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djeber2
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Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Jeremy Perez]
      #6199626 - 11/17/13 10:24 AM

Nice sketch Jeremy, I am hoping for clear skies tomorrow. I am wondering if I will see any tail in my suburban location with the skyglow, streetlights, etc.

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azskies
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/29/07

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Jeremy Perez]
      #6199899 - 11/17/13 12:58 PM

Quote:

Thanks for starting this thread, Ralph. The observations are great, and loving the sketches!

I had my first view of ISON this morning. I woke up at 5am and the sky looked clear out my north-facing window. So I threw something on, rummaged for the binoculars and headed outside...where I saw fast moving clouds all over the east horizon. They were rolling along in this typical Flagstaff orographic pattern where they haul off at warp speeds & you think a big batch is quickly moving out of the way, only for another huge new clump to materialize in the same spot..over and over again. But it looked it was consistently clearer just a bit further east. So I jumped in the car and drove a few miles east to a spot that had some clearing in the sky near Spica.

The comet was a pretty quick find when there weren't clouds squatting on top of it. The coma sported a soft blue-green color and a short, maybe 15 arc minute long tail. Approaching twilight, moonlight, haze and intermittent clouds--the comet was packing a decent punch to kick through that mess. I didn't attempt to estimate magnitude. Degree of condensation was around 3 from the binocular perspective. I need to see if I can squeak in a telescopic observation in the next couple days.

Digital illustration showing the comet as it appeared above Spica




Had no luck here in Prescott on Thursday. Will try tomorrow when the skies clear out after our "cold front" went through.

Jeff


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Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
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Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: azskies]
      #6201126 - 11/18/13 06:22 AM

Saw C/2012 S1 ISON and C/2013 R1 Lovejoy for the first time this morning prior to work. The full moon didn't do me any favors, but the moon is the great equalizer--my site in a city of 75,000 wasn't going to be much worse than a pristine site under such conditions. I had passing clouds which really hindered the horizon view, but the overhead was clear ~50% of the time. It was time to utilize "guerrilla astronomy" tactics, and that called for my 15x70 Oberwerk binoculars.

"Take what the defense gives you" is the football analogy, so I concentrated on seeing Lovejoy first. *Huge* comet, easily 15' in size, and moderately (DC ~ 5), but given all the moonlight, I couldn't see any tail. Couldn't get a decent mag estimate; suffice to say it was bright.

ISON proved frustrating from home. I just couldn't get my horizon to be clear in that direction, and I watched helplessly as the southern portion of the sky was clear. If I was only a few miles south, I could have seen it.

Then it dawned on me--duh, I work a few miles south of home! So, on a hunch, I threw the binoculars in the car and drove to work. I clock in at 6:00 AM, but I had about 5 minutes to spare when I got to work. There were no bright lights towards the east or southeast in our parking lot. Good enough.

The sky around Spica was clear ~30% of the time, but it was better than I had at home. And all I needed to do was aim for Spica in a set of binos, and sure enough, there was ISON at the bottom of the FOV. It was very condensed, looking like a slightly fuzzy, 3'-wide small blob, almost like a "diffuse star". Some hint of tail pointing directly at Spica, but the conditions made it tough. Estimated brightness (very rough) is about magnitude 5.0 based on defocusing the nearby comparison stars 68, 76 and 82 Virginis and the comet simultaneously, but again, this was a *hurried* observation. Still felt good to finally see it.

Clear Skies,
Phil


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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Phillip Creed]
      #6201576 - 11/18/13 12:12 PM

I observed Lovejoy w/ 15x70 Binocs and ISON w/ 15x70 Binocs and my 80mm refractor at 43x this morning between 5:25 and 5:55 local time from my suburban back yard. Lovejoy was easily found and a very nice bright object despite the full moon in the west. ISON was more of a challenge due to its low altitude and my local sky conditions and street lights to the east. I did suceed in seeing ISON in both the scope and binocs. I thought I saw the hint of a tail on Lovejoy.

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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: djeber2]
      #6201922 - 11/18/13 03:31 PM

I had a cloudy weekend here, so no ISON for me. Now here's hoping it survives it pass of the sun. If it does, i assume it would be visible just after sunset instead of before sunrise?

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Mirzam
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: stargazer424]
      #6201946 - 11/18/13 03:41 PM

No. The best visibility will still be in the east before sunrise, although it may be possible to catch a glimpse after sunset right around the 1st. The recent S&T online update discusses this.

JimC


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bob irvin
sage


Reged: 03/22/11

Loc: Greater Los Angeles, CA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6201958 - 11/18/13 03:47 PM

Wondering what I saw:

I've been following the posts on ISCON & what I've observed doen't seem to jive.....

Been out 2 mornings now looking for ISCON. This morning and yesterday morning. I can see Spica clearly but haven't been able to see the comet through my 7x50 binocs.

HOWEVER

Also for two these same two mornings when it becomes brighter I've seen a very bright object about 1 degree long in exactly the same position (ESE) both mornings. Through the binocs it appears to have a core to the lower left and a very distinctive tail going to about the 2:00 position. This was clearly visible to the unaided eye and this AM I say it with the sun just becoming visible above the horizon.

Any thoughts, is the comet or a coincidental contrail in exactly the same position looking exactly the same both mornings??

bob

Edited by bob irvin (11/18/13 03:48 PM)


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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6202002 - 11/18/13 04:09 PM

Quote:

No. The best visibility will still be in the east before sunrise, although it may be possible to catch a glimpse after sunset right around the 1st. The recent S&T online update discusses this.

JimC




Darn...was hoping I wouldn't have to wake up early to see it...I'll be checking the updates to see if it survives and how much it brightens if it does.

When will we have a good comet that we can see at a normal hour


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Tonk
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/19/04

Loc: Leeds, UK, 54N
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: stargazer424]
      #6202149 - 11/18/13 05:27 PM

Quote:

Been out 2 mornings now looking for ISCON




Possibly because you should be looking for ISON


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the1andonlyfinn
member


Reged: 07/17/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Tonk]
      #6202217 - 11/18/13 06:09 PM

My apartment complex unfortunately fixed its lights, so I had to contend with that, plus the full moon, plus a haze so thick I could barely see Spica.
The 15x70 bino attempt was an immediate bust, so I ran inside and grabbed my poorly-collimated XT8.

Starting at Spica at low power, I started looking for fuzzy stars. BAM- very fuzzy, very bluish-green, with a hint of tail!

I observed ISON a week ago from a nice mountain site and 4/5 seeing and transparency, and it looked brighter today. Not bad!


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Special Ed
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/03

Loc: Greenbrier Co., WV 38N, 80W
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: the1andonlyfinn]
      #6202613 - 11/18/13 09:38 PM Attachment (72 downloads)

Hello,

Our normal cloud cover and my work schedule has prevented me from observing much of anything for many weeks, but when I read about John Bortle's report last Thursday the 14th that Comet C/2012 S1 ISON had awakened I went out before work early the next morning to see what I could see.

The sky was clear everywhere except for the area around Spica--I couldn't even see Spica through the murk--so forget about seeing Comet ISON.

Imagine my surprise when this morning (Nov. 18th) it was clear here even though the forecast was for solid overcast. I threw a heavy coat over my bathrobe slipped on some warm boots, grabbed my image stabilised binoculars, and went outside to once again see what I could see. From the first floor porch I could see Spica through the trees so I went up on the upper deck.

From there Spica was just above the trees and ISON was an obvious faint smudge on the base of a triangle formed by 76 Vir (mag 5.18) and 68 Vir (mag 5.25) with Spica at the apex. As my eyes grew dark adapted, ISON became a brighter elongated fuzz patch with a stellar pseudonucleus. Using the defocused star method and the two nearby mag 5 stars, I estimated ISON at about mag 5.6 with a very condensed center.

As low as it was and with the bright almost full moon and looming sunrise, ISON has to be pretty doggone bright.

I made this sketch based on a field sketch and notes I took at the time.

@ Bob--from your description you were probably not seeing the comet--unless you are an experienced comet observer, ISON is hard to pick out now given the haze usually on the horizon, the bright Moon, and the twilight.

@ Jeremy Perez--great sketch Jeremy (as are the others in this thread)--you got a prety nice look at the comet.

@ the OP--I don't have a problem with comet threads that combine visual obs, sketches, and AP. The best AP images identify the time and date in UT and the cardinal directions as well as discussing what their images reveal. The best visual observations and sketches do the same thing. I like having my visual observations confirmed by images which are labeled so they can be compared. I also like having my mistakes confirmed by AP (not nearly as satisfying but still educational).

Edited by Special Ed (11/19/13 03:34 PM)


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Tommy5
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/04

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Special Ed]
      #6202820 - 11/18/13 11:36 PM

Great sketch Michael , glad you got a chance to see the comet before it rounds the sun.

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Miliu
member


Reged: 05/13/13

Loc: Japan
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Tommy5]
      #6203015 - 11/19/13 04:41 AM

This morning I managed to observe ISON and Lovejoy without difficulties from a nearby park in a red zone. Both were easy to spot with 15x70 binoculars. I saw a hint of green on ISON which made the early wake up worthed. Transparency and seeing conditions were both good.
Encke, however, was extreamely dim on my 8'' dob. Adverted vision was a must but still it was bearably visible. By the time it went relatively high in the sky the background was already blue.

Anyone there on similar conditions had better luck with Encke?

Emilio


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Miliu]
      #6203035 - 11/19/13 05:38 AM

The forecast has been dead wrong for the entire night. It's almost completely overcast at the moment and the satellite maps show clouds, clouds, and more clouds, so no Comet ISON for me this morning.

Dave Mitsky


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Special Ed
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/03

Loc: Greenbrier Co., WV 38N, 80W
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6203058 - 11/19/13 06:15 AM

Me too, Dave. I had my 15x70's ready but it is solid overcast here (contrary to the forecast). I hope it clears off for the Wallops Island launch this evening.

Thanks, Tommy! I got lucky one night in a row.


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Mike C
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/05/08

Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Special Ed]
      #6203173 - 11/19/13 08:26 AM

After a week of cloud, this morning I made probably my last attempt to see ISON before perihelion.

I rose at 5:15am, but it was nearly 6am before ISON's location below Spica cleared the wooded valley side. Unfortunately the onset of twilight and the weather were against me. I think I saw ISON briefly as a small smudge in the twilight through my 7 x 50 binoculars, but my attempt to set up the 8" SCT was met by a hail shower and cloud that persisted while the sky lightened .

Regards,

Edited by Mike C (11/19/13 08:31 AM)


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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Mike C]
      #6203671 - 11/19/13 12:38 PM

I caught a gap in the clouds around 4:15 this morning to observe Lovejoy in 15x70 and 80 mm optics. Looked about the same as before despite the bright moonlight. It soon clouded completely over again and could not get ISON this time.

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t.r.
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: djeber2]
      #6203924 - 11/19/13 02:53 PM

Tomorrow morning is it! Myself and a buddy are making an attempt for both Ison and Lovejoy for the first time with 12x60 binos, C80SS and TMB92L...I think it will happen!!!

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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]
      #6204079 - 11/19/13 04:05 PM

I went out observing a half hour before astronomical twilight this morning from my orange zone site and caught some additional nice views of Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) and Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). Even with a 97% illuminated Moon in the west, both were bright and easy objects for my 8-inch Dob.

Comet Lovejoy has now moved into southern Ursa Major. Surprisingly, it was barely detectable to the unaided eye as an extremely difficult averted vision object (5/5), conveniently near the midpoint between 55 Ursae Majoris (magnitude 4.8) and 57 Ursae Majoris (magnitude 5.3), only slightly more difficult than the latter star. It is still very apparent in binoculars; I thought I could even catch part of the tail with extreme difficulty in my 10x50's. In the telescope, it seemed to have a possible blue-green tinge. I estimated the coma at 5 arcminutes in size.

I had to wait out ISON until after the start of astronomical twilight due to its increasingly reduced day-by-day altitude on the horizon. This morning it happened to be in the same binocular FOV as Spica. I initially had some trouble identifying ISON in binoculars, until I realized that one of the "stars" I was using to map out the area was actually the comet itself. In my 10x50's, it was visible with direct vision, but its appearance was stellar. In the telescope, I estimated its coma at only about an arcminute in size, with a bright condensed core. A green hue was apparent. Hints of a tail were seen with difficulty within 10 arcminutes of the coma. Although ISON appeared brighter than Lovejoy, I failed to conclusively detect it with the unaided eye, likely due to the brightening of twilight.


My advice to others: don't give up on these two beautiful comets just because of the Moon!

-Nick Anderson


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: ISON, ENCKE, and LOVEJOY Visual Observations ONLY! new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #6204195 - 11/19/13 05:15 PM

Finally got a clear morning after a week of clouds. The glare of the gibbous moon was awful. My buddy and I got Lovejoy and ISON with some 25x100 binos. ISON's long, thin tail was nice and noticeable to averted vision. ISON took its sweet time climbing high enough to catch. It was barely naked-eye this AM because of lunar light scatter. Both comets barely showed in the 9x50 finder because of the moon's interference. My buddy and I swore off any more attempts @ ISON until it swings around the sun on the 28th and later.

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