C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

Postby WCGucfa » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:07 pm

Hey guys,

Tonight (6/23) I confirmed Comet McNaught is easily visible on the northern horizon at 5th magnitude!
The sky finally cleared enough to spot Capella, Alpha Aurigae and to the left of that Beta Aurigae. I spotted these with my
8x40 binoculars and figured it was time to dig out the 25x100's. This is the magnification I use mostly when
imaging through the scope so if McNaught was visible it would be with these binocs.
Sure enough, as soon as I set up the tripod, I easily found Beta Auriga and moved the field to the right and there
floated the familiar fuzzy "star." I couldn't see the comet with the 8x40's.
In the coming nights McNaught will be passing over Beta, becoming brighter and slightly higher and visible
for a longer period of time. The map below is for Friday evening around 2130hrs.
My goal, of course, is to try to obtain an image. Now that the stage is set, it should be easy if the weather
cooperates.
McNaught was 6 to 3 degrees above the horizon during my observations from about 2130 to 2210 hrsEDT .
On Friday it should be visible from 8 degrees until setting, if the sky is clear.
Note: Be sure to maximize this page to view FULL map.

Bill G.

06/25/2010. Position of Comet McNaught
Image
By wcgucfa at 2010-06-23
Comets:34, Best Meteor shwr: Leonids '01, Best Aurora:Oct. '03.
Total.Sol.Eclipse,7/10/72 from Nova Scotia.Annular Sol. Eclipse '94,
Trans.of Venus 2004&2012.,ShoeLevy crash into Jupiter '94.
4/25/66 fireball-9 mag.,SN2011fe,N2012aw,DelphN2013.
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Re: C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

Postby Greg Stone » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:35 pm

Thanks for the head's up, Bill. This is really interesting. You can either stay up late or get up early to see McNaught - cool, it's circumpolar almost - in either case you're dealing with almost the same amount of twilight - at least this evening and tomorrow morning. Probably about the same on Friday. After that it seems to favor the evening side a tiny bit more each day. In a week it will be taking a dive out of sight - well below the plane of the solar system as I read the orbit. Hope you can get some good pictures. I really don't have much hope for a decent visual observation - especially from my location - I have my biggest light dome to the northwest - Fall River. And in the morning the light dome to the northeast (New Bedford) is almost as bad :roll: . But if the skies give me a break, as they're supposed to, I'll take a look.
He "who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." Albert Einstein
12-inch DOB, 8-inch SCT, 6-inch SCT, 6-inch Dynascope. 100mm refractor, TV 85mm , 60mm Unitron, 50mm refractor, various binos
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Re: C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

Postby WCGucfa » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:59 am

Hi Greg,

Last night I had high hopes of imaging McNaught since it was so close to Beta Aurigae, but the sky gods would have none of it, even
with the unexpectedly clear sky.
By the time the sky became dark enough to see the comet, it was kissing the tree tops and losing altitude FAST. My usual 25-30 second
exposures that worked so well in the morning sky were grossly over-exposed in this bright evening sky. In the end, my last few images
had rooftops in them! The 25x100 binoculars easily revealed McNaught but I couldn't pinpoint it in my 120mm refractor.
It's a little frustrating, being so used to bagging an image and suddenly feeling like I never placed a camera on a telescope in my life!
It's not like this is the first horizon grazing comet I've ever tried to image!
I am really happy with the visual spottings though. :D

Good luck to you!

BG
Comets:34, Best Meteor shwr: Leonids '01, Best Aurora:Oct. '03.
Total.Sol.Eclipse,7/10/72 from Nova Scotia.Annular Sol. Eclipse '94,
Trans.of Venus 2004&2012.,ShoeLevy crash into Jupiter '94.
4/25/66 fireball-9 mag.,SN2011fe,N2012aw,DelphN2013.
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Re: C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

Postby Greg Stone » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:12 am

No luck - I looked last night, but I couldn't even find Capella! My treeline is too high, I suspect, and even if it isn't, the light dome is too high in that direction. You mention a satisfying visual view _ I got several of those earlier in the month - but in none could I detect the tail I know is there. Were you able to see it? All I saw was coma and nucleus.
He "who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." Albert Einstein
12-inch DOB, 8-inch SCT, 6-inch SCT, 6-inch Dynascope. 100mm refractor, TV 85mm , 60mm Unitron, 50mm refractor, various binos
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Re: C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

Postby WCGucfa » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:45 pm

Greg,

No, I couldn't see any evidence of a tail in my scope. The background sky has been too bright.
Fortunately, I got those shots in the morning sky earlier.
The horizon might be clear enough to see the comet tonight. If not, at least we'll be rewarded
with a nice pass of the ISS (see spaceweather.com).
Another problem I'm facing is the neighbor's lights across the street. He has headlight bright
garage door lights and front door lights that shine right at me. He leaves them on all night.

good luck if you go out.

Bill G.
Comets:34, Best Meteor shwr: Leonids '01, Best Aurora:Oct. '03.
Total.Sol.Eclipse,7/10/72 from Nova Scotia.Annular Sol. Eclipse '94,
Trans.of Venus 2004&2012.,ShoeLevy crash into Jupiter '94.
4/25/66 fireball-9 mag.,SN2011fe,N2012aw,DelphN2013.
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Re: C/2009 R1 McNaught is on Northern Horizon in the Evening!

Postby Greg Stone » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:39 am

I was out - too much dew and sky too opague here -plus moonlight - but I did get the 15-inch collimated and working fine - though it was hardly a real test of the resurfaced mirrors. (I've been so rwrapped up with small scopes I hadn't taken the five minutes to collimate this, though it's been ready to go for about six weeks - actually, I thought it would take alot more than five minutes, but I got lucky :roll:
He "who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." Albert Einstein
12-inch DOB, 8-inch SCT, 6-inch SCT, 6-inch Dynascope. 100mm refractor, TV 85mm , 60mm Unitron, 50mm refractor, various binos
User avatar
Greg Stone
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Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:24 pm
Location: Westport


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