Author Topic: Comet will pass close to Earth - May be visible in binoculars Feb 9-12 2017  (Read 127 times)

acbanlota

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I will be covered with clouds so no chance for me to see it.

Eric Lara

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Hmm, was thinking about getting up early to see it but hoped for more of a show. Glad I checked here first.

monsresiwor

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I gave it a shot yesterday morning with a 10x50 binocular, but could not pick it out.

John Sanchez

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Back in January there was a thread concerning this comet and at that time I post that its ease of visibility post perihelion was, in my opinion, highly questionable because of the peculiar lightcurve and behavior this comet typically displays. Not sure just how far down the listings that thread could be - maybe even over on "Solar System" topics - but it might interest folks to locate and read it.

BrooksObs

ecidjapa

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I included a link to the thread that John mentioned in post #7.

Dave Mitsky

Eric Castillo

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There's an article that provides a reasonable assessment of what to expect from this comet tonight posted at http://earthsky.org/...a-new-years-eve

Dave Mitsky

Eric Shaffer

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Re: Comet will pass close to Earth - May be visible in binoculars Feb 9-12 2017
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2018, 07:27:25 PM »
Quote
At the end of December 2016, Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova plunged toward the sun with a long tail streaming behind it. Now the comet is headiing for Earth for a close encounter on Feb. 11th. Apparently, however, it left something behind. "Comet 45P has lost its tail," reports Bill Williams of the Chiefland Astronomy Village in Florida, who photographed the approaching comet last night:
"The comet still sports a gorgeous green atmosphere ('coma') and is now exiting the dense Ophiuchus Milky Way starfield," says Williams. "The comet sure is moving fast!"
WIlliams isn't the only observer to notice the missing tail. Moreover, the comet is at least 3 times dimmer than forecasters expected. "It is rather faint and diffuse," notes Dr. Brian Ottum of Dark Sky New Mexico, who photographed the green fuzzball on Feb. 7th. "45P seems unlikely to reach naked eye visibility."
What happened? On Dec. 31, 2016, the comet slingshot around the sun inside the orbit of Venus. Solar heating might have vaporized so much material from the comet's icy core that there is insufficient left for a flamboyant tail. For the same reason, the comet may be dimmer than expected. Amateur astronomers with small telescopes can monitor the situation. The best time to look is during the dark hours before sunrise between Feb 9th and 12th. The comet will be racing through the constellation Hercules high in the eastern sky.
http://www.spaceweat...th=02&year=2017
The fact that 45P has grown so diffuse means that it will certainly not be a naked-eye comet and most likely will be very difficult to detect with most binoculars. It may be visible telescopically from a dark site.

The second time I was able to observe 45P was on January 4th. It was far brighter then. A faint blue color was visible in the coma and a faint tail could be seen extending mainly northward through the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain at the ASH Naylor Observatory. I could see the periodic comet through the 5" f/5 finderscope at 20x but it was rather difficult. I was not able to detect it from the orange zone site using a 15x70 binocular.
Dave Mitsky

Pretty cool to see someone you know quoted in an article. Dr. Brian Ottum is a fellow member of the University Lowbrow Astronomers in Ann Arbor.

justgegentcal

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Re: Comet will pass close to Earth - May be visible in binoculars Feb 9-12 2017
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2018, 07:33:59 PM »
The clouds are in the way this weekend, and next weekend does not look too promising either here in Arizona. The next time I will be able to make it to a dark observing area is Feb.25. Heavens Above says for the 25th, Comet 45P/Honda will be in the rear portion of Leo, right above the triangle forming the hind quarter. I plan to give comet 45p a try then, I think it still should be visible in a scope.

David

Daniel Horton

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Re: Comet will pass close to Earth - May be visible in binoculars Feb 9-12 2017
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2018, 01:33:23 PM »
Quote
Back in January there was a thread concerning this comet and at that time I post that its ease of visibility post perihelion was, in my opinion, highly questionable because of the peculiar lightcurve and behavior this comet typically displays. Not sure just how far down the listings that thread could be - maybe even over on "Solar System" topics - but it might interest folks to locate and read it.

BrooksObs

You really called this one, BrooksObs.

musochoolsmee

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Re: Comet will pass close to Earth - May be visible in binoculars Feb 9-12 2017
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2018, 06:51:26 AM »
From today's Spaceweather:

DISAPPOINTING COMET FLYBY: This weekend, Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is flying past Earth only 7.4 million miles away--the 8th-closest comet flyby of the Space Age. Unfortunately, the comet is invisible to the naked eye and even observers with telescopes are having trouble seeing it. After losing many of its volatile gases when it flew past the sun in December, the depleted comet is much dimmer than forecasters expected: photo gallery.

http://spaceweather....th=02&year=2017

Dave Mitsky

Paul Cobb

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Re: Comet will pass close to Earth - May be visible in binoculars Feb 9-12 2017
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 09:04:22 AM »
I can't believe all the 'HYPE' the newspapers were publishing. Banner article headlines like "Astronomical Triple Event' , Full moon, Lunar Eclipse and Comet Flyby".