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cyswxman
2004-Apr-27, 10:47 AM
Finally got a clear sky here so I went to see if I could see Comet Bradfield. There it was, low in the northeast about an hour before sunrise. It was faint and I had to use binocs, but being in a modest city, I'm sure light pollution reduced the visibility. Must look great from places out in the country. Still, I'm glad I could spot it!! :D :D

StarStuff
2004-Apr-27, 01:08 PM
Congratulations!! =D> Nice to hear that you were able to see it, even being in a city. I hope I'm so lucky someday! We have a lot of light pollution here, so I'm thinking if I don't have any success, I might have to go for a bit of a drive.... If we ever get a clear night, that is. :-?

cyswxman
2004-Apr-27, 01:11 PM
Thank you, StarStuff

I'll try again tomorrow morning, if the clouds hold off. Comet Bradfield is climbing higher in the sky, IIRC.

tlbs101
2004-Apr-27, 03:56 PM
Good job, cyswxman!

I finally got to see it after trying all weekend. What an awesome sight!

Saturday morning: overcast

Sunday morning: my turn to cook men's breakfast at 6AM, so couldn't get away

Monday morning: 5AM, drove to East side of Sandia mountains. I was too late.

This morning: 4AM, drove to East side of Sandia mountains, finally spotted it! I couldn't see LINEAR, though, but there were high clouds in the area where it should have been. I took pictures, too -- they will be developed around noon today -- I have no idea how they will turn out.

The skies were dark enough to see the Milky Way and I could just barely make out the Coma, but not the tail with the "naked eye". 10x50 binocs gave an awesome view.

.

Maksutov
2004-Apr-28, 01:09 AM
Finally got a clear sky here so I went to see if I could see Comet Bradfield. There it was, low in the northeast about an hour before sunrise. It was faint and I had to use binocs, but being in a modest city, I'm sure light pollution reduced the visibility. Must look great from places out in the country. Still, I'm glad I could spot it!! :D :D

WTG! =D>

I tried this AM but clouds moved into the east at just the wrong time. The sky now is cloudless and very clear, so hopefully tomorrow AM... :)

Time to dust off the film camera and take some time exposures. That reminds me, where'd I put those old Comet Bennett negatives? :wink:


(edit for Bennett spelling)

Wolverine
2004-Apr-28, 01:20 AM
WTG! 8)

I'm insanely jealous... conditions have yet to be friendly enough here to mount an attempt. :cry:

cyswxman
2004-Apr-28, 05:55 AM
Skies are clear again tonight, but clouds lurking to the west. Hopefully they will hold off for another 4-5 hours.

akochan
2004-Apr-28, 07:22 AM
Some people are so lucky. If the light pollution here was any worse I wouldn't be able to see the moon... of course at the same time if the light pollution here was any better I wouldn't be able to see the 5 foot potholes.

Sometimes it does get good enough to see a few stars and the brighter planets.

Maksutov
2004-Apr-28, 10:35 AM
Success! :D

Drove to a local golf course about two miles away to get darkest skies and a local high point with unobstructed 360 degree views. A sweep of Andromeda with my 7x50s picked Bradfield up immediately.

The tail length appeared to be about one third the field of view of the binoculars, which works out to about 2.4 degrees. Magnitude appeared to be about 5, based on jumping from Tau, Beta, and Mu Andromedae to M31 and back to Comet Bradfield, for comparison purposes.

Seeing was really good tonight, with steady stars and magnitudes to 6 readily visible to the unaided eye. In fact, the tail stars in Scorpius looked like they were first magnitude.

Beautiful sight, right at the start of twilight. If Bradfield's magnitude remains the same, it should be even more dramatic the next few days, as it rises earlier and becomes visible in pre-twilight dark skies.

(edit for typo)

cyswxman
2004-Apr-28, 10:54 AM
Congrats Maksutov! =D> =D>

I was lucky again this morning, though it wasn't as evident as last night. Some thin high clouds formed in its direction but I was able to see it faintly through a gap in the clouds. At first I couldn't find it, but then I saw the Andromeda galaxy, which gave me a good starting point to zero in on Comet Bradfield. :D

JohnOwens
2004-Apr-28, 02:15 PM
I tried dragging myself out of bed at an ungodly hour this morning to go see it. Looked out and saw the sky looked largely clear, which I'd had doubts about. So I trotted over to that big puddle we've got located directly to the east here, since you can't get much better eastern horizons than that (though the light can still be a bit of a problem, even looking in that direction). And yes, www.cleardarksky.com was right on the money about it being mostly clear at that time. Of course, just about every cloud in the sky was out over that big water-vapour-producing puddle to the east. :evil: It's got its good points and its bad points.
Thursday morning looks slightly promising, but I don't know how I feel about doing the early AM thing twice in a row. 8-[ Then it's a week or so of clouds, clouds, and more clouds, according to the forecast. :(

tlbs101
2004-Apr-28, 05:54 PM
Back out this morning... Partly cloudy skies, but I took the chance. After driving 1/2 hour East of the Sandia mountains... :evil: clouds in the East :x :x :(

When I went to develop my film from yersterday morning's sighting #-o #-o #-o I hadn't loaded the film properly... nothing. I am so mad.

.

Maksutov
2004-Apr-30, 05:16 AM
Make that two days in a row. The shift in position relative to the Andromeda background stars was obvious. Comet magnitude looked about the same as the previous day's sighting. :)

Bad weather moving in, so that's it for a while. :(

JohnOwens
2004-Apr-30, 04:39 PM
Three days in a row for me. Of not seeing it, that is. Wednesday & today were too cloudy (Wednesday only a little cloudy, but all in the east; today entirely overcast), & Thursday I woke up too late. And I can't help noticing how quickly it's getting dimmer meanwhile (in the astronomy software, that is). :evil:

JohnOwens
2004-May-04, 04:24 AM
Finally saw it this morning. :D It's pretty dim, about magnitude 8 if my software's predictions were correct, but I managed to pick it out next to Beta Andromedae. I was hoping I might get to see C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) at the same time, much brighter at around magnitude 1.5, but I didn't manage to pick it out of the dawn sky. I guess I'll have to wait until it starts showing up in the evening sky later in the month.
While I was at it, I caught my first view of M31 in a while. I was using it as a landmark to make sure I was looking at the star I thought I was looking at, but it was nice to be able to get a glimpse of it again for its own sake, too. 8) Caught a meteor and an unknown suprise satellite (I checked Heavens Above, I guess it was too dim to make their lists though), too, and a look at M13. It was a good morning for me.