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 Post subject: Looking out for Comet ISON
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
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Location: Bolton
I've just been out (at 6:45am) to see if I could spot the comet in the pre-dawn sky (it's the first clear-ish morning we've had for a month!)
I was using my 15x70 binoculars, which put the comet in the same field-of-view as Mars:
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It was easy enough to locate its position using Mars and Rho Leonis as pointers, but with the brightening dawn and moonlight I needed "averted vision" to make out that there was something there.
I really should have got up an hour earlier (but with our local time switching back to GMT on Sunday that will mean two hours earlier!)


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 Post subject: Re: Looking out for Comet ISON (and 3 others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
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Location: Bolton
Peeping out through my curtains at 5:30am I saw that the sky was clear, so grabbed my 15x70 binoculars and went out to have a look for the four comets in our early-morning sky.

Stepping out of the door, I saw Orion moving towards the SW horizon, and Jupiter high up in Gemini, dominating the sky. Starting from Gemini, I found the M44 Beehive Cluster, and then star-hopping through Cancer I soon came across Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy (the one discovered a couple of months ago by an Australian amateur) - very obvious in the binoculars. I've already managed to image this comet using the Bradford Robotic Telescope, but it's more satisfying to see it with my own eyes.
Then I moved looked round the SE, where Leo was augmented by a bright red visitor - Mars. I star-hopped to the position of Comet C/2012 S1 ISON, but couldn't convince myself that I'd actually seen it against the background sky-glow.
Moving round the garden, I found a spot from where I could just glimpse Virgo low down in the East. Comet 2P/Encke was conveniently placed close to one of the "bright" stars in this constellation, but at that altitude it was lost in the murk. And Comet C/2012 X1, currently in Bootes was hidden behind the trees from my viewpoints.

Still, spotting one comet out of four isn't bad, and now I know that Terry Lovejoy's comet appears much brighter (party due to being higher in our sky) than the much-hyped ISON, I'll be concentrating on the former. It's currently visible from midnight to dawn, so do have a look for it if you get an opportunity.


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