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Posts Tagged ‘Comet Encke’

05/30/2019 – Ephemeris – Is the Beta Taurid meteor swarm hiding bigger space rocks?

May 30, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, May 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 9:19, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:01. The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 4:46 tomorrow morning.

A rather interesting piece of news popped up in astronomical circles last Friday. A paper accepted for publication by David Clark, Paul Wiegert and Peter Brown all of the University of Western Ontario, Canada talked about the prospects of observing the meteoroid swarm out in space that may have contained the famous Tunguska object that hit Siberia in 1908. The swarm has been shed by Encke’s Comet over time. The Earth is due to pass close to the center of the swarm this year in June, something that last happened in 1975. They cause the daytime outbound Beta Taurid shower in June and July and the inbound North and South Taurid showers in autumn.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

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

Addendum

Screen shot from video by David Clark of the Beta Taurid meteor swarm. Click on image to see video.

Links:

Bad Astronomy’s take on all this: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/could-larger-space-rocks-be-hiding-in-the-beta-taurid-meteor-stream-we-may-find-out-this

The original paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1905.01260.pdf

The article at Spaceweathe.com: https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2019/05/24/close-encounters-with-the-taurid-swarm/

11/12/2015 – Ephemeris – The North Taurid meteor shower

November 12, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, November 12th.  The Sun will rise at 7:35.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 5:18.   The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:19 this evening.

Today is the expected peak of the Northern Taurid meteor shower.  While poor in numbers, the two Taurid showers produce many fireballs, that are really, really bright.  So bright they are not hindered by a bright moon.  They will be visible all night because the radiant, near the head of Taurus the bull will rise in the east by the end of twilight.  The radiant is below the Pleiades star cluster and just above the letter V group of stars that is the head of the bull.  The path of Encke’s comet, which is responsible, crosses near the Earth’s orbit twice a year.  Now and where the Earth is on June 30th.  Those meteors then would seem to come from out of the Sun, leaving some to speculate that the Tunguska event in 1908 was caused by a piece of Encke’s Comet.

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

Addendum

The Taurid Radiant.

The Taurid Radiant

It turns out that Earth isn’t the only planet to have a meteor shower from Encke’s Comet.  It happens to  be Mercury.  Dave Dickinson has a post on Universe Today pointing to an announcement of data returned from the MESSENGER spacecraft that orbited Mercury at the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American  Astronomical Society (#DPS15) meeting this week.

11/25/2013 – Ephemeris – Comet ISON and the week ahead

November 25, 2013 2 comments

Ephemeris for Monday, November 25th.  The sun will rise at 7:52.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 14 minutes, setting at 5:06.   The moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:40 tomorrow morning.

Comet ISON, a bit more than 4 days from its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day, is now well within the orbit of Mercury only 22 million miles from the sun.  The comet should be hard to spot this morning.  It rises at 6:58 in pretty bright twilight.  The cool thing is that since the tail points away from the sun, it will rise first.  That may be something to look for a quarter to a half hour before the head or coma rises, and in darker skies.  The tail will point to the upper right of the comet’s head.  This too will be something to look for after the comet passes perihelion on Thursday, except the tail will point to the upper left.  I’ll have more on comet viewing for Thanksgiving day on tomorrow’s program.

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

Addendum

Comets ISON, Encke

Animation of Comets ISON and Encke for November 19th thru 23rd, 2013 from the STEREO Ahead spacecraft. [Image Credit: Karl Battams/NRL/NASA/CIOC].  Click on the image to start the animation.

This animated GIF image was retrieved from the NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign website:  http://www.isoncampaign.org/  Two comets are seen, the brighter is ISON and the dimmer is Encke.  The two bright objects are Mercury to the left and the Earth to the right.  What looks like clouds flowing past is the solar wind.

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.

 

11/06/2013 – Ephemeris – Where’s the bright planets and comets this week?

November 5, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 6th.  The sun will rise at 7:27.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 5:24.   The moon, 3 days past new, will set at 8:25 this evening.

Let’s check out the bright planets.  Venus is brilliant in the west  southwest after sunset.  It will set at 7:46 p.m.  The giant planet Jupiter will rise at 9:27 p.m. in the east northeast.  It’s cruising against the stars of Gemini now.  It will pass due south at 5:04 a.m.  Mars will rise at 2:01 a.m. also in the east northeast.  Reddish Mars is below and left of the slightly brighter star Regulus in Leo now.  It’s in the east at 5 a.m.   Comet ISON is nearly the distance below Mars that Mars is below Regulus and nearly in line with the two.  My guesstimate for magnitude is about 8, about half as bright as current predictions, but probably visible in small telescopes.  Comet ISON will rise about 3:30 a.m. and be visible before the sky begins to brighten around 6 a.m.

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

Addendum

Venus and the Moon

Venus and the Moon at 7 p.m. November 6, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

The moon

Closeup of the Moon at 7 p.m. November 6, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic view of Venus

Telescopic view of Venus at 7 p.m. November 6, 2013. Created using Stellarium. The faint stripes are not seen in visible light.

Jupiter and Mars with the winter and spring constellations

Jupiter and Mars with the winter and spring constellations at 6 a.m. November 7, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Comets ISON and Encke and Mars

Comets ISON and Encke and Mars at 6 a.m. from November 5 to 12, 2013. Created with Cartes du Ciel.

Comets ISON and Encke

Closeup charts of comets ISON and Encke at 6 a.m. for November 6 through 12, 2013. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

 

 

 

 

 

11/05/2013 – Ephemeris – Latest on Comet ISON

November 4, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Election Day, Tuesday, November 5th.  The sun will rise at 7:25.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 5:25.   The moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:23 this evening.

I’ve seen some observed brightness measurements of Comet ISON reported to the Minor Planet Center, which is the clearing house for all things asteroid and comet related, and Comet ISON is still fainter than predicted by a factor of two.  There was one report of someone spotting it with 10X50 binoculars.  From all the reports I’ve seen the comet’s nucleus is holding together, and there is great optimism that ISON will survive its close brush with the sun on Thanksgiving day.  Some astronomers think that the comet’s nucleus spin axis is currently pointed toward the sun.  After perihelion or closest approach to the sun, the opposite pole will be exposed showing fresh material to the sun for a brighter comet in December.

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

Addendum

Comets ISON and Encke and Mars

Comets ISON and Encke and Mars at 6 a.m. from November 6 to 12, 2013. Created with Cartes du Ciel.

Comets ISON and Encke

Closeup charts of comets ISON and Encke at 6 a.m. for November 6 through 12, 2013. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

 

11/04/2013 – Ephemeris – Comet ISON shares the morning sky with Encke’s Comet

November 4, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, November 4th.  The sun will rise at 7:24.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 5:26.   The moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:28 this evening.

Yesterday was the peak of the Taurid meteor shower, it was lost in all the other news we had last week.  But the source of the Taurid meteor shower is Encke’s Comet.  Next to Halley’s Comet it’s that oldest known periodic comet with the designation 2P (Encke).  It has the shortest orbit of any known comet of 3.3 years.  It also happens that Encke is in the same part of the sky as Comet ISON, and currently outshines it, and if the magnitude projections are correct, and they often aren’t, especially for ISON, will outshine Comet ISON until November 19th, 9 days before ISON’s closest approach to the sun.  Both comets will seem to converge for a while.  In the last photograph I saw Encke didn’t have a tail, but had a large coma or head and a bright nuclear region.

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

Addendum

ISON and Encke

Mars, Comets ISON and Encke on the morning sky for the first part of November 2013. Created using Cartes du Ciel.  Click on image to enlarge.

The positions every three days also show the predicted magnitudes of the comets.  ISON appears to be a magnitude dimmer.  There is also a rogue position of the moon in the image.  I had to allow it to display Mars’ positions.