Comet Garradd

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Cliff
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Comet Garradd

Post by Cliff »

Dear Al(L)
I made my first attempt to observe Comet 2009P1(Garradd) last night using my 15 x70 binoculars.
I failed to find it between about 22:30 UT 23 ly and 01:00 UT 24th. Transparency was somewhat variable, occasionally I thought mag 4.3 stars in Ursa Minor visible by unaided eye.
I used BAA 2011 Handbook co-ordinates to assess the comet's position(about RA 22hr 00min, Dec +9d 34').
Assuming I got the predicted position right the comet should have been (above 19 Peg) seen roughly as far east of Enif as M15 is west.
I could see M15 easily enough but the comet escaped me.
I'd read a suggestion that the comet is brighter than old preditions +9.2 suggest but as far as I am concerned last night it was a no-no for me.
However, Manchester city centre is about 4 miles south of here so the comet was arguably not in my best bit of sky despite its fairish elevation.
Best wishes from Cliff
Astrocomet
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Post by Astrocomet »

Finally got to see this Comet around Midnight 25/7 in the lower Western part of Pegasus-using my 20x100 mounted Binoculars the sky was just clear enough to pick out the faint Coma of the Comet which is a round compact ball shape in size that I could vaguely pick out close to a faint magnitude 10 or 11 Star, I wasn't sure of any tail although there may have been one pointing in the direction of Cygnus which was overhead but it wasn't very discernible so I can't be exactly sure, I would say the Comet brightness is Magnitude 7.5 to 8 right now and is also visible in 20x60 Binoculars as well-great to see this and well pleased-this is now my 23rd Observed Comet since Comet Hyakutake in 1996-good clear skies...

http://www.shopplaza.nl/astro/comets/09P1CH03.png

http://lyrandgyastronomers.blogspot.com/

http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~jds/09p1.ukl

http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/2009P1/2009P1.html

http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/200 ... tures.html
Colin James Watling
--
Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
https://sites.google.com/site/lyrasociety/
http://www.lyrandgyastronomers.blogspot.com/
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Colin
That's interesting.
I had another go at observing C2009P1 (Garradd) myself last night.
I again failed to observe the comet visually using my 15 x 70 binoculars.
However, I did manage to get an image of the comet using my Canon 300D-SLR with a 135mm F3.8 telephoto lens taking 29 No. 6second light frames and 5 darks processed with Deep Sky Stacker.
Whilst searching for the comet visually with my binoculars I also observed M27 which I could see quite nicely - although I failed to see the comet.
I have been told the comet is supposedly mag +7.5 ish which is about the same magnitude as M27, however last night I found M27 pretty easy but the comet was a No-No. I have to say M27 was in a somewhat better area of sky than the comet for me, even so unless the comet is big and diffuse, I am puzzled why I failed to see it. Whilst my image seems to reveal the comet has being fairly compact and if I had to estimate the comet's brightness fom my image I guestimate it as about mag +9.
I find it an interesting puzzle.
Best wishes from Cliff
Astrocomet
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Post by Astrocomet »

You could be right Cliff-this Comets brightness could be more closer to Magnitude +9 than any brighter than this-its there and if you use the averted vision tecnique the Comet will show up as a small faint vague fuzzy ball like patch surrounded in a fainter nebula-its certainly is dimmer than M27 Dumbell Nebula, anyway its there for a while so make the best of it if you do happen to pick it out as I have been so lucky to do so-GCS... :D
Colin James Watling
--
Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
https://sites.google.com/site/lyrasociety/
http://www.lyrandgyastronomers.blogspot.com/
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Colin
It'll be interesting to know what the overall concensus of opinions are/will be about Comet 2009P1 (Garradd) are over the coming months as (hopefully) it becomes more observer friendly.
Generally speaking my local sky pollution is such that using my binoculars 10x50, 20x60, or favourite 15x70s I cannot visually observe comets fainter than about Mag +8.
So I'm happy to use imaging techniques to help make up for my personal visual observing limitations. So far I reckon about 1/3rd of the comets I've recorded I seen just visually (unaided eye, binoculars), another 1/3rd Ive both seen visually and imaged as well, the other 1/3rd I've never seen visually but managed to take images of them.
I'm quite happy to use both visual and imaging methods but of course it is always nice to make visual observations of any astronomical objects.
Best wishes from Cliff
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Do light-pollution filters make any difference to comet observations?
brian
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Saw Uranus again this morning (tuesday) and then half-heartedly looked in the area of M15 to see if the Comet was visible although was uncertain as to its exact position and last noticed on Heavens Above as being mag 9.0, I think. Inclined to not expect to find any Comet fainter than 8.0 mag with smallish scope - currently using a 60mm zoom Nikon field Scope - this will actually show fainter stars than on Uranometria. maf
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
I can only speak from limited experience of using three different light polution filters for imaging.
My current feeling is that a decent light pollution filter makes my image sky background appear more like a dark sky site but it don't seem to make the objects I'm trying to make the objects I'm trying to image any better.
I recently imaged M15 using my Canon 300D-SLR with a CLS light pollution filter and the result was very poor. At frst I thought M15 was just another star - only the core was revealed.
I imaged M51 not long back using the same filter and that was not bad but I think more of the spiral arms would have appeared if I'd imaged without the filter.
As for using light poution filters observing \imaging comets ???????
But I personally am not too enthusiastic about trying !!??!!
Best wises from Cliff
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

LP filters are useless on the stars, Cliff, because starlight is integrated, covering the whole spectrum.
I have several LP filters, if the comet brightens significantly, I'll give them a try on it.
As you know, the light reflected from a comet is sunlight and this is also integrated light. Nevertheless, the gaseous components of comets interact with the solar wind and glow in their own right, so they might respond in some way to LP filtering.
brian
andrew robertson
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Post by andrew robertson »

I've observed it a couple of times now, once a few weeks ago and this Sunday night just gone. It was very prominent in my 12" D-K at x162 with a bright core displaced from the centre of a diffuse outer halo - hard to define where it ended. I couldn't detect any tail. I do have a comet filter which works on some comets , enhances the tail but just dimmed this one considerably. I did make a sketch which I'd be happy to post except I've never manged to work out how to do it on this forum. (Cliff, perhaps I can forward to you to post for me). I could see it quite easily in my 4" Vixen fluorite refractor but couldn't be sure that I could see it my 7x50 bins although the moon was starting to brighten the sky by then. I reckon it will be easy in 15x70's. My data says mag 9.1 and that appeared about right to me.

Andrew Robertson
Planetary Section Director
Astrocomet
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Post by Astrocomet »

Well the Moonlight interferrence is out of the way for the rest of this Month and the first week of August so if the greying skies do manage to clear its out with my Equipment to see how its changing from time to time and if it has brightened anymore-then I can put some more write ups on this site about it-there's roughly about 12 days left of Moon free Observing time to see this Comet-then the Observing window will probably close until later in August-sometime after probably after the 20th.

Its certainly a Comet worth looking for as it is well placed for us Amature Astronomers right now and its trend is to brighten-strangely enough though it won't reach its best brightness untill Feburary 2012 when it will be Magnitude 5.8 for most of that Month according to the Ephemeris-it hangs around over this long period of time as it is at quite a distance from the Sun as well as the Earth although it will always remain further away than the Earth is from the Sun-even at Perihelion.
Colin James Watling
--
Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
https://sites.google.com/site/lyrasociety/
http://www.lyrandgyastronomers.blogspot.com/
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Andrew
Nice one !
Having very recently twice failed to visually observe C2009P1 with my 15 x 70 binoculars but readily seeing M27, the comet I am inclined to think it fainter than mag + 7.5. However, I did manage to image the comet with my Canon 300D-SLR with 135mm f2.8 telephoto and the results suggest to me the comet is currently about mag +9 or was a couple of nights back.
I think I might well have been able to see the comet from a reasonably dark site but from here (limiting unaided eye mag on the best nights being +4.3 Ursa Minor) I'm lucky to see them if fainter than mag +8.0.
Best wishes from Cliff
Astrocomet
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Post by Astrocomet »

I understand you point Cliff being in a Light Polluted area must be quite frustrating for you being an Astronomer, out here in Suffolk on the East Coast I am lucky enough to have fantastic clear skies-especially after midnight once people are turning in and domestic lighting is being switched off-the only light pollution problem I get is from Lowestoft in the North but other than that its a good clear 250 Degrees worth I get less the 100 Degrees for Lowestoft 5 Miles to the North (North East to North West)

As I reported I managed to see the Comet in mounted 20x60 Binoculars so in theory your 15x70's should be able to see and pick out this Comet, obviously my 20x100's showed the Comet up well with its features so I'm looking forward to some more Observations of it-the Weather Forecasters have given broken cloud and some clear spells for the days ahead so hopefully this may make a good viewing window for some serious Comet watching-GCS.... :D
Colin James Watling
--
Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
https://sites.google.com/site/lyrasociety/
http://www.lyrandgyastronomers.blogspot.com/
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Colin
As I've got a bit older I think I'm more philosophical about light pollution now than I once was.
20 years ago I mosty visuallyte observed planets but sometimes took my scope up on the Pennine usually with a Deep Sky observer friend to get darker skies. I took my 8 inch my friend his 10 inch scope. Then we both got imaging tackle and visited the Pennines less oten. Imaging helps compensate for light pollution. In the past I struggled visually observing Pluto with my inch scopes but it's a doddle to image even from here with a CCD on an 8 inch.
It's now about 3 years since I visually observed (as it happened a comet) from the Pennines and I only took binoculars a D-SLR and a tripod. It wasn't a particularly transparent night but even so I reckon I could see mag + 5.5 stars by unaided eye. when I back home it was about mag +4.
However, observin\imaging from my back garden with homecomforts dead handy has its compensations.
Best wishes from Cliff
andrew robertson
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Post by andrew robertson »

Had a brief view under very dark skies last night before cloud rolled in. At x180 in the 12" D-K the coma had a grannular texture to it. Still no tail, ditto with the Lumicon comet filter which helps you see ionized tails, still nothing just dimmed the view. Could see it (just) in my 11x70 finder but not 7 x 50 bins.

Andrew
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