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Old 20-04-2020, 05:15 AM
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glenc (Glen)
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Bright Comet 2020 F8 Swan

Comet 2020 F8 Swan is mag 7 and 4' across now and getting brighter.
I saw it again this morning with 20x80 binoculars and a 12" Dob at 135x.

The attached text file gives the date, time (5am), magnitude, altitude and azimuth of the comet for the next 28 days for my location, Tweed Heads, NSW.
Full Moon is on May 7.
Attached Files
File Type: txt 200420.txt (2.5 KB, 116 views)
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Old 25-04-2020, 09:30 PM
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gaa_ian (Ian)
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Thanks Glen, at that magnitude it should be pretty easy to find ?
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Old 26-04-2020, 08:34 AM
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It was readily visible in 7x50s next to Gamma Sculptoris a few days ago. Bright in the 8"dob but with no apparent visual tail (yet). Looking forward to the next clear morning.
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Old 26-04-2020, 01:56 PM
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I'm not finding it in Stellarium, at all, and I'd only installed the latest desktop release of Stellarium a few days back.
It does show up in Sky Safari, though.

edit: found why Stellarium on Windows desktop does not have the comet
I needed to update the data in the Solar System Editor plugin.

Update walkthrough
I had to learn this just now.

Configuration Window -> Plug-ins tab - Solar System Editor
Load at Startup checkbox should be ticked
" Configure " button

Solar System Editor window -> Solar System tab
" Import orbital elements in MPC format... " button

Import data window
Lists tab
Select type
radio button -> Comets
Select the source
Bookmarks drop list -> MPC's list of observable comets
" Get orbital elements " button

Import data window
" Mark all " button
" Add objects " button

Close windows

Last edited by JeniSkunk; 26-04-2020 at 02:17 PM. Reason: found why Stellarium on Windows desktop does not have the comet
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Old 26-04-2020, 02:08 PM
N1 (Mirko)
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https://theskylive.com/c2020f8-info
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Old 26-04-2020, 02:24 PM
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If I can wake up early enough tomorrow, it should be possible to find.
Where it looks like it will be, in the sky tomorrow morning, is an easy area of the sky, to observe from my patio/balcony. No trees in the way, and pretty well just look straight out over BNE airport.

edit: add screenshots
Stellarium Windows desktop, SkySafari 6 Android
2020-04-27 05:02:18 AEST
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (C_2020 F8 SWAN - Stellarium  2020-04-27 05_02_18.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (C_2020 F8 SWAN - SkySafari 6 - 2020-04-27 05_02_18.jpg)
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Last edited by JeniSkunk; 26-04-2020 at 02:54 PM. Reason: add screenshots
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Old 26-04-2020, 05:50 PM
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At 5 am tomorrow morning (Mon) Comet 2020 F8 Swan will be 10.8 degrees below Fomalhaut, in the 7 o'clock from Fomalhaut position. I have seen it in my 50 mm finder, 20x80 binoculars and 12" Dob.
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Old 27-04-2020, 01:41 AM
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Chris Wyatt recently found the comet's magnitude to be 7.2 and its size 10'.
He saw a faint tail 22' long using a 10" scope at Walcha, NSW.
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Old 27-04-2020, 05:48 AM
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Yes.. barely visible from Melbourne light polluted sky with 8x50 binoculars.
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Old 27-04-2020, 04:34 PM
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I had no luck at all finding the comet this morning.
Woke up about 3:15am, and was setup and viewing by about 3:45am.
I could find Fomalhaut easily enough in my 25mm eyepiece, but with the light pollution here, could not find the comet.
I was figuring on finding the comet in the 25mm, then switch to the 12mm or 6.5mm for actual viewing.
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Old 28-04-2020, 01:43 PM
N1 (Mirko)
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Had a look this morning. It's now about as big and obvious as the major globulars. Managed to detect its tail in the 8" for the first time. This object is now worth getting up for.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:31 AM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Managed to drag myself out of a warm bed before dawn this morning to get a look at Comet 2020 F8 Swan. Despite a layer of cloud lower down on the eastern horizon , the comet was easy to find in 13 X 70 binos even as the first glow of dawn was brightening the eastern horizon.
The coma seemed about 8' in diameter and I thought I could detect a faint tail about 1/2 deg long. Current magnitude estimates have it at 5.5 mag.
Certainly worth getting out of bed for and with some more clear mornings forecast I will certainly take the opportunity to observe it again and maybe try and image before it disappears into the dawn twilight over the next week or so.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:01 AM
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What time and where do i look tommorow ?
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamL View Post
What time and where do i look tommorow ?

Tomorrow 3 May it will be due East and 30 above horizon at 5.00am, seen from your place.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:55 AM
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http://members.westnet.com.au/mmatti/sc.htm


https://cometchasing.skyhound.com/

Around 5:30am
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:57 AM
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Thanks Ken
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:23 AM
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thanks chaps.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:48 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Tried Saturday morning - clouded out Don't despair

Tried again this morning - lovely clear skies. I tucked myself away behind a wind break building with a clear view to the East over the Pacific and found it quite quickly in my 20x80 binoculars. Very distinctive. No colour (when's the next visibly green comet coming our way?). Averted vision brought out a clear tail.

I couldn't see it naked eye, directly or with averted vision.

Thanks for the links and directions Glen.
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:17 PM
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Flat rock .. 5.20 am onwards couldnt find it with 8 x 42 .. no light pollution down there but thought 5.00 am might of been better dawn was well on its way when I got there .
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:47 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Has SWAN developed a second tail?

I managed a sketch of SWAN this morning. Took one of my 8" f/4 dobbies across the road to the park which as a better eastern view than my back yard. As I sketched it, a number of times I thought I caught a glimpse of a second gas tail peeling off to the left of the main tail - left on my sketch. SWAN had a very pale bluish-green hue to it too.

I didn't put it on the sketch as I just wasn't confident enough with my observation. This glimpse was just too "lean", but it kept appearing always in the same location off the coma next to the main tail. It was also much shorter than the main tail, and curved away from the main tail as I indicated in the modified sketch. I'm hoping pics from this morning can shed some more light on this.

Below is the sketch I did, plus a modified one showing the location and rough shape of that tenuous second gas tail.

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN)
8" f/4 dobbie, 10mm XW, 80X
Sketch is approx whole field of view.
4th of May, 2020, 5am local time
Heffron Park, Sydney, Oz
Soft pastel on black A4 paper

Alex.
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Click for full-size image (C-2020 F8 SWAN LR.JPG)
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Click for full-size image (C-2020 F8 SWAN modified.JPG)
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Last edited by mental4astro; 04-05-2020 at 10:20 AM.
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