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Posts Tagged ‘Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)’

11/22/2013 – Ephemeris – President Kennedy and the quest for the Moon plus Comet ISON finder charts

November 21, 2013 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, November 22nd.  The sun will rise at 7:48.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 5:08.   The moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 9:43 this evening.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Yes I remember where I was when I heard the news.  Being a program about astronomy and space I’d like to think about the challenge he laid down “to send a man to the moon and return him safely to the Earth by the end of the decade”.  This was in the midst of the Cold War in response to the Soviet’s triumph in sending Yuri Gagarin into orbit.  It was made almost a sacred vow due to Kennedy’s assassination.  No NASA program since was funded to the extent that the Gemini and Apollo programs were, so that on July 20, 1969 that promise was fulfilled.  All of money spent in NASA’s 55 years is actually less than that of the recent bank bailout.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Comet ISON

Finder charts for Comet ISON for this morning, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings.

Tomorrow

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 22, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

Saturday

Chart for finding Comet ISON Saturday morning (November 23, 2013 at 7:00 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

Sunday

Chart for finding Comet ISON Sunday morning (November 24, 2013 at 7:00 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

Monday

Chart for finding Comet ISON Monday morning (November 25, 2013 at 7:15 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

11/21/2013 – Ephemeris – Comets are unpredictable

November 20, 2013 1 comment

Ephemeris for Thursday, November 21st.  The sun will rise at 7:47.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 5:09.   The moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 8:46 this evening.

Comet ISON has been full of surprises.  I expect that to continue.  I’ve seen quite a few since my first two in 1957.  In 1973 the much hyped Comet Kohoutek failed to be spectacular as hoped.  Not quite a sungrazer, the comet’s nucleus broke up and it turned out to be a rather dustless comet that, though naked eye was not especially bright.  Usually when a nucleus breaks into large chunks it brightens.  That was the case with Comet West in 1976.  While rounding the sun its nucleus broke into 4 pieces.  The three surviving pieces threw out a great sweeping dust tail.  That comet   had little publicity in the popular media, after being burnt by Kohoutek three years before.  It was actually the second comet covered by this program.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Comet West

Comet West on March 8, 1976. Image tilted due to the camera being piggybacked on an equatorial mount. Horizon to the lower left. That’s the constellation Delphinus to the upper right.  My photo.

ISON 11/21/13

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 21, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

 

Tomorrow

Chart for finding Comet ISON tomorrow morning (November 22, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

 

11/19/2013 – Ephemeris – Comet ISON suddenly brightens

November 18, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, November 19th. The sun will rise at 7:44. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 5:10. The moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 7:00 this evening

Comet ISON is full of surprises. First, earlier this year, it didn’t brighten at all as it fell toward the sun, Then in August it resumed brightening, but more slowly than predicted. Suddenly between Wednesday and Thursday mornings last week Comet ISON had an outburst and brightened 10 fold.  As of this last weekend it had continued to hold its new brightness.  It’s too close to the direction of the sun for Hubble to look at, but earthbound amateur and professional astronomers are photographing the comet in beautiful detail. On the Internet go to spaceweather.com or Universe Today for the latest images of Comet ISON. Now the comet is below left of the bright star Spica in the east southeast in the morning twilight.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Here’s an image linked from November 18th SpaceWeather.com from Michael Jäger of Ebenwaldhöhe, Austria taken on the 17th.  The tail is 7 degrees long.  Check out spaceweather.com for more images in the Comet ISON Gallery.

Finder Charts

Comet ISON 11/19/13

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 19, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

The star marked α is the bright star Spica.

Comet ISON 11/20/13

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 20, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

11/14/2013 – Comet ISON has an outburst

November 14, 2013 Comments off

Last night Comet ISON suddenly brightened and may be bright enough to be visible to the naked eye..  The comet is now within the orbit of Venus and falling with increasing velocity toward the sun for its November 28th perihelion.

Here’s a link to Universe Today‘s post with lots of photos.

EarthSky also has an entry for it: with a finder chart for naked eye viewing of the comet in twilight.

Here’s SpaceWeather.com‘s entry for today.

This may bode well for the comet’s brightness after perihelion, if the comet’s nucleus holds together or stays in big enough pieces.  The next week may tell.

 

 

11/13/2013 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets and comets out this week?

November 12, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 13th.  The sun will rise at 7:36.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 5:16.   The moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:26 tomorrow morning.

Let’s see where the bright planets are this week.  Venus is brilliant in the west southwest after sunset.  It will set at 7:49 p.m.  The giant planet Jupiter will rise at 8:59 p.m. in the east northeast.  It’s cruising against the stars of Gemini now.  It will pass due south at 4:36 a.m.  Mars will rise at 1:55 a.m. also in the east northeast.  Reddish Mars is nearly two widths of a fist held at arm’s length below and left of the bright star Regulus in Leo now.  Comet ISON is approaching the bright star Spica and will pass it Monday morning.  ISON has been hanging around magnitude 8, about half as bright as current predictions, but probably visible in small telescopes.  Comet ISON will rise about 4:16 a.m. and be visible until around 6:15 a.m.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus

Venus low in the southwest at 6 p.m. on November 13, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus through the telescope. (Note the bands are only visible in UV, not visible light). Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter

Jupiter rising at 10 p.m. with some of the winter stars. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Telescopic Jupiter and its moons at 11 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Mars

Mars and the spring constellations at 5:30 a.m. November 14, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Comets ISON and Encke

This is a busy chart with Comets ISON and Encke and Mercury for the period November 13th through 19th of November 2013 at 6 a.m. Created using Carts du Ciel.

Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy and the constellation Leo for November 13th through 19th, 2013 at 6 a.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Comet LINEAR

Comet LINEAR track for November 13th through 19th 2013. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

The following are the latest magnitudes (brightnesses) recorded for these comets:

Comet               Magnitude     
C/2012 S1 (ISON)    8  (1 magnitude dimmer than predicted)
P2 (Encke)          8
C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) 6  (2.5 magnitudes brighter than predicted)
C/2012 X1 (LINEAR)  8  (5 magnitudes* brighter than predicted)
* 5 magnitudes brighter = 100 times brighter!

Source is http://www.icq.eps.harvard.edu/CometMags.html.  
Search page using the C/???? ?? instead of name.  
Comets Lovejoy and LINEAR have multiple entries.

 

11/12/2013 – Ephemeris – Not one but four comets grace the morning sky now

November 11, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, November 12th.  The sun will rise at 7:35.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 5:17.   The moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 3:19 tomorrow morning.

Comet ISON has competition in the morning sky now.  There are actually three other comets within range of telescopes gracing our morning sky now.  Comet ISON is still not brightening as predicted.  It is still 2 to 3 times dimmer than predicted.  Comet Encke is still brighter, Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) discovered two months ago is almost as bright as ISON.  It’s moving between Cancer and Leo now.  C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) is the faintest of the four and a tough one to spot.  It will appear to pass the bright star Arcturus a week from now.  I’ll have finder charts for all these comets at bobmoler.wordpress.com with today’s transcript.  Apparently the nucleus of ISON is still holding together.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Comets ISON and Encke

This is a busy chart with Comets ISON and Encke and Mercury for the period November 13th through 19th of November 2013 at 6 a.m. Created using Carts du Ciel.

Note that the star designated α is Spica, Alpha Virginis.

Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy and the constellation Leo for November 13th through 19th, 2013 at 6 a.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Comet LINEAR

Comet LINEAR track for November 13th through 19th 2013. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

The star designated α is Arcturus or Alpha Boötis.  The brightest star is Boötes.  Remember follow the arc of the Big Dipper handle to Arcturus.

The following are the latest magnitudes (brightnesses) recorded for these comets:

Comet               Magnitude     
C/2012 S1 (ISON)    8  (1 magnitude dimmer than predicted)
P2 (Encke)          8
C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) 6  (2.5 magnitudes brighter than predicted)
C/2012 X1 (LINEAR)  8  (5 magnitudes* brighter than predicted)
* 5 magnitudes brighter = 100 times brighter!
Source is http://www.icq.eps.harvard.edu/CometMags.html.  Search page using the C/???? ?? instead of name.  Comets Lovejoy and LINEAR have multiple entries.