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Topic: Ison is dead.  Long live the comet.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2013, 4:27 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sky and telescope Magazine is reporting the "comet of the century" evaporated during it's encounter with the sun.

Ison


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2013, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

ISON provided valuable scientific data. That was its contribution.

But for backyard morning star-gazers like myself, ISON was nowhere near the bright scenic wonder long advertised.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2013, 5:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's interesting to see the video of the comet on the sky and telescope website which shows it's leftover (appropriate for Thanksgiving) coming out the other side of the sun.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2013, 8:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If ISON is dead, what is the bright thing currently showing up on LASCO C3, right about where it should be emerging from perihelion?

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2013, 8:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Nov. 28 2013, 5:14 pm)
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ISON provided valuable scientific data. That was its contribution.

But for backyard morning star-gazers like myself, ISON was nowhere near the bright scenic wonder long advertised.

Agreed in whole.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 2:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sky and Telescope has decided that maybe Ison still lives, maybe, or maybe not.  I'm finding it amusing the confusion among the astronomers.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 3:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(starwalker @ Nov. 29 2013, 11:40 am)
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I'm finding it amusing the confusion among the astronomers.

Often people engaged in science are caught between a rock and a hard place.  They like to slowly sift through all the observations and draw valid conclusions based on these observed facts.  That usually take a long time to do properly.  On the other hand, there are lots of pressures to get out information and such very quickly.  One of those pressures is retaining the public interest. There will probably be papers written months from now evaluating what we learned from ISON but few in the public will be interested then and I doubt if there will be any discussion about it here on the forums.  We and most everyone else will have lost interest by then even though there will probably be much more certainty about what actually happened and why.

Anyway, science continues onward ... hopefully.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 5:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The latest photo I've been able to access (attached below) from NASA was taken at 3:30 pm Eastern Time or 1:30 pm my time (i.e. 20:30 UTM), about an hour and 45 minutes ago.

The latest I read at NASA says they believe a fragment of the comet has survived. But it is too close to the sun for most of us to see, and what will happen with that fragment is uncertain for the coming days or weeks. In the photo, the fragment is shown midway above the blocked-out sun. Antares in Scorpio is the brighter star shown on the other side of the sun, below and slightly left.

Antares is easily visible when the skies are dark, so one would expect the comet fragment to be also. But both are too close to the sun for most of us to see. Because of the low seasonal declination and altitude of the sun, the fragment will rise slightly before sunrise and set slightly after sunset. But twilight will be nearly as bright as broad daylight at those times. So the fragment is unlikely to be seen with the naked eye for a while. This is the same problem I've mentioned in previous threads about this topic.

As the comet fragment gets farther from the sun, its brightness is expected to dim. So when the distance is great enough for the skies to be dark enough for viewing, the fragment may (or may not) be too dim to be seen with the naked eye anyhow. But that's all up in the air (if you'll pardon the pun.)

Right now, if you look toward the southwest after the skies darken after sunset, the bright object most visible is Venus farther southward than the location of the comet fragment.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good explanation Travis.  I freely admit that I've taken extra time at night to stare at Venus when I let the dog out.  I do love the wintery night time sky.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 6:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JimInMD @ Nov. 29 2013, 3:44 pm)
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Good explanation Travis.  I freely admit that I've taken extra time at night to stare at Venus when I let the dog out.  I do love the wintery night time sky.

Same here, except for the dog.  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 7:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's funny how a shift of about 40 miles changed my sky view.  I lived in Joppa, MD for eight years.  For eight years, I'd leave my home and on a cool clear morning I'd be greeted by the sight of the Big Dipper appearing nearly in front of me as I walked to the car.

When I moved to Silver Spring, MD last year, I was dismayed that the Dipper no longer seemed to hang in my night time sky.  I figured that the trees blocked it.  It wasn't until I happened to walk out back with the dog one night that I realized that the Dipper was there, just visible behind my house (nearly straight up actually) as opposed to visible from the front.  Now I let the dog out, admire the Big Dipper and walk her around to the front to let her in to see Venus in the evening and Orion in the morning.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 12:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's a good peaceful story, Jim. Makes me wish I had a dog. I have so many good memories of night-hiking and camping with my backpack that I've gotten into the habit of taking a last walk through the yard right before I go to bed at night. Looking up into the night skies is like a quick trip to the wilderness even when I'm home around the house.

My excuse is that I'm checking doors and gates to make sure they are shut tightly if the wind comes up overnight. But really I'm taking a last look at the wilderness above, as if I'm putting the stars to bed for the night.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 5:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Latest picture from NASA taken about 2½ hours ago at 08:18 UTC (3:18 AM Eastern Time). The comet fragment (debris / remnants etc.) looks much dimmer.

My WinStars2 program shows ISON rising about a half hour before sunrise (~14:10 UTC, ~7:10 MST) at about 21° south of east or 111° azimuth. That's just after twilight begins. Even in my dark yard, I may not be able to see it. But this may be my last chance with the way things are going.

WinStars hasn't updated the trajectory of ISON since its perihelion, but it seems to show it in the same position as in the pictures from NASA.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 2:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It continues to be Schroedinger's comet.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Evidently comet ISON continues to be no real comet at all remaining.

News from Sky & Telescope and Karl Battams of NASA says the comet ISON remnants are fading rapidly, are not expected to be visible to the naked eye from here on out, and that what the telescopes and instruments are now detecting conforms to computer modeling for the trailing and dissipating dust cloud from a comet nucleus that disintegrated on its pass close to the sun.

In other words those scientists are returning to their earlier view that the comet nucleus itself did not survive its pass near the sun. But they expect it will take months to analyze the wealth of data gained from observations.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 6:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From NASA 43 minutes ago. Almost imperceptible dust cloud.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 01 2013, 1:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I, for one, will be very interested in the final report on the Comet.  Even though I never saw it, I only looked once as I don't get up early very often, I followed the news about it from the time it was first discovered to the latest updates.  Travis, I walk out at night too.  Living in a dark sky area, it is just as you say, looking at the wilderness above us.  I've been doing that since I was 12.  The first Boy Scout merit badge I received was the Astronomy merit badge.  I had checked out a spotter's guide to the constellations from my junior high library, used it to spot the constellations, rechecked it for I don't know how many times as new constellations came in view in my Wichita, Kansas back yard.  Today, the skies there are so much brighter, that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the view at all.  I feel sorry for those who can't see the night sky the way I can.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2013, 2:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Update Dec 2

http://www.npr.org/blogs....sa-says
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2013, 6:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Dec. 02 2013, 12:33 pm)
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So worth noting is that even Karl Battams of NASA, the comet scientist, engages in elaborate personification of his lifeless object of study. That's okay. We understand. The comet is gone now. A wealth of data remains for study.

In Battams's more analytical approach (not without some personification in itself), he says the maximum brightness that ISON achieved was about -3 magnitude. That's virtually equivalent to Jupiter and far short of Venus.

But that brightest moment happened when ISON was so close to the sun that it was impossible to view the comet without special instruments. And Jupiter, hence ISON, is not visible in broad daylight.

In contrast, the brightness of the full moon is about -13 with each decrease of a point being exponentially brighter. It was an exciting time for comet scientists and even amateur astronomers with access to expensive telescopes. And the data collected was probably unparalleled. And it was entertaining.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2013, 7:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lovejoy is still out there, naked eye visible just before sunrise.

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(Ecocentric @ Dec. 02 2013, 5:30 pm)
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Lovejoy is still out there, naked eye visible just before sunrise.

Naked-eye visibility of comets during the nighttime is nothing new.

But as far as Lovejoy being currently one of those, I can't find any confirmation of that. Lovejoy currently rises in my area at about 8:06 UTC, or 1:06 AM MST — 6 hours before sunrise.

But my best sources place Lovejoy too dim to see with the naked eye. Currently various sources place magnitude at around +8 to +9. Naked-eye visibility is considered to begin around +6.5 with greater numbers being dimmer.

I can't link you to my WinStars program (which updated comets earlier Monday), but this source places current magnitude at about +8.22, considered far too dim to be seen with the naked eye.

Astronomical Magnitude Scale from International Comet Quarterly.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 10:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Heavens above has Lovejoy at 5.5

of course they still have ISON listed as 5.4......

I'm pretty sure I caught it with my 10x binocs this morning.  No visible tail, just a dim smudge.

http://www.heavens-above.com/
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 10:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Dec. 03 2013, 8:31 am)
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Heavens above has Lovejoy at 5.5

of course they still have ISON listed as 5.4......

I'm pretty sure I caught it with my 10x binocs this morning.  No visible tail, just a dim smudge.

http://www.heavens-above.com/

According to your source, the date of that observation was January 12, 2013 — almost a year ago. And binocular visibility is a lot different than naked-eye visibility. But what constellation did you think you saw Lovejoy in? How high in the sky? What direction? What time? This is pretty easy to check.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 11:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Dec. 03 2013, 8:44 am)
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(Lamebeaver @ Dec. 03 2013, 8:31 am)
QUOTE
Heavens above has Lovejoy at 5.5

of course they still have ISON listed as 5.4......

I'm pretty sure I caught it with my 10x binocs this morning.  No visible tail, just a dim smudge.

http://www.heavens-above.com/

According to your source, the date of that observation was January 12, 2013 — almost a year ago. And binocular visibility is a lot different than naked-eye visibility. But what constellation did you think you saw Lovejoy in? How high in the sky? What direction? What time? This is pretty easy to check.

It was where it was supposed to be (near Bootes) but so are a lot of other weak stars.  I'm guessing the luminosity is calculated based on the old observation.  We also had some high thin cloud cover....
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 11:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Dec. 03 2013, 9:25 am)
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(TravisNWood @ Dec. 03 2013, 8:44 am)
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(Lamebeaver @ Dec. 03 2013, 8:31 am)
QUOTE
Heavens above has Lovejoy at 5.5

of course they still have ISON listed as 5.4......

I'm pretty sure I caught it with my 10x binocs this morning.  No visible tail, just a dim smudge.

http://www.heavens-above.com/

According to your source, the date of that observation was January 12, 2013 — almost a year ago. And binocular visibility is a lot different than naked-eye visibility. But what constellation did you think you saw Lovejoy in? How high in the sky? What direction? What time? This is pretty easy to check.

It was where it was supposed to be (near Bootes) but so are a lot of other weak stars.  I'm guessing the luminosity is calculated based on the old observation.  We also had some high thin cloud cover....

Sorry, but that website says nothing about current magnitude of Lovejoy. All it mentions is one guy's last sighting almost a year ago.

I'm going to be gone awhile, but I can get other sources that say Lovejoy is currently far dimmer than that sighting in January almost a year ago.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 1:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs....lovejoy

Magnitude 5ish


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(JimInMD @ Dec. 03 2013, 11:17 am)
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Evidently sources cannot agree on the magnitude. That source says this:
    At best, it’s a fifth magnitude object, which means you cannot spy Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) without binoculars or a small telescope. You may be  able to find it around 5 – 5:30 a.m. – if you have a good view of north-northeast, says Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory. For reference, Comet Lovejoy loiters between the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and the Bootes constellations, but it’s moving quickly.  By next week, it will be lower on the horizon, dimmer and very hard to find as it moves toward Hercules.
ETA: Here is how the International Comet Quarterly has described magnitude 5
    generally binocular objects from urban and suburban areas; faintest naked-eye stars visible from "dark" rural areas located some 40 miles (60 km) from major cities
If the Naval Observatory says that magnitude 5 is "at best" and the comet is getting dimmer, there is not a whole lot of hope most of us will see it without binoculars at least.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 2:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The other problem is that there are no fewer than four comets named Lovejoy. So the Lovejoy that Lamebeaver linked for appears to be the wrong comet. The "Lovejoy" currently being talked about after ISON is Lovejoy (C/2013 R1). But there was also a "Lovejoy" for 2011 and 2012, and those are different comets. So any comet referenced before September 9th 2013 is not the Lovejoy that the reports are about. Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) was not discovered until 3 months ago, not the 11 months ago his link claims.

However, after spending some time looking for other sources on Lovejoy (C/2013 R1), I've found that there are others estimating brightness in the neighborhood of +5, but they are all using telescopes to view the comet. And there are at least as many other sources that claim the brightness is around +8 and growing dimmer.

So I'll concede that some people are getting information claiming that Lovejoy is visible to the naked eye, but I have found no one who is actually reporting they have seen it without telescopes or binoculars. And the Naval Observatory and other sources claim that at least binoculars are necessary. So if all those people with telescopes cannot decide, we probably won't settle much here.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 3:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not sure what I saw last night, but I certainly won't be seeing it tonight.  Prolly tomorrow night as well.

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClic...._MRDt8E
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 04 2013, 7:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

There haven't been any stars for me this week, but there may be a chance for some to see Lovejoy during the next week.  It is approaching the sun, so it could still get brighter, but will be visible for less time each night before the sunrise.

Sky & Telescope on Comet Lovejoy


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» Quick Reply Ison is dead.  Long live the comet.
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