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Where Are the Comets?

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#1 ilovecomets

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:11 PM

confused1.gif

 

This drought is killing me.  I guess I got spoiled from mid 90s to mid 2000s.  I’m okay with a Holmes or Swan.  A Hale Bopp type would be incredible but I have no expectation of seeing another one of those again.  I’d just like something with a nice tail visible from just outside of town.  Who’s with me?


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#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:48 PM

It really has been a very long time since the last good one, not to mention a REALLY great one, like those in the 19th century. 

 

To add insult to injury, the Sun is abnormally quiet and the planets are at a very disadvantageous altitude for us northerners.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#3 mfoose

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:55 PM

Just to be clear, my likes above are agreement with the posts, not that I enjoy this season.


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#4 Ishtim

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:15 PM

I too enjoy the dirty, icy visitors. 41P-TGK was my last one I took time to image.  Before that was Lovejoy, a bit nicer as it actually had a tail.  Holmes was cool because the insanely fast brightening.  I think Hyakutake, was the "prettiest" and my favorite so far, mostly based on my location at the time.  I have some film images of it somewhere...  Halley was good, but I wasn't able to get out of the Houston glow to fully enjoy it.

 

I too, am ready for a good one...


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#5 petert913

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:37 PM

I have had the pleasure of observing Comet Bennett (1970), Comet West (1977), Comet Hiyakutake, and Hale-Bopp.   Haley in 1986 was a bust.

 

I would love to see a bright, large naked eye comet like those again.  I hope it happens in my lifetime because my equipment is so much better

to capture their images !!


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#6 ilovecomets

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:41 PM

I agree with Ishtim on Hyakutake being the prettiest.  When it was nearest to Earth the detail was incredible.  Really felt like we were in a spaceship doing a flyby.  Of course Hale-Bopp was something else.  I mean we got two shots at it and I recall it being almost a quarter across the sky.  Good times.  I know I’m being impatient.  In the past some years had two “great comets” and other times decades would go by.  Except for McNaught which was mostly Southern Hemisphere and ISON which didn’t make it through it’s close pass, it’s been quite a while.  At least with those last two I did get to see both during daylight, so that was pretty cool.

 

The most amazing thing of the next great comet is the technical skill of some many imagers on Cloudy Nights and throughout the world.  We’re going to have some pretty awesome pictures to look at.



#7 Special Ed

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:30 PM

I'm glad you mentioned McNaught--not many got to see it before it went south.  I can see from your avatar that you're a fan.

 

I caught it in evening twilight low on the horizon from a mountaintop near my place.  It was so bright it reminded me of a magnesium flare.

 

mcnaught_1.10.07.v2.JPG


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#8 ilovecomets

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:58 PM

I'm glad you mentioned McNaught--not many got to see it before it went south.  I can see from your avatar that you're a fan.

 

I caught it in evening twilight low on the horizon from a mountaintop near my place.  It was so bright it reminded me of a magnesium flare.

 

attachicon.gif mcnaught_1.10.07.v2.JPG

That’s a great sketch. Thanks for sharing.  I was able to view McNaught several times over a two or so week period.  I think we only got to see it for 4-5 days post perihelion before it shot south.  However we did get to see it twice after it went below the horizon from Massachusetts when the long bright tail was still visible.  That was pretty remarkable and most likely a once in a lifetime experience.


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#9 Special Ed

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:26 PM

Thanks.  That's pretty neat you got to see the tail above the horizon.  I'd like to have seen that.


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#10 jeffmac

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:46 PM

McNaught was incredible. I saw it in twilight. The whole seen through my 10x50's and my 4" apo was orange! Just after sunset. It was an unbelievable sight and the detail in the tail seen through the apo was something I'll never forget. Short, awesome observing session.


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#11 rkelley8493

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:59 PM

What was the comet that was around in the mid to late 90s? I think it was circa 1996. It was very large and could be seen with the naked eye. It was in the night sky for over a week. I remember looking at it through binoculars in my front yard when I was around 10 years old. 

 

Edit: I just looked it up. It was Hale-Bopp, the same one the OP mentioned. It was really spectacular. I've always been a stargazer, even since I was little, before I even owned a scope. I think this comet was one of the reasons.


Edited by rkelley8493, 18 July 2019 - 11:07 PM.

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#12 Cajundaddy

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:59 PM

Stuff happens in cycles, kinda like life.  Hyakutake and Hale Bopp were epic and during my most active observing period.  I got pretty good images on film.   Also Shoemaker-Levy 9 with the Jovian impacts. 

 

We have been in a bright comet drought but 2 total solar eclipses in North America in less than 10 years is exceptional.  I'd say our glasses are half full.


Edited by Cajundaddy, 19 July 2019 - 12:04 AM.


#13 Corcaroli78

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 07:08 AM

What was the comet that was around in the mid to late 90s? I think it was circa 1996. It was very large and could be seen with the naked eye. It was in the night sky for over a week. I remember looking at it through binoculars in my front yard when I was around 10 years old. 

 

Edit: I just looked it up. It was Hale-Bopp, the same one the OP mentioned. It was really spectacular. I've always been a stargazer, even since I was little, before I even owned a scope. I think this comet was one of the reasons.

Yes, Hale-Bopp was memorable and grab many of us into the hobby at that time. I remember that it was well positioned in the sky for a long time. It lasted for such a long time that at some point we started to ignore it :-)

 

Carlos


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#14 SabiaJD

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:10 AM

I was lucky enough to get to see comet McNaught , and take  a photo of the comet using the Clark refractor before it went south.  On a cold day in Jan 21 Imaged the tail over the horizon after moon set. Used 50mm f/1.4 lens of the Nikon F2 SLR.  One of the last times I used film.

 

You can view these on ALPO Comet Section images of Comets discovered in 2006.


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#15 ilovecomets

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:48 AM

I was lucky enough to get to see comet McNaught , and take  a photo of the comet using the Clark refractor before it went south.  On a cold day in Jan 21 Imaged the tail over the horizon after moon set. Used 50mm f/1.4 lens of the Nikon F2 SLR.  One of the last times I used film.

 

You can view these on ALPO Comet Section images of Comets discovered in 2006.

That sounds awesome.  Thanks for sharing.



#16 ilovecomets

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:49 AM

Yes, Hale-Bopp was memorable and grab many of us into the hobby at that time. I remember that it was well positioned in the sky for a long time. It lasted for such a long time that at some point we started to ignore it :-)

 

Carlos

Isn’t that the truth!  It was up there for a few months IIRC.  



#17 Zorbathegeek

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 09:18 PM

Hello all, I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. I was living in a pretty isolated part of rural France when Hale-Bopp came past and had no tv or radio. I remember looking up one night and seeing a tiny smudge and wondering what the heck it was. It took me a few days to realise that I was looking at a comet which developed into a truly awe-inspiring sight.

 

I'm a complete newbie with regards to telescopic observation of comets and I have a question - and I wasn't sure where to post it but I thought this particular thread would be ok. Apologies in advance if the question is a silly one. I live in New Zealand and was very excited to see on the "In-The-Sky" site that the comet P/2008 Y12 (SOHO) is going to peak at -3.1 magnitude in October. However, as I've tried to research this comet I've lowered my expectations as nobody seems to be discussing it. COBS have it currently at 11.5 and brightening but also have an entry for C/2008 Y12 (SOHO), currently at 12.5, which is really confusing me. Astro-Vanbuitenen has it at only 20.7 with a perehelion magnitude of -0.3 and a nearest approach magnitude of only 18.4. I initially thought that the perehelion magnitude would be it's apparent magnitude as viewed from Earth, but now I'm not sure at all. 

 

Ray.


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#18 Carl H.

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 08:42 PM

P/2008 Y12 = P/2014 K3 (SOHO) is a very interesting object. Unfortunately, interesting doesn't = easily observable. 

 

P/2008 Y12 has only been observed for a day or two around its 2008 and 2014 perihelia. I'm not sure why it hasn't been given a number (like 321P/SOHO), perhaps SOHO comets require being observed at more than 2 (or 3) returns.

 

P/2008 Y12 is a member of the 'Machholz Complex'. This complex is made up of related objects that most likely originated from a single progenitor some time in the past. In addition to P/2008 Y12, the Machholz complex also consists of an asteroid (now 2003 EH1, but may have been an active comet in the past and observed as C/1490 Y1), lots of meteor showers (Quadrantids, daytime Arietids, Northern δ-Aquariids, Southern δ-Aquariids, November ι-Draconids, December α-Draconids, daytime λ-Taurids, θ-Carinids, κ-Velids) and other comets (96P/Machholz and all of the Marsden and Kracht comet groups). P/2008 Y12 has an orbit that closely matches the Southern δ-Aquariids meteors. 

 

P/2008 Y12 has a perihelion distance of 0.065 AU. Since it has only been seen when at its closest to the Sun, we have no real idea how bright it is when further from the Sun. I have been seeing quite a few sites listing this comet as currently bright and observable. I believe that many are using the MPC magnitude parameters which are probably not valid. Astro-Vanbuitenen is probably closer to reality though even its much fainter current magnitude may be too bright. This is a good apparition and hopefully someone will observe it inbound to the Sun but it will likely require a large telescope + CCD though you never know.

 

While it may reach naked eye brightness, it will be near perihelion at that time and much too close (within a few degrees) to the Sun to be seen from the ground. Hopefully we'll be able to watch it in the SOHO coronagraphs.


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#19 kdenny2

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:43 AM

I was born in 1994. Imagine how I feel. Can't even remember Hale-Bopp or any of the recent great ones.


Edited by kdenny2, 22 July 2019 - 08:45 AM.


#20 Special Ed

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:55 PM

I was born in 1994. Imagine how I feel. Can't even remember Hale-Bopp or any of the recent great ones.

I was born in 1947.  I'm guessing you feel a lot spryer than I do.  lol.gif  



#21 TBullet

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 02:19 PM

Which one was supposed to be the next great comet, but unfortunately it hit the sun? I think this was in December 2014 or 2015? A new bright comet would be a welcome event.



#22 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:08 PM

Which one was supposed to be the next great comet, but unfortunately it hit the sun? I think this was in December 2014 or 2015? A new bright comet would be a welcome event.

That was Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) in late 2013.

 

https://www.space.co...comet-ison.html


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#23 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:03 PM

What was the comet that was around in the mid to late 90s? I think it was circa 1996. It was very large and could be seen with the naked eye. It was in the night sky for over a week. I remember looking at it through binoculars in my front yard when I was around 10 years old. 

 

Edit: I just looked it up. It was Hale-Bopp, the same one the OP mentioned. It was really spectacular. I've always been a stargazer, even since I was little, before I even owned a scope. I think this comet was one of the reasons.

Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) was spectacular in 1996.  It made one of the closest cometary approaches in 200 years on March 25th.  Comet Hyakutake stretched across the sky when it was close to the Earth and was the most striking comet that I've ever observed.  My best views were through 8x56s from what was a dark site at the time.
 

Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) didn't become prominent in the evening sky until the spring of 1997.  It passed closest to the Earth on March 22nd and continued to brighten until it reached a magnitude of ~-1.0.  I first viewed Comet Hale-Bopp through a telescope in the fall of 1995 and last saw it from near the equator in March of 1998, an incredible span of time. 
 

https://www.cloudyni...omet/?p=8624877 (photos)

I've observed a lot of comets but most of them have been faint, tailless fuzzballs.

Dave Mitsky


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#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:25 PM

McNaught was incredible. I saw it in twilight. The whole seen through my 10x50's and my 4" apo was orange! Just after sunset. It was an unbelievable sight and the detail in the tail seen through the apo was something I'll never forget. Short, awesome observing session.

A friend and I saw Comet McNaught for a short period at sunset one evening.  We tried to find the comet when it was visible during daylight and heading southward the next day or two but weren't successful.



#25 RyanSem

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 09:17 PM

I was born in 1994. Imagine how I feel. Can't even remember Hale-Bopp or any of the recent great ones.

Me too.. I'm hoping we'll get a few nice ones in our lifetimes too :)




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