Comet Lovejoy a Beautiful Visual Object

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Apollo XX
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Comet Lovejoy a Beautiful Visual Object

Unread post by Apollo XX »

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 seems to be living up to its recent hype and predictions. I was walking the dog this Christmas night and noted that Sirius was positioned quite favorably for hopping off to Lovejoy. After dropping my canine pal off at the house, I lugged my 90mm F11 refractor across the street and found a hiding spot away from the streetlight. Using charts that I printed from an S&T article http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronom ... y-1211142/ I was able to locate the comet within a reasonable amount of time. The view was quite satisfying, especially for an object that is currently only about 17* above the southern horizon. Right now it's in the constellation Columba, but as the current year comes to a close and the new one begins it will climb up past Orion and through Taurus and is supposed to brighten up from its current mag 7 to possibly somewhere in the range of mag 5, or 4 even. The forecast doesn't look as awful as it has recently, so maybe there'll be a few more chances to catch this before New Year's Day.
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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WCGucfa
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Re: Comet Lovejoy a Beautiful Visual Object

Unread post by WCGucfa »

Thanks for the report Mike!
I picked up Lovejoy at around 2230 last night also. Kept an eye on it until 0100hrs. What a beauty considering it's low position!
Its coma is also huge in binoculars, confirmed at half as large as a full moon! I haven't seen one this big since Comet Holmes (which of
course, got much larger).
Estimated magnitude at 5 to 5.5 in a well lit :x southern sky. Hail #38 Lovejoy!!

Bill G.
Last edited by WCGucfa on Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Apollo XX
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Re: Comet Lovejoy a Beautiful Visual Object

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Hi Bill. Your magnitude estimation is about right. I took my number from the SkyLive site, but now that I think about it the comet had about the same visibility in my finder scope as the nearby mag 5 stars. This should be a good one.
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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AndyG
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Re: Comet Lovejoy a Beautiful Visual Object

Unread post by AndyG »

Way to go Mike and Bill! You guys are dedicated comet finders.
I need to try to find a local spot with an open Southern horizon (or just wait...)
Andy
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