


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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #6185869 - 11/10/13 02:38 AM

I just came in from viewing lovejoy. Wow what a nice big coma! Perhaps it was me but I thought I could "just" make out the tiniest bit of tail. I didnt notice any color but it definetly "jumped rite out" at me. I observed it for almost 2 hours off and on between clouds.

I went out early due to the forecast. The comet was roughly 30* in alt. I first found it in my 40mm binos and when it wasnt to murky I could star hop my 17.5" over.

This was quite the treat.


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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6186051 - 11/10/13 07:56 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Here's a sketch of comet Lovejoy from my observations on the 8th.

Rich (RLTYS)


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