How to see Comet Lovejoy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cecil, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. noboundaries likes this.
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We've got clear skies tonight so we'll be looking!  Orion is easy to find even for folks completely unfamiliar with astronomy. 

    Thanks for posting the link! 
  3. Thanks for the heads up. Cleaning up Binoculars now.
  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Also remember a magnitude 4 comet is not the same perceived brightness as a magnitude 4 star.  The magnitude is over a distributed area and not a pin point of light.

    But a mag 4 comet should be nice in even smaller binoculars.  It will be awesome in 70mm diameter binoculars if you have access to a pair.  With sufficient dark skies, it would be a naked eye object, but we are dealing with  the moon right now.

    My astronomy charting software calculates it as mag 5 today.  With a nearly full moon, it may be hard to spot without binoculars.  Lovejoy's brightest for this pass should be around January 11th and the moon should be no where near that part of the sky.

    Here is a custom chart plotting the position for the next 25 days (calculations are based on most up to date data and should be accurate).  When you click on the image, you can zoom the view to the original full size so you can read the labels.  First one is the general sky, and second one adds some common deep sky objects by name.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  5. Pretty cool, I just got my nephew a telescope. This looks like a good place to start looking at stuff.
  6. Unfortunately I will have to wait for our South Louisiana skies to clear before I can go out and enjoy the comet.
  7. I would go out and take a look right now but with partly cloudy skies, temperature at a whopping 4 degrees and over a foot of snow on the ground, I think I'll wait until next week when night time temps are supposed to be in the teens.

    And, no, I don't miss the weather in south LA, Bud!
  8. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I won't be looking tonite either. We have a winter storm blowing thru tonite: lots of wind and so far no rain.

    I do have the worlds largest optical, infrared and submillimeter telescopes about an hours drive away! Unfortunately the wind up there will be close to 90 miles an hour and the road is closed.

  9. Happy New Year Andy, Glad to see you doing OK in the frozen north, but I will take the Louisiana heat any day. My bones are getting too old for the cold. If it gets below 80 it's too cold for me. Miss seeing you when I go to Cabela's.
  10. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well the clouds broke here last night and I got to see it.  Not a naked eye object from my home, but we do have significant light pollution from the nearby town center. With averted vision I can possibly make it out, but with the glow from the "sodium nebula" to the south, it's hard to give a confirmation on that. In the 12x50 binoculars it is fairly bright considering the light pollution and there is a side elongation noticeable, which under better conditions and a darker site would likely show the tail.   I may pull out the 105/f5 wide field scope this weekend as take another look from a darker site.

    Too dang cold right now anyway!

    It should be at it's brightest on January 11th based on the software calculations.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  11. Awesome, thanks for the info.  Here's a pic I took of Hale - Bopp from Wasilla, Alaska back around 1999ish

    I personally think its just God dumping the coal tray from His smoker....
  12. We finally got clear skies last night but the temp here,15 miles south of Baton Rouge, got down to 20 with a wind chill of 8. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't convince these old bones to get out in the cold. Clouds are back tonight. Hopefully I will get to see it before it drops from view.
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As a side note, here in the northern hemisphere, if you've noticed Venus on the western horizon after sunset and saw what looked like a little dim star just to the right of it, that is Mercury!  Interesting alignment and it isn't easy to see Mercury very often. 

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