Skip to comments.COMET McNAUGHT:......
Posted on 06/07/2010 1:05:41 PM PDT by TaraP
COMET McNAUGHT: A fresh comet is swinging through the inner solar system, and it is brightening rapidly as it approaches the sun. Presenting, Comet McNaught (C/2009 R1):
Michael Jäger of Stixendorf, Austria, took the picture on June 6th using an 8-inch telescope. The comet's green atmosphere is larger than the planet Jupiter, while the long willowy ion tail stretches more than a million kilometers through space. These dimensions make the comet a fine target for backyard telescopes.
Comet McNaught can be found low in the northeastern sky before dawn gliding through the constellation Perseus. It is brightening as it approaches Earth for a 1.13 AU close encounter on June 15th and 16th. Currently, the comet is at the threshold of naked eye visibility (5th to 6th magnitude) and could become as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper (2nd magnitude) before the end of the month. Estimates are uncertain, however, because this comet is a newcomer to the inner solar system, and thus somewhat unpredictable. Readers are encouraged to wake up before dawn and monitor developments.
It’s pretty, but I don’t think anyone, other than the Lord, could get me up before dawn.
May 31st will find McNaught, now hopefully 6th or 7th magnitude, passing 2½° southeast of the 2nd-magnitude star Beta Andromedae. At the beginning of astronomical twilight its a respectable 20° up as seen by observers at 40° north latitude. But the waning gibbous Moon will brighten the sky.
The June comet crosses Perseus, low just before dawn, when at its best in June. Click image for larger, printable chart.
Sky & TelescopeOn the morning of June 5th the comet skims just north of the large, loose open cluster NGC 752. On June 6th and 7th its within about 2° of the 2nd-magnitude double star Gamma Andromedae. The Moon is much thinner then, but also closer to the comet.
Mid-June is when Comet McNaught should be most interesting, offering the best compromise between its increasing brightness and its decreasing altitude at the start of dawn. Moreover, the sky will be free of moonlight.
The helpful conjunctions continue as the comet passes about 1° north of the open cluster M34 in Perseus on the morning of June 10th, and 3° south of 1.8-magnitude Mirfak (Alpha Persei) on the 13th. Its still about 15° high in the northeast as the sky starts to grow light on June 15th, but it appears roughly 1° lower every day after that. The comet passes zero-magnitude Capella on the 21st, and its very low by the 24th, when it passes 2nd-magnitude Beta Aurigae.
By now Comet McNaught may be as bright as 4th or 5th magnitude, but moonlight is returning.
The comet will be lost to view by Junes end just before it reaches perihelion on July 2nd, 0.405 astronomical unit from the Sun. It remains far from Earth throughout this apparition, never venturing closer than 1.135 a.u. (in mid-June). After perihelion it will fade rapidly as it heads to the far-southern sky.
Different Comet McNaught. That was C/2006 P1. This one is C/2009 R1.
Rev: 8 10-11
The third angel blew his trumpet, and(A) a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on(B) the springs of water. 11The name of the star is Wormwood.[a] A third of the waters(C) became wormwood, and many people died from the water,(D) because it had been made..
Something to ponder....
How do they know it’s new? Is it still under warranty?.......................
if the comet is streaking through the galaxy... then what is the green stuff IN FRONT of it? wouldn’t the mass of the comet be in the body and moving the fastest? is there some form of gas or some other substance being pushed out ahead of the body of the comet that is diffusing the light?
Comets are always portents of good news. Right?
Unless you owned one............
I know....That is why I thought *Wormwood*
I should have thought of that. Thanks.
It is brightening as it approaches Earth for a 1.13 AU close encounter on June 15th and 16th.
Well..., with it being at a distance of 1.13 AU ... I don't think we'll have to concern ourselves with that one ... in this particular instance ... :-)
Did you see Comet Hale-Bopp back in 1997?
You're used to how things work with atmospheric drag. Since there is no atmosphere in space the results of the ice in the comet sublimating tends to hang around the comet until the solar wind pushes it away from the sun. Anything on the sun's side of the comet will initially move forward of the comet.
When the comet is traveling away from the sun, the tail leads the comet on the way away from the sun. When it is closet to the sun, the tail generally perpendicular to the travel path.
I took this image of M51 about 2 weeks ago...
This is the 'Whirlpool Galaxy' in Canes Venatici. Its companion galaxy, NGC 5195, directly above M51, is an example of interacting galaxies, in this case NGC 5195 is being "ripped apart" by the huge gravitational disturbance of M51.
The distance of M51 is estimated to be about 37 million light years. The diameter is approximately 100,000 light years and the total mass is estimated to be the equivalent of 160 billion suns.
I shot this using a series of 35x120 second exposures, ISO 800, using a Canon 40D, with 6.3 focal reducer, and LP filters in the optical train, all mounted on a 10" SC telescope.
I tried astro photography for a bit, but, I need better equipment.
I have had some luck with my Digital Video camera on low light setting.
I took some video of Mars and Regulus last night. I hope to get it up to you-tube soon.
I may just have to get up early one day this week and take a peek at this.
Some of my other videos are here:
That flick was on Saturday night. I sat through it just for giggles.
if that’s the case, then when a comet is in the middle of deep space, wouldn’t it look like a sphere and be dark, since there would be nothing to light it up
of course, the stuff being pushed outwards might not happen as the mass itself isn’t being heated
Apparently the comet passed by the earth in 2007 along what was originally described as a hyperbolic path -- meaning it would make its way through the solar system and never return. Somewhere along the way its trajectory was altered and it ended up in an elliptical orbit that is typical of a periodic comet. So now it is back three years later. That's a very short period for a comet.
The 2007 visit was spectacular, but didn't get a lot of attention here in the U.S. because it was mainly visible from the Southern Hemisphere. It was clearly visible during daylight hours for a while, and some of the most spectacular images I've seen are the ones that show the long wisp of the comet's tail rising from the horizon even as the head was no longer in view above the horizon.
Not only did I see Hale-Bopp, but I saw Comet Hyakutake as well.
We're those crickets I was hearing on the other video?
BTW, the cost of used good digital cameras and medium sized scopes have come down....Best to buy used first and see if the interest remains.
I’m working night shift - So all I will need to do is walk outside and look up.
M-1 - 14x60sec Camera Canon 40D.
M1 is the remnant of a star that exploded as a supernova which was observed in ancient times around 1054 by the Chinese.
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This is a different Comet McNaught. Robert McNaught has 54 named after him.
I would have thought he'd have added some variety to these things by adding other distinctive ways of telling them apart. Like maybe giving them "first" names . . . Comet Robert McNaught, Comet Julio McNaught, etc.
A comet can have two tails.
One is made up of neutral dust particles and water vapor. Those get pushed around by the solar wind and while initially streaming out behind it (along the path it has travelled) it will end up pointing away from the sun, even if that’s 90 degrees away from where the comet is going.
The other is made up of ions and other electrically charged particles. Those follow the solar magnetic field. That can be a different direction. Post #16 in this thread shows an example.
Crickets! You bet.
I don’t turn off the audio.
The Shuttle video was the first video I did like that. I have learned to use a tripod for such things now.
A few weeks ago, I was at Disney World when Atlantis went up. I got some video of that, but, haven’t put it up yet. I’ll post a note or something when I do.
One of my favorite objects.
The official designation does that. This one is C/2009 R1 = first comet discovered in first half of September, 2009. The great comet of 2007 was C/2006 P1 (first comet discovered in the first half of August 2006).
I don’t think that the discoverer is given the option of what to name comets that he or she discovers anymore. They’re all named Comet [Discoverer], followed by a code of what quarter of what year it was discovered, whether it’s periodic or not (has an orbit known or calcluated to be 200 years or less) and if it is then a sequential number for it.
“Daddy would have given us Uzis!”
Thanks....It'll take a while, just got in.... Appreciate the nice comment.
See 19 and 28..
Tanks sheep....no...armor wool....tough and gentle...
I actually served in 3rd armor for a while...I now hate tanks....lol
BTW, nice dog in your profile!
“Major” (the GSD in the profile) says:
..- /.-./ .- - /./.-../-.-./- - - /- - /.
5/30/2010 at 2215hrs, M51 obtained with a Canon 40D attached to a equatorial fork mounted 10" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. This was a series of 35x120 second exposures W/8 darks, @ISO 800 - A 6.3 focal reducer was used in the optical train along with an Astonomik LP filter. All calibrated aligned and stacked with DSS.
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