Comet Mcnaught

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Comet Mcnaught

Postby tim allan » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:10 am

I have heard that Comet Mcnaught is going to be brighter than expected.

Is this true?
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby Graham Southorn » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:50 pm

No, not brighter than expected because it was predicted to be around mag. +5.0 at about this time. Perhaps certain newspapers get excited about naked eye comets - I couldn't possibly comment!

In the June issue of [i]Sky at Night Magazine[/i], Pete Lawrence wrote: "It reaches the threshold of visibility mid-month, looking like a fuzzy star. You'll find it a couple of degrees below the star cluster surrounding mag. +1.8 Alpha Persei. Despite this, its altitude is once again unlikely to allow it to be seen without the help of binoculars."

And that's exactly the situation as of now (18 June), although it [i]is[/i] expected to brighten further towards the end of the month.
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby les » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:40 pm

HI All,
Im fed up.[:@]Their is only about a 90 minute window in which its dark enough to spot McNaught,because of cloud my last attempt was on the morning of 10th at 01:30 BST albeit through narrow gaps,but even at that time the advancing dawn meant that in 10X50's even the Andromeda Galaxy was bearly discernable.[:@]
Regards Les.
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby spartacus » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:46 pm

I find it odd that every Comet Mcnaught induces total cloud cover in this , normally clear, western part of la France [&:]
So I'm with my erudite friend Les [:@]

le Keef
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby tim allan » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:33 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: skyed
Perhaps certain newspapers get excited about naked eye comets [/quote]

I think theres a good chance that that is the case.
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby les » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:43 am

HI All,
GOT IT![:)] Although I couldent spot it with 7X50's or my 8X50 finder I spotted McNaught in a 200mm Helios f5 Newtonian.Its just to the East(as facing North) from Capella.In a 20mm plossl its prominant and appears as a small fuzzy greenish ball and contrasted well with the bright bluish background,and at first (at 01:48BST I thought I could see a short broad stubby tail but the whole comet slowly appeared more starlike as the sky brightened.By 02:15 it was light enough to read by,so observations had to be ended.[:@]Another feature of this observation is it was unusually cold for mid June with the temperature at 2.7C and had to don my wooly jumper that I use in the winter.[8|]
Regards and clear skies Les.
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby brianb » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:50 am

[quote]Another feature of this observation is it was unusually cold for mid June with the temperature at 2.7C and had to don my wooly jumper that I use in the winter.[/quote]
Anything under 4C is good, it stops the midges from operating.

As for the jumper .... naked observing is not a Good Idea, you might get done for indecent exposure.

Sky here clouded over just as it was getting dark enough to have a chance (i.e. about 0045 am BST). Sky was too bright Saturday morning to have any realistic chance of seeing the comet, despite the transparency, those pesky noctilucent clouds were lighting up the northern sky. I think this comet is going to get away from me.

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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby Pete Lawrence » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:10 pm

One paper, which shall remain nameless, came and interviewed me a few years ago, about a photograph of Comet Swan I had taken. When the article appeared in print the reported had stated "the comet was so bright that Lawrence had to look away from his eyepiece". I called the reporter and asked him why he'd made this untruth up. He said he felt the piece needed a bit more embellishment!!

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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby les » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:26 pm

HI Pete, Brian,
It just goes to show Pete that as astronomers were the only group that get highly excited about objects that are more often than not barely discernable! I think its because we have more imagination than your average non-astronomer.[;)]Dont give up Brian this is not a difficult comet at all dispite the fairly bright skies.It was prominant last night (8"Newt)even covered by moderate Noctilucence.Being invisible with the finder not a problem at the moment because Capella acts as a guide.It is quite small but what directs your eye to it is it greenish hue, it wont take long to sweep it up.[:)]
Regards Les.
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RE: Comet Mcnaught

Postby steve347 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:20 pm

I observed Comet McNaught at 00h55mUT on June 22nd. It was similar to many comets I have seen over the years. In 10X50 binoculars it was small and faint and glimpsed for a short period through haze, mist and light clouds and it was a few degrees above my horizon. And yet a national newspaper gave an impression that it would be bright and 'moving' and only a general indication of its' location. They should direct people to an Astronomy site.
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