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Calling All Comet NEOWISE Observers!

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#51 Special Ed

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 08:12 AM

A few nice images from NASA's Parker Solar Probe.

 

https://www.nasa.gov...-comet-neowise/

Too cool!



#52 BrooksObs

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 10:24 AM

Depends.  I could make a case for 153P/Ikeya-Zhang in March/April of 2002, which had a distinct ion+dust tail pairing and, unlike C/2020 F3, was well-placed in dark skies.  It was fainter (my brightest estimate was +2.8 and the consensus was right around 3rd-magnitude), but made up for it with good viewing conditions.

On balance, though, C/2020 F3 is still better.  153P/I-Z had a tail visible to the naked eye, but nowhere near as prominent as that of C/2020 F3.

This comet is clearly better than C/2006 P1 McNaught, though.  McNaught was MUCH brighter, but the view really suffered due to the ridiculously low solar elongation in January 2007.

And I'm thinking C/2020 F3 will remove any lingering doubts to the claim of the "best northern hemisphere comet since Hale-Bopp" once it gets into darker evening skies and higher altitudes.  By this time next week, it's likely to still at least match 153P in brightness under a dark sky but I'm guessing the tails will be distinctly longer than the ~5° tails of 153P/I-Z.

I wouldn't qualify it as a "great comet", just yet.  A really, REALLY good comet, yes.  And for a northern hemisphere that's been starved of great comets...it'll do for now!

Clear Skies,

Phil

 

Like Phil, I was honestly more impressed by Ikeya-Zang then I am with the images I've seen of NEOWISE (been cloudy here for a week now, so I can admit to no firsthand views myself). As I recall I viewed I-Z high in the evening sky far from any evening glow and I could trace at least 7-8-degrees of tail trailing behind its 2nd-3rd magnitude coma right from my home in a Bortle class 5-6 sky.

 

As to the question of the frequency of bright comets, the recent seeming dearth in bright comets is quite typical, in fact the interval since Hale-Bopp might even be regarded as the usual. More than 50 years actually elapsed between the Northern Hemisphere appearance the Daylight Comet of 1910 and Arend-Roland in 1957. Interestingly, however, following A-R we saw the most prolific period for brilliant comets in a thousand years with no less than 8 in 20 years!

 

Incidentally, to truly distinguish the difference between a Great Comet and a simply second class visitor, if you look at the Parker Space Probe's (2nd photo in post #48)  image of NEOWISE, try to imagine  the comet's  image expanded until it fills the entire frame of that photo and you get an idea of just how different these two types classes of comets appear!

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 11 July 2020 - 10:59 AM.

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#53 cbellh47

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 11:29 AM

at the bottom of the article:
July 10, 2020
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Spies Newly-Discovered Comet NEOWISE
https://www.nasa.gov...-comet-neowise/

"Parker Solar Probe’s images appear to show a divide in the ion tail. This could mean that comet NEOWISE has two ion tails, in addition to its dust tail, though scientists would need more data and analysis to confirm this possibility."

however it looks to me simply the draping of tail rays the way 
Hannes Alfven described 
On the theory of comet tails.
Alfven, H.
Tellus, 9, 92 (1957)

 



#54 cbellh47

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 11:33 AM

Lots of images showing striae in the tail of comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) started showing up a couple of days ago.
 

 



#55 Phillip Creed

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 03:15 PM

My vacillating about whether or not C/2020 F3 is the best northern hemisphere comet since Hale-Bopp is over.  It CLEARLY is.

We've had mediocre transparency due to a heat wave in Ohio that finally broke yesterday.  But low-pressure systems have a way of getting here fast and leaving here slowly, and I was feeling pretty grumpy about it.

I woke up at 2:15 this morning, saw that the western part of Ohio was clear (I'm in eastern Ohio, near Canton), and figured...let's do it.

It was raining in Wooster and Mansfield (not a good sign), but when I stopped to check the satellite loop, it still showed a clearing line near Upper Sandusky.  OPERATION:  I WILL NOT BE DENIED was still a go.  I kept on driving west, and the clouds started to break a bit by the time I got to Bucyrus.  I was never so happy to see Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon in the sky.  But I knew I needed a clear northeast horizon, so I had to get beyond the clearing line.

By the time I got west of Upper Sandusky, the comet was mostly above the clouds.  I drove a few more miles west to build in a safety factor and because I knew when this portion of US-30 was upgraded to a freeway, many county roads were split with cul-de-sacs on either side of the freeway.  So I drove to one of those and set up my SW Star Adventurer and 135mm f/2 Samyang lens.

I gotta say--it sure makes things easy when you can see a comet in Live View!  I forgot my binoculars, but even with the naked-eye, I could easily make out the gently-curving tail, extending 4.2° by my reckoning.  The comet was simply a magnificent sight even though, to my eyes, it had faded a bit since I last saw it.  I had it this morning at magnitude 1.9, and unlike previous mornings, it didn't quite appear stellar.  Maybe as its approaching its coma appears larger?

Anyhow, here's an image I got this morning.  A total of 7 frames each 5-sec long with the 135mm Samyang @ f/2.8 at ISO 800 were stacked together.

Clear Skies,

Phil

Attached Thumbnails

  • C2020F3-PXI-J1-CN.jpg

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#56 Awesomelenny

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 03:25 PM

Hi Phil, that's a great shot of the comet! If I get a chance I might try to see if I have a shot at it by my area in Parma, OH either tomorrow or Tuesday morning.



#57 Tyson M

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 04:15 PM

The hype is real!   This comet was one of the best observations I have ever had in the 5 years in the hobby.  

 

It was visible naked eye as a faint smudge at 53 deg north and 113 deg lat at my yellow zone darksite.  I almost did not think it was the comet, because the times were off on stellarium

 

It was up early, at least 01:00-0130am (maybe earlier), but I didnt start observing it until about 0200am local time

 

With a Tele vue 40mm Plossl, using a TSA102s looking to the north, slightly north east I was treated to an outstanding view.

 

I could see the dense nucleus, focused to a perfect point.  Their was a dark lane bisecting the river of golden white tail.  With 12x50 binoculars it looked basically white, but it took on the most beautiful textured golden white, almost a nebulous mottled look to it at parts closer to the nucleus.  

 

I would estimate magnitude almost identical with Beta Aurigae, which was up and a helpful estimate marker.

 

Here on some shotty cell phone pic with Beta Aur and Capella.

 

20200711_020648.jpg


Edited by Tyson M, 11 July 2020 - 04:41 PM.

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#58 Tyson M

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 04:51 PM

This picture by Tom Burbee on FB captures similar to what I saw with respects to the mottled/nebulous/textured tail.  Just more vivid visually.

 

FB_IMG_1594503873300.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#59 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 06:11 PM

There's an impressive image of the comet, which is beginning to resemble Comet Hale-Bopp, posted at https://spaceweather...xXKq8aiEW4HjIRY
 


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#60 chrysalis

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 03:51 PM

Finally had a perfectly clear morning here in north central NC. My images here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...ise/?p=10330452


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#61 ilovecomets

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 08:57 PM

Tried and failed to see NEOWISE this evening from west of Boston. There was just too much crud in the west and by the time the sky was dark enough the comet was about 6 degrees above the horizon which unfortunately had clouds to about 10 degrees. If the weather gods allow it, I should get another shot later this week when the comet is 15+ degrees at Nautical Dusk. Fingers crossed!
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#62 Exo

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 09:34 PM

2020 July 10 morning.

Observed comet NEOWISE from an 1100 ft hill site on the San Francisco peninsula (California, USA) on the morning of 2020 July 10th at about 04:30 PDT (11:30UTC). 

Arrived at the site, opened the car door, looked up, and wow! 

The best naked eye comet since sliced Hale-Bopp smile.gif

 

With (60mm objective) binoculars, the comet looked like a split feathery white quill pen sticking into a slightly irregular fuzzy cotton ball. 

The length of the straight-up tail was more than half the 5~6 degree field of view of the binocs. 

 

It was also clearly visible to the naked eye through the front windshield on an east-bound lighted freeway at sea level, as twilight started to break around 5AM PDT (12UTC). 

Also good in the twilight through peeking between the suburban street lights and houses. 

Perhaps the improved Coronavirus viewing conditions made all the difference. 

 

Looking at the charts, it seems that the 10th and 11th were "charmed" days, due to the combination of higher position in the dark sky and comet brightness. 

 

It may be worse viewing over the next few weeks for most mid-latitude northern hemisphere viewing sites, as the low angle position moves to evening. bawling.gif



#63 Scott99

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 10:03 PM

it's coming up at 1:58 AM at my location - it's a race against the clouds.  Forecast is not good for the rest of the week!!

 

this website allows you to enter your location to get rise & set times:

 

https://theskylive.com/c2020f3-info


Edited by Scott99, 12 July 2020 - 10:49 PM.

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#64 Exo

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 01:00 AM

2020 July 12 evening after sunset.

Observed comet NEOWISE from an 1100 ft hillside dark site on the San Francisco peninsula (California, USA) on the evening of 2020 July 12 at about 21:30 PDT (13 July at 04:30UTC). 

Viewing conditions northwest toward the comet, were not optimum due to haze blowing in from the Pacific Ocean near the horizon. 

The tail distinctively flows toward Polaris.

Naked eye was barely perceptible due to haze.  

Binocular viewing was good to mediocre at times. 

Even with the reduced viewing conditions, the comet still was brighter than stars in its apparent vicinity.

Compared to my previously fabulous observation on the morning of 10 July, this observation was a dud; but this may be mainly due to the atmospheric effects. 

 

 

2020 July 10 morning.

Observed comet NEOWISE from an 1100 ft hill site on the San Francisco peninsula (California, USA) on the morning of 2020 July 10th at about 04:30 PDT (11:30UTC). 

Arrived at the site, opened the car door, looked up, and wow! 

The best naked eye comet since sliced Hale-Bopp smile.gif

 

With (60mm objective) binoculars, the comet looked like a split feathery white quill pen sticking into a slightly irregular fuzzy cotton ball. 

The length of the straight-up tail was more than half the 5~6 degree field of view of the binocs. 

 

It was also clearly visible to the naked eye through the front windshield on an east-bound lighted freeway at sea level, as twilight started to break around 5AM PDT (12UTC). 

Also good in the twilight through peeking between the suburban street lights and houses. 

Perhaps the improved Coronavirus viewing conditions made all the difference. 

 

Looking at the charts, it seems that the 10th and 11th were "charmed" days, due to the combination of higher position in the dark sky and comet brightness. 

 

It may be worse viewing over the next few weeks for most mid-latitude northern hemisphere viewing sites, as the low angle position moves to evening. bawling.gif


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#65 Exo

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:08 AM

2020 July 13 morning before sunrise.

Observed comet NEOWISE from a streetlight-polluted suburban sidewalk near sea level on the San Francisco peninsula (California, USA) on the morning of 2020 July 13 at about 04:45 PDT (11:45UTC).

Viewing conditions northeast toward the comet, were not optimum due to haze and urban light pollution near the horizon.

Naked eye was fair, easy to pick out near constellation Lynx, at altitude 7 degrees and azimuth 36 degrees, brighter than any stars in that part of the sky.

Binocular viewing was good, showing the wide tail going upwards at an angle.

Better viewing this morning than at the hillside dark site yesterday evening 12 July. 

Still enjoying clear skies here, albeit the reason is Coronavirus pandemic lockdown providing reduction in air pollution and lights.

 

 

2020 July 12 evening after sunset.

Observed comet NEOWISE from an 1100 ft hillside dark site on the San Francisco peninsula (California, USA) on the evening of 2020 July 12 at about 21:30 PDT (13 July at 04:30UTC). 

Viewing conditions northwest toward the comet, were not optimum due to haze blowing in from the Pacific Ocean near the horizon. 

The tail distinctively flows toward Polaris.

Naked eye was barely perceptible due to haze.  

Binocular viewing was good to mediocre at times. 

Even with the reduced viewing conditions, the comet still was brighter than stars in its apparent vicinity.

Compared to my previously fabulous observation on the morning of 10 July, this observation was a dud; but this may be mainly due to the atmospheric effects. 


Edited by Exo, 13 July 2020 - 07:15 AM.


#66 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 09:42 AM

I wouldn't qualify it as a "great comet", just yet.  A really, REALLY good comet, yes.  And for a northern hemisphere that's been starved of great comets...it'll do for now!

Clear Skies,

Phil

While not a Great comet, I think C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) would make the list in John Bortle's "Bright Comet Chronicles". It does seem to me about equal to comets like C/1961 O1 (Wilson-Hubbard) and maybe C/1941 B2 (De Kock-Paraskevopoulos)?

 

It would be interesting to se an update to the Bright Comet Chronicles!

Jure



#67 BrooksObs

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 11:01 AM

While not a Great comet, I think C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) would make the list in John Bortle's "Bright Comet Chronicles". It does seem to me about equal to comets like C/1961 O1 (Wilson-Hubbard) and maybe C/1941 B2 (De Kock-Paraskevopoulos)?

 

It would be interesting to se an update to the Bright Comet Chronicles!

Jure

 

Actually, Jure, I don't believe Dan Green updates much of anything associated with his ICQ info pages any longer. So updating, or adding to, my Bright Comet Chronicles on his site will likely not happen. But, yes, I'd put NEOWISE's total brightness currently as likely on a par with Comet Wilson-Hubbard's at the time of its discovery, but the latter's tail was drastically larger and brighter, at least compared to what we've seen from NEOWISE  so far. Actually, Comet Wilson-Hubbard was a very strange object, some at the time even conjectured that pre-T it might have been an asteroid, not a comet at all, in an attempt to account for W-H's unusually brief visibility..

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 13 July 2020 - 11:03 AM.

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#68 Tyson M

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:56 AM

Observerd it with my 12x50 binoculars again tonight at 0300am MST sucker hole viewing towards the north.  Nice bright nucleus, long tail about 1/4 the binocular fov so just over a degree with visible tail. Too hard to estimate brightness, and got clouded out about 30-45mins later. Still looking glorious.



#69 chrysalis

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 10:18 AM

I decided to bag morning attempts since string twilight. Hoping for clear skies tonight etc. in NW, where I cleared a horizon that looks out over a lovely local farm.

 

My chart for tonight at 9:45 PM EDT at onset of Nautical Twilight, from theskylive.com. Click for readable pic.

 

NEOWISE 945PM EDT 7-14-20.JPG


Edited by chrysalis, 14 July 2020 - 10:18 AM.


#70 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:02 PM

Interesting situation with visual magnitude estimates right now: big scatter visible in COBS magnitude data on NEOWISE, nearly 2.5 magnitudes. Low altitude and extinction doing 'wonders'.

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  • lightcurve_20200714-152646.png

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#71 Ford Prefect

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:18 PM

I managed to see the comet yesterday evening (Italy, latitude 42° N) after 21:00 local time. Very low on the horizon but impressive. Visible with naked eye as a unfocused star mag. 1-2 (difficult to estimate, since it is very close to the bright horizon).

 

With 2.1x40 "constellation" binoculars the view is impressive: the tail is clearly seen, very long, within the context of the landscape and the darkening sky. With a small spotter set at 15x-20x (Celestron Hummingbird) the tail does not fit in the field and a ion tail starts to be visible (with averted view).

 

 

There's an impressive image of the comet, which is beginning to resemble Comet Hale-Bopp, posted at https://spaceweather...xXKq8aiEW4HjIRY
 

It resemble Hale-Bopp in pictures, but is much smaller and less impressive. I remember Hale-Bopp, it was GREAT. Even McNaught was more impressive for the few days it was visible over the western horizon on the northern hemisphere. Anyway, in my opinion NEOWISE is the best comet in 14 years.
 


Edited by Ford Prefect, 14 July 2020 - 12:19 PM.

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#72 nightowl

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:18 PM

Hello Everyone,

 

I have not posted here in years but came back for great Neowise info. Am truly impressed by all of your photographs (I do mostly visual viewing with my refractors).

 

I do have a question because I'm unsure as to whether my wife and I saw the comet yesterday (Jul 13) in Los Angeles, California, USA, local time approximately 8:30 PM (PST). Using info from Stellarium, we drove out to a large parking lot at a local university and oriented ourselves north and *think* we saw it. It was not completely dark yet and the orange glow of the sunset still allowed us to function without lights (I think it was "civil" twilight).

 

With my limited vocabulary on how to describe my (our) first viewing of a comet, ever, it appeared with its tail to be about 4 full moons long and it was stunning. Here's an issue, however: It didn't appear for long as it slowly appeared to glide toward the horizon with the setting sun. And perhaps it could have been more dramatic were the skies dark--but it appeared above orange skies, quite low on the horizon (about 20 degrees above it). Now, living under Los Angeles skies, we're quite familiar with the condensation trails left by numerous passenger jets that fly above us toward LAX airport and this did not appear to be an aircraft. There was too much of a brush like appearance of, perhaps, the comet's tail. The tail was long and had more girth than normal. However, the way it actually moved toward the sunset at that said leisurely speed makes me wonderful if it was indeed an aircraft.

 

We saw the comet with our eyes for only about 30 seconds before it disappeared into the orange haze of sunset. As we don't do astrophotography, we didn't capture the very stunning scene. Yet news reports have noted that its appearance on Jul 13 will be short-lived for that night's viewing. So my two questions are: 1) did we see Neowise and 2) how long do comets actually appear visible to our eyes when we're viewing them "live" anyway? I tried to do a search on the second question and links described only how long the comet will be around for viewing overall, not actual duration of one's actual sighting of the comet.

Thanks for reading and any info coming this way. We're planning to go back out tonight to check out Neowise again. It should be a bit higher in the sky tonight (btw, what we saw last night looked like all your photographs sans the round "dot" of the comet itself). Clear skies good people.

Nightowl


Edited by nightowl, 14 July 2020 - 12:20 PM.

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#73 JimFR

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:27 PM

It wouldn’t move toward the setting Sun exactly, it would move in the same direction as the Sun. And it’s motion wouldn’t be discernible visually.  If it disappeared into the glow of sunset, it wasn’t the comet.  The comet would actually appear brighter as the sky grew darker, at least until it starts to become obscured by the thicker atmosphere as it approaches the horizon, but you are talking in terms of many minutes or even an hour or so, not 30 seconds.


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#74 chrysalis

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:58 PM

I decided to bag morning attempts since string twilight. Hoping for clear skies tonight etc. in NW, where I cleared a horizon that looks out over a lovely local farm.

 

My chart for tonight at 9:45 PM EDT at onset of Nautical Twilight, from theskylive.com. Click for readable pic.

 

attachicon.gifNEOWISE 945PM EDT 7-14-20.JPG

> 90° expanse a few yards farther ahead:

 

NW HORIZON.JPG



#75 WoodyEnd

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 02:34 PM

A tip for those who are having a hard time finding Neowise.  The planetarium app SkyGuide shows the comet which will help you find it in marginal conditions.

 

I used it last night to scout a gap in the trees long before the comet was visible. 


Edited by WoodyEnd, 14 July 2020 - 02:45 PM.

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