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Thread: New Naked eye comet !

  1. #1
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    New Naked eye comet !

    A new naked eye comet !!! I just recieved this.....It is currently in
    Perseus, near alpha perseii, it's brightest star !

    Keith..


    Received the below report from BAA. Comet 17/P Holmes has undergone a
    superoutburst, it was predicted to be mag +17 but is now naked eye at +3.8.
    Report is below, also see links inc finder chart.

    http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html
    http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/0017P/2007.html

    BAA electronic bulletin No. 00313

    In the past 24 hours, a spectacular event has taken place involving the
    periodic comet P/Holmes (17P). Its predicted brightness is about magnitude
    17 however last night it was discovered by the Spanish amateur, Juan Antonio
    Henríquez Santana to have undergone a tremendous outburst having attained
    magnitude 10 at that time (Oct 24 0h UT). It was a similar outburst in 1892
    that led to its discovery. Latest reports (Seiichi Yoshida, Oct 24 13h UT)
    indicate that it is stellar in appearance and 3RD MAGNITUDE in brightness:
    so bright in fact that it is readily visible to the unaided eye. That's
    almost one million times brighter than normal ! Fortunately for UK-based
    observers the comet is well placed for observation and is visible throughout
    the entire night. Its position at 0h UT tonight (Oct 24/25) will be: R.A.
    03h 53.0m, Dec. +50 08' Its appearance will probably be that of a fairly
    bright naked-eye star moving at an apparent rate of close to 10 arcmin per
    day at PA 298 deg. It!
    is currently 1.63 AU (245 million km) from the Earth. Observations are
    strongly encouraged and should be reported to Jonathan Shanklin, Director of
    the Comet Section.

  2. #2
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    Darn--predicted to be fully cloudy the next several nights here....

    Todd

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    Cool! Except the waxing gibbous Moon (as it heads to full) is going to be a little problem for the next week.

    ETA: But it sure is placed nice for us in the northern hemisphere!

    ETA: Thanks Keith!
    Last edited by Tucson_Tim; 2007-Oct-24 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith g View Post
    Comet 17/P Holmes has undergone a
    superoutburst, it was predicted to be mag +17 but is now naked eye at +3.8.
    What causes such a superoutburst? Did its inhabitants click on the lights? You say it is currently about 1.6 AU from Earth. How far is it from the Sun?
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  5. #5
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    2.4 AU from Sun

    An article with orbit diagram:

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=17P;orb=1

  6. #6
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    Angry Total cloud cover here...

    Otherwise we could obtain a super-high-resolution spectrum with our telescope like RIGHT NOW (Thueringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Thuringia, Germany, 2m Telescope, largest optical telescope in Germany).

    This sucks.

    Don Alexander

  7. #7
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    From wiki, some more general info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17P/Holmes

    Discovered by Edwin Holmes on November 6, 1892 whilst conducting regular observations of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31).

    Aphelion distance: 5.2004 AU
    Perihelion distance: 2.1655 AU
    Semi-major axis: 3.618 AU
    Eccentricity: 0.4120
    Orbital period: 7.0679 a
    Inclination: 19.1877°
    Last perihelion: May 11, 2000
    Next perihelion (predicted): May 4, 2007
    Last edited by Tucson_Tim; 2007-Oct-24 at 06:42 PM.

  8. #8
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    Question Cause?

    Well. Dunno.

    My first thought would be an impact by a smaller body, a kind of "super deep Impact". As far as I understand comets, the rebrightening must be due to the expulsion of a fresh cloud of material that is now expanding, reflecting more and more sunlight. The easiest way to create such an expulsion far from the sun is with an impactor.

    This seems an incredible scientific opportunity.

    Don Alexander

  9. #9
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    super outburst--my guess (uninformed, but based on instincts and random bits of knowledge about comets) would be that, as the comet approaches the sun, ice on and near the surface melts. This is somewhat chaotic and sometimes, a large chunk breaks off or a larger than usual geyser would erupt--but in any case, a much more reflective surface is presented to the sun--say some dark rock is blasted away by the geysers exposing a fresh surface of ice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    That's a super little applet.

    I checked the comet's and inner planets' orbital positions in Nov 1892 when there was another such outburst. No similarities with the current positioning.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    This comet has almost a planet-like orbit, from 2.2 to 5.2 AU.

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    Re:

    Wow!!!!! This is the single most strangest comet I have ever seen in my Life, earlier today, an alert went out that this comet had suddenly brighened from a predicted magnitude 17 to magnitude 3 - incredible, I wonder how this has happened? I quickly set up my 15x70mm binoculars and I easily found it in the constellation Perseus, just about 5 degrees from Alpha Persei at magnitude 1.8, also the star Delta Persei is at magnitude 3.0, from these two stars, I can see the comet at about magnitude 2.5 !!!!! I could immediately see that it is very much yellow in colour, just like the planet Saturn, and it is definitely non star like, with a slighty elongated shape east-west, with no sign of a tail, especially since the near full moon is shining brightly.

    This can easily be mistaken for a nova, and is easily visible with the naked eye ! Here is a quick shot that I took.....this will grab many headlines over the next few days...

    Keith....

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2277/...c03db8e8_o.jpg

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    Very cool Keith! I'm gonna take a peak tonight! Can't wait. It's been perfectly clear here for days too. Just that pesky Moon in the way.

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    Wink Go Keith!!!

    Send it to spaceweather.com and become an Internet celebrity!!

    Alex

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    This comet has almost a planet-like orbit, from 2.2 to 5.2 AU.
    From the applet, it appears that Jupiter traces the comet's orbit for a short section of its orbit. Looks like there could be some interaction there in 2052. If that doesn't create fireworks, the close Jupiter encounter in 2183 should.

    The common planetary positioning I was looking for in 1892 was: the comet near perihelion, with all inner planets on the same side of the sun as the comet (as is the current configuration). However, it was totally different in 1892.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Another link with positional data:

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/Ephem...s/0017P_1.html

    Date R. A. (2000) Decl.

    2007/10/24 03 53.81 +50 03.5

  18. #18
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    I'll give it a look tonite, I got a good ISS/Shuttle pass I'm going to try to track.

    Is the 2 line orbit info available anywhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    Looks like there could be some interaction there in 2052. If that doesn't create fireworks, the close Jupiter encounter in 2183 should.
    Sorry man. I may still be alive in 2052 and maybe I'll give it a look-see. But 2183 . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egregious Philbin View Post
    I got a good ISS/Shuttle pass I'm going to try to track.
    I saw the Shuttle going by last night. Man, it was moving. I know nothing about telescopic tracking, but I expect that's going to be a challenge.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    Sorry man. I may still be alive in 2052 and maybe I'll give it a look-see. But 2183 . . .
    No problem -- just visit CryoNet.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  22. #22
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    Re:

    Last shot - I promise, unless it gets brighter

    This is with my new Canon ef 24-70mm 'L' lens at f4. It's just a great sight!!!
    Keith..

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2165/...d1ad68fc_o.jpg

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith g View Post
    Last shot - I promise, unless it gets brighter

    This is with my new Canon ef 24-70mm 'L' lens at f4. It's just a great sight!!!
    Keith..

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2165/...d1ad68fc_o.jpg
    to help others out--the comet is the bright "star" left-center:

    draw vertical lines to divide the photo into thirds, and the comet is on the line that separates the leftmost third from the middle third. Divide the photo in half with a single horizontal line--the comet is on that line.

    The bright star down and right of the comet is Delta Persei. The bright star over to the right (twice as far as Delta) and only slightly down, is Alpha Persei, in the midst of the Alpha Persei Association (a loose star cluster).

    It is raining out--but expected to be clear Saturday night or Sunday night--I hope the comet is still visible then.

    Todd

  24. #24
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    The problem isn't in the tracking, its in my getting an uffettered horizon view so that I can acquire the ISS and then let the scope track it. With the Meade LX200 GPS, you can enter in all the data from the 2 line orbit info and the scope will determine where to point, and when.

    I found the RA and Dec number for the Comet, I'll give it a look tonite.

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    Re: New Naked eye comet !

    I wonder if any ATMers have already come up with this brightening being due to an electrical discharge?

    Forecast for tonight is more rain after two days of rain followed by another day of rain. Time to hook up the old Inet virtual telescope.

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    God, why is it that I've had such horrible weather for astronomy lately. Tomorrow night might be clearish, but there's still an almost full moon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maksutov View Post
    I wonder if any ATMers have already come up with this brightening being due to an electrical discharge?
    Or that it's an alien spacecraft abandoning its icy camouflage, or maybe the comet's undergoing a "cold fusion" reaction. They might also come up with a "hollow comet" hypothesis.

    ADDED: Then there will be those who say the government faked the comet...
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith g View Post
    Last shot - I promise, unless it gets brighter
    Damn, it's as bright or brighter than Alpha Persei.

    I don't think you can post too many comet photos! Keep them coming.

  29. #29
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    Looking now, it is Bright!

    I'll attempt to photograph

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    When will there be large mirror telescope pics?

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