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Post  adrian ss Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:09 am

Comets are coming thick and fast these days.

https://www.spaceweather.com/
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Post  nero_design Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:41 pm

Some pictures of Comet F4 NEOWISE which is currently EXTREMELY visible to the Human Eye in the Northern Hemisphere.  It's in our skies right now but it's in the sky when the Sun is ABOVE the horizon, making it impossible to see.

From July 24, NEOWISE will be visible in the evening sky in Australia immediately after sunset and will climb higher in the Western sky each evening as the days progress.  Around July 30 it should be far enough away from the sun that it ought to be great viewing.  The comet appears to have shattered after it passed around the sun and is now sporting a pair of matching dust tails plus an ION tail.  I really regret not being able to see this in our skies right now. Perhaps our show will be more spectacular?

Here are some pictures from the internet of Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) taken this week:


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Post  adrian ss Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:19 pm

Some realy great pics there.
Yes looks like it is breaking up.
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Post  4rd Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:03 pm

Definitely all great captures, second one is awesome.  I've just constructed a permanent pier to mount my GEM (using a DSLR/Lens, no telescope as yet) and haven't had a chance to use it as yet due to weather/cloud coverage however I'm hopeful we'll have clear skies by the time it becomes visible locally if there's anything left of it... Thanks for flagging and posting details guys.
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Post  adrian ss Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:33 am

Got Bucky's hope of seeing a good view of Neowise from Canberra.
RA 7h:9m
Dec +44Deg 32'

Rises 9:05
Sets 14:50

https://theskylive.com/c2020f3-info


Last edited by adrian ss on Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  nero_design Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:01 pm

I screen capped several images from the Stellarium program which predicts Comet NEOWISE to be closest to Earth on July 22 and visible from Australia at Sunset from the July 24.  It may not be visible on the 24th due to proximity to the sun at the time of setting.  But it should be visible (with or without a tail) from the 25th onward, rising higher into the evening sky each night until it fades.

There's always a chance the tail could remain in time for us to see it in another week.  It's likely to become dimmer but that's still an uncertainty.


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The comet is putting on an incredible show so far for those in the Northern Hemisphere.  It was only discovered in March so there's always going to be more comets headed our way in future. The 6,800 year orbit means this will be the only time to see Comet NEOWISE. Ignoring some of the photographs people took that required stacking images, most DSLR users are getting great 6-second single shots at the moment.

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Post  moredeep Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:45 pm

Thanks for keeping us posted guys,fingers crossed we get to see it.
A trip to the local lookout is booked Very Happy.


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Post  Detectist Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:13 pm

Thanks Nero

I appreciate the effort you take and the advice to the Forum.
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Post  adrian ss Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:43 am

Northern Hem is seeing it good but we will not see much until the comet is heading away from the sun.
I was hoping for a good pic with the 900. It is a large comet so may get lucky yet.
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Post  peterinaust Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:13 am

Heading out to Georgetown Nth QLD tomorrow, should I be able to see it out there?

Cheers

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Post  pablop Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:28 am

Good spot to be, with great views and good viewing, but not for 10 days plus.
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Post  nero_design Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:03 pm

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Photographer Craig Heden in California (USA) took a picture just yesterday (US Dates are a day behind our own) and has observed a lengthening of the Comet's tail in just one day.  The comet is presently approaching Earth so that probably makes sense.  It may also diminish as it travels further from the sun.  Either way, I expect something to be visible in our skies (if the weather is kind to us) next week.  I'm thinking it won't be too visible on the 24th but on the 25th it ought to be setting well after the sun and should be more visible.
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Post  adrian ss Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:51 pm

One of The best shots of Comet Neowise to date.

THE COLORS OF COMET NEOWISE:
On July 23rd, Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) made its closest approach to Earth for the next 6,800 years. Michael Jaeger of Martinsberg, Austria, took advantage of the comet's proximity for a close-up photo, and he found some marvelous colors:

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Last edited by adrian ss on Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Nightjar Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:19 am

Adrian,
Do we earthlings have the means to divert or destroy a comet on track to strike earth?


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Post  adrian ss Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:35 am

Don't see why not. We have landed a probe on one that was a hell of a long distance away from Earth, so landing a nuke bomb on one should be no probs...Although Neowise is a big one of several km in size and I imagine it would take a good shove to re route it aye if it had been on a collision course with us. Then of course it might break into several pieces that could be troublesome to us. pale
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Post  moredeep Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:40 pm

Probably need to drive a missile into the surface and then fire some sort of supa dupa mega rockets to divert it a degree or two of it original course???????????????????????????????????? Q26



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Post  nero_design Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:29 am

We ought to have the means to detect and deflect comets in future but right now we don't have a thing.  Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE was only detected in March.  It is one of numerous comets that approached Earth from the Sun, making them impossible to see until it is upon us.  The sad thing is that worldwide, there are less people looking for comets that might pose a risk to humans than there are staff members working on shift in a single McDonald's restaurant.  

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A comet or massive asteroid is believed to have struck our planet several times in the past. In several instances, it wiped out most of the life on the surface. Earlier comet bombardment is what delivered water to our once-rocky planet. And asteroids appear to have deposited both gold and silver, injecting it when the Earth was still forming. If a planet killer comes our way, we don't have the ability to destroy or deflect it with current technology.  All our Nukes are based on planet applications, not spaceflight.  All our rockets are designed for orbital use with just a few made for interplanetary delivery... and those are not likely to be able to intercept a comet.  There's no air in space so shock-waves need to be larger to damage objects far away.  That means we need to hit it or detonate something as close as possible to shift the path of one.  I think there's a possibility that we could fit a small ION engine to a comet and steer it away if we had enough time.  We have that technology now but delivering it usually takes years of planning.  The window to deflect a planet-killer would likely be a few months or weeks if it was detected coming from the direction of the Sun.

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Comet NEOWISE last week - from Slade Point, Queensland. 6 seconds unguided with a 135mm lens at F2.5, Pentax K-5

As for Comet NEOWISE, it was seen and Photographed briefly in North Queensland before the weather here prevented further sightings further South.  I'm afraid the comet has lost its brightness now as it drifts back into deep space.  It will not return to Earth for another 6,800 years... by which time we will likely have wiped ourselves out or will have run out of resources.  Here's the last pictures I've seen of the comet.  Sadly I missed this one but some Queenslanders caught it...

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Comet Neowise 24/07/2020, North Queensland, Canon nifty fifty

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Comet Neowise North Queensland - taken last week
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Post  adrian ss Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:56 am

Nero. Any idea what time those last three pics were taken?
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Post  nero_design Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:53 pm

adrian ss wrote:Nero. Any idea what time those last three pics were taken?

The first one was taken on Thursday 23rd July - which I was surprised by.  The other two were taken the day after... a while after the sun set. I'm told that for ALL of those (and these) images that the comet wasn't visible to the naked eye but was visible to the cameras.

The other two (with the shot of someone standing on a car) were taken 7:36pm (local time) 24/7/2020.

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Here's one taken "6.30-8pm ish" two days ago - location: Atherton Tablelands.

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Here's one taken on Sunday 26th - with the following details "Managed 40x15 seconds before I hit the tree line. July 27 at 7pm (0900UT) with a full spectrum Canon 1100D, Skywatcher 120mm refractor at F4, HEQ5 Pro"

Again, none of these are mine. I just found them on one of the Amateur Astro pages on Facebook that I'm a member of. They post some great shots there. I just regret that I couldn't see the comet from Sydney.... it's been cloudy and raining for a week now.
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Post  adrian ss Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:36 am

Thanks for that info M8. It has been too cloudy here to be able to spot it. The past two days winds at 90 kts and clouds flying all over the place. and some big trees blown down. Sky's are clearing today so maybe a chance tonight.
from those star trails it looks like maybe WNW.

Speaking of trees; I put in a request to have a large gum tree at the end of our driveway cut back but no, it looks like parks management are going to wait until it comes down and kills someone.(Kids walking to school), crushes a car or falls on our house. Rolling Eyes
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Post  nero_design Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:52 am


adrian ss
- It's good to see someone interested in Astronomy (Austronomy?) here on the gold forum.  I think that there's quite a few who are interested in the Australian skies... We spend our time looking for gold and often spend time looking at the same night skies that the early Australian prospectors used to stare at every night (unless the mercury affected their eyesight).  The connection between gold deposits and asteroid impacts is pretty much an accepted theory these days and the creation of gold atoms required some interesting collisions between two neutron stars and the eventual supernovas they cause.

I read today that Comet NEOWISE has dropped in brightness by 4 orders of magnitude today and is only visible as a "deep sky image comet".  It's certainly no longer visible to the human eye.  

The last few comets to grace our skies were only discovered a few months before they appeared.  We can only hope that something new and exciting will show up in our skies again soon.  I've spent the last 4 months acquiring gear for astrophotography and am just waiting for one last part to arrive from Amazon so I can mount an Auto-star-alignment camera to my newly assembled EQ Mount.  The whole darned thing weighs over 60 kilos. I've been working at putting something like this together this for years so hopefully it all works properly when I turn it on.  Might be another two months for the power supply to become available since COVID has ruined our international shipping.
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Post  adrian ss Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:30 am

G/day Nero.
I notice you said (Austronomy).
Most of the astronomy sites are Northern Hemisphere based which is a tad annoying seeing as we have the most interesting night sky's down under.

Have been waiting for a star tracking EQ mount to arrive for 8 weeks. The seller is not communicating and I have applied for a refund from Ebay. A serious pain in the butt.
Also just fitted a new Primary mirror to my old 6 inch reflector (built in 1968). Did not realise how bad the mirror was until I checked and could see the moon through the reflective surface. Rolling Eyes Laughing Am also building a new tripod for it after the old one finally collapsed under its own weight a while back after the cats finally scratched it to death. Laughing
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Post  pablop Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:01 am

So what sized optics would be required to catch an image of this from Oz and any idea where in the sky at the moment.  Yep heading away and after sunset, as there is conflicting info on the Web.  I have some reasonable optics.
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Post  adrian ss Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:34 pm

It is becoming fairly dim now so you might be able to pick it out with some 7 x 50 binocs or a camera lens around 135m x 1.8 and some exps between 6 and 20 seconds. otherwise a astro tele of maybe 4 inches or larger at maybe f 4 to 6.3 should see it ok but as I said it is dim and below naked eye visibility.. You have to find it first and then experiment with the exposures and ISO settings.

I could not find it last night and I scanned from WSW through to WNW and to approx 20 degrees alt at around 18:30


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Post  pablop Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:56 pm

adrian ss wrote:It is becoming fairly dim now so you might be able to pick it out with some 7 x 50 binocs or a camera lens around 135m x 1.8 and some exps between 6 and 20 seconds. otherwise a astro tele of maybe 4 inches or larger at maybe f 4 to 6.3 should see it ok but as I said it is dim and below naked eye visibility.. You have to find it first and then experiment with the exposures and ISO settings.

Yeh, finding it may be the problem. Had clear skies in Melb last night, but cloudy today and expected same later tonight. I have a Celestron SC20 with a camera mount (plus an old 8" Newtonian that I made many years ago and don't use anymore) plus various other smaller things, so optics is ok, I will just have to wait and "see".
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Post  adrian ss Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:21 pm

This is an interactive map/chart showing Neowise Maybe you can use it to find where to look for this comet?
https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/night/australia/canberra
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Post  pablop Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:57 pm

Thanks Adrian, I will have t try with that tomorrow night.
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Post  adrian ss Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:50 am

Could not locate the comet last night. Clear sky but city lights were a problem although plenty of stars showed in the pics.
Used a Pentax K10 with a 135mm x f1.8 and the P900. Set a wide range of exposures from one second to 30 seconds.
Searched WNW through NNW  although actual position was supposed to be slightly NNW at approx 15 deg Alt and 323 deg AZ at around 18:45. Kept scanning for 30 minutes but no show.

Used my trusty Suunto to locate the correct sky position....Oh well, there will be plenty more.
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Post  adrian ss Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:21 pm

If you are in Canberra tonight you might be able to spot Neowise here with 7 x 50 binocs.
01/08/2020... 18:42...Alt 16.52 deg...Az 322 deg 22 mins...NW...

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Post  pablop Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:59 pm

The online planetarium says that its current magnitude is 9, so not much chance of a decent siting except with a very large scope. Will scan the sky but chances are basically zero.

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