Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

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rwilkinson
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Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:39 am

I've just finished opening my Christmas presents from the Bradford Robotic Telescope - my first views of this new comet...
In the early hours of Christmas morning, it took a couple of exposures which I'd ordered, using both the Galaxy and Cluster Cameras:
lovejoy_25Dec_Clu.png
Comet Lovejoy on 25-Dec. 3x 120-sec using R, G & B filters with Cluster Camera (180mm lens)
lovejoy_25Dec_Clu.png (511.81 KiB) Viewed 7221 times
lovejoy_25Dec_Gal.png
Comet Lovejoy on 25-Dec. 120-sec with unfiltered Galaxy Camera
lovejoy_25Dec_Gal.png (258.67 KiB) Viewed 7221 times
This comet should be visible from our latitude from later this week, low down in the southern sky - look just SW of Orion.

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:20 pm

I've managed to get a better view of the comet's tail by registering and adding all the BRT ClusterCam data from last night (nine frames, through the three coloured filters) stretching and then making a "negative":
lj_28Dec_inv.png
Stack of nine ClusterCam frames taken over two hours
lj_28Dec_inv.png (374.66 KiB) Viewed 7202 times
(Two sets of the RGB images were taken two hours after the first, so all the stars appear twice in the stack)

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy - a twist in the tail

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:41 pm

I've made an animation of three of this week's images, to show how the tail has been changing from night to night:
lj_tail1.gif
Comet C/2014 Q2 - animation of ClusterCam images from three nights in December.
lj_tail1.gif (845.59 KiB) Viewed 7192 times
The images are aligned with "North at the top" in each case, so the tail also appears to rotate with repsect to the Earth.

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:11 pm

I've just managed to spot the comet for myself - using 15x70 binoculars. It was in the same field as Epsilon Leporis.
It's very low in the sky at the moment, yet I could still make it out despite the bright moonlight and the orange streetlamp glow, so it must be quite bright - perhaps 4th magnitude?

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by jpinna » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:18 pm

I was on NSN the other night watching a guy in Brazil doing a live broadcast of the comet, I'd like to have a go at it when I get the chance.

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:59 pm

Despite the scattered light from the full Moon, I could see the comet very clearly with my binoculars last night. It was more than 20 degrees above the horizon by 10:30pm, and so clearer of the streetlamp haze.
I also had a go at imaging it, but in order to reach that part of the sky, I had to set up my 'scope much further down the garden than usual, and then find my way around the "RA limits" menu on my CG5 AGT mount to persuade it to point just West of the meridian!
But I did finally manage to capture 27 minutes worth, before it started to set behind next-door's roof:
2014Q2_3Jan.png
Comet Lovejoy from Bolton on 3-Jan. 27x 60-sec using Atik16IC on StarWave 80ED at f/4.6
2014Q2_3Jan.png (151.87 KiB) Viewed 6676 times
The gap in the star-trails is when I stopped to re-centre the comet on the camera's sensor.

I can see that I'm going to need a much wider field of view to catch any of the tail too, so next time I'll use one of my Pentax lenses instead of a telescope...

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by cstone » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:20 pm

Had a go myself but with the mix of a bright moon and a slight fog haze I was unable to collect enough detail to reveal the tail. But it also disappeared behind a tree when the fog haze did eventually go away :roll:

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:55 pm

Even though the clouds intervened in Bolton, last night I managed to collect some more images of the comet from the BRT Cluster Camera on Tenerife:
lj_6jan.png
Comet Lovejoy on 6-Jan. 3x 60-sec + 6x 180-sec through R, G & B filters.
lj_6jan.png (587.2 KiB) Viewed 6635 times

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:13 pm

And this morning there were also some images taken by one of the MicroObservatory telescopes in the Arizonan desert:
lj_mo_7dec.png
Comet Lovejoy from MO telescope "Ben" in Arizona. 50+40+30+20-sec with 6" reflector.
lj_mo_7dec.png (143.46 KiB) Viewed 6634 times

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Re: Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:06 pm

If there are any gaps in the clouds tonight (Thu 8-Jan), this is where to point your binoculars to look for the comet - in the red circle South of The Pleiades and West of Orion:
2014Q2_8jan.png
Chart from Cartes du Ciel showing the comet's position at 8:30pm on 8-Jan
2014Q2_8jan.png (153.62 KiB) Viewed 6604 times
It will reach a maximum altitude of 36 degrees above the horizon just after 9pm, at which time it will appear due South.
Don't expect to see much of the tail from Bolton, but you should at least be able to make out the "fuzzy blob" of the comet's coma - I could see it very easily last Saturday despite the bright moonlight, and tonight the Moon doesn't rise until after 8pm.

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