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Go Back   IceInSpace > General Astronomy > Observational and Visual Astronomy > Observation Reports

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2017, 10:35 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Glimpses of Comet 2015 V2 Johnson

I have been waiting for a clear night with the Moon looming brighter and brighter by the day and threatening to spoil the party. Tonight held some promise so I set up hoping for the best.
The clouds parted sufficiently at about 8.00 for me to do the simple star hop from Izar to the spot adjacent to SAO 83458 in Bootes. Comet Johnson was immediately obvious as a faint diffuse patch but disappeared almost immediately behind some rapidly moving cloud.
Fifty minutes later the clouds parted and I had enough time to get a reasonable look. Seeing was at best 3/5 and transparency about 5/7 and the Moon was obviously interfering as the sky was not the usual inky black that I have here at Tinderbox.
All I could see was a broad faint diffuse round patch with a hint of brightening towards the centre. The central spot brightened temporarily as moments of better seeing came and went. There was a faint star of about mag 10 just on the edge of the faint patch. Inevitably more cloud rolled in and I retreated indoors for the night.
I will try again over the next couple of nights to get an appreciation of the Comet's motion but fear the brightening Moon might spoil the party.
Scope: Vixen NA140SS with LVW13 giving 62x on TRex mount.

Steve.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2017, 07:36 PM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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I had a look tonight with my 100mm Vixen. At 27x, it was easily visible, but has dimmed somewhat. At 50x, it was still visible but not as easily to find and not as distinct when found.

Comet Johnson currently lies about 2 degrees beneath and a little to the north of the very attractive double ADS 9247 (14H23, +8.27). This is the first time I have seen this double, so that was a good, unexpected bonus.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2017, 09:23 PM
tonybarry (Tony)
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On the 3rd June, at Penrith Observatory, I obtained some images of Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson; 20 second exposures over a period of 11 minutes. Meade LX90-10" and Flea 3 monochrome camera.

I attach the resultant stacked image, centred on the star field. The comet motion is clearly evident. The companion stars to the comet have their magnitudes annotated, and a local bright star has its SAO number also annotated.

Regards,
Tony Barry
WSAAG
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:28 PM
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I was out tonight too, but not till well after nine. By then the bright Moon was well up and there were bands of very fine high cloud moving across.

Your position description made it very easy to find the spot. Once there and settled, Comet Johnson popped out as a very faint hazy patch with very slight brightening towards the centre. In moments of better seeing a brighter centre was visible. My initial observation was at 33X with a Panoptic 24. For me, the better view was at 62x (LVW 13) as the background Moon lit sky was slightly darker giving better contrast.

I have an observing night this Saturday night and hopefully we will get a better view without the Moon interfering even though it is fading.

I agree, ADS 9247 is an attractive double.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropo-Bob View Post
I had a look tonight with my 100mm Vixen. At 27x, it was easily visible, but has dimmed somewhat. At 50x, it was still visible but not as easily to find and not as distinct when found.

Comet Johnson currently lies about 2 degrees beneath and a little to the north of the very attractive double ADS 9247 (14H23, +8.27). This is the first time I have seen this double, so that was a good, unexpected bonus.

Last edited by Tinderboxsky; 13-06-2017 at 09:37 AM.
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  #5  
Old 13-06-2017, 05:36 PM
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I'm yet to get this one, so I'm happy to hear that it's still visible despite the Moon interference and some clouds lurking. As soon as the rain stops and the clouds go away along with the Moon, I'll have a look.
With my 10" dob using my 14mm Denkenmeier eyepiece, I get 85X magnification which I've found to be the best for observing comets.

Eeek I just took a look at COBS and it's currently estimated at mag. 8.9. I don't like my chances with light pollution thrown into the mix .
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  #6  
Old 14-06-2017, 10:10 PM
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Definitely getting dimmer, a pity because its well placed for evening viewing. Here's a pic from the 12th of June.
10" Skywatcher newt, 10 x 60 sec at iso 1600.
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  #7  
Old 16-06-2017, 07:27 PM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Still easy enough when viewed tonight with my Vixen 115mm from 30x to 60x. It is dimming but interesting to follow it when the weather permits.
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Old 17-06-2017, 09:43 PM
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Visible in 80mm at 30x tonight. It is moving roughly 1 degree per day.
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  #9  
Old 18-06-2017, 10:10 AM
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I was out last night at the Astronomical Society's observing site which has good dark skies to the north. Comet Johnson was a fine sight. I was surprised by the size of the coma. The fine haze appeared to be about 30 arc mins across, if not more, with a definite gradual brightening (but still quite faint) towards the centre. Averted vision revealed a very small, almost point like central nucleus. The bright central spot and surrounding coma glowed quite clearly when moments of better seeing washed over. Best views were at 62X with seeing 4/5 and transparency 6/7.

It was the first comet sighting for a number of the people present, so a real topic of conversation on the night. We had to be patient, though, with cloud stubbornly hanging blocking our view to the north for a couple of hours.

Scope: Vixen NA140SS with LVW13 giving 62X on TRex mount.

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Visible in 80mm at 30x tonight. It is moving roughly 1 degree per day.
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Old 19-06-2017, 07:44 AM
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I observed Comet Johnson last night with 115mm & 70mm telescopes.

Found it with the 70mm (Williams Optics F6.3) first using 17x. It could easily have been swept past, but I knew exactly where to look. It was better at 39x.

With the Vixen 115mm, at 60x, I had the impression of both a reduction in the size of the coma and the overall brightness. In the centre of the coma, my impression was that it was brightening to a star-like point, but somehow failed to make it.
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Old 25-06-2017, 08:23 PM
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Spotted Comet Johnson tonight with Vixen 102mm. At 26x it was obvious, but fainter than last week. It was somewhat more difficult at 50x.
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Old 25-06-2017, 09:30 PM
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I did a quick star hop to Comet Johnson after my Jupiter observations this evening. The comet has faded slightly since my last observation on 21st. The coma is smaller. There was still some brightening to a tight bright central spot. Best view was at 62X.
It is certainly climbing quickly in the sky and it will be interesting to see how long it can be seen as it continues to fade and the Moon starts to interfere.
Scope Vixen NA140SS on TRex mount and LVW13 giving 62X.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:01 PM
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Found tonight with my Vixen ED 102mm. Using a 25mm EP (26x), the Comet was faint but still spread out into a diffuse patch. It is the better part of a magnitude fainter and smaller than when I last saw it.

With an 11mm EP, I could barely see it using direct vision.

To find, draw a line from Jupiter up to Spica and continue on straight for the same distance and a third, and U will be near Comet Johnson.
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  #14  
Old 17-07-2017, 09:17 PM
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I viewed Comet Johnson with an 80mm, F6 triplet tonight using 19x and 44x.

It has become quite faint and continues to shrink in size.
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Old 19-07-2017, 07:52 PM
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I have taken advantage of an unusually clear evening to view the Comet with a 127mm F9, ED Meade refractor.

Though my view was better than my last sighting, it is now a faint object. Many lesser globulars now appear brighter.

The coma seem to brighten towards the centre but there was no starlike point or tail to be seen.

The Comet is near Pi Hydra, about 1 degree above (East) and about 3 degrees to the north.
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  #16  
Old 19-07-2017, 08:01 PM
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A series of good observation Bob. I have been totally frustrated by the weather unfortunately. Still hopeful for another sighting before the comet fades from sight.
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Old 19-07-2017, 09:54 PM
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Thanks Steve, its good to hear from You.

I had to pull out some ordinary gear to get to my mount tonight and I thought I would check if the Comet was visible with that also. (I don't want newbies to think they need expensive equipment to see this.)

So I also had a quick look with an achromatic, F6.5 100mm using 2 cheap plossls (25 & 20mm EPs). The Comet was clearly visible, but was faint of course.
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Old 22-07-2017, 08:32 PM
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This is becoming a familiar story: Found the Comet, but it is smaller and fainter than before.

Actually, I failed to find it with my 80mm triplet, so I tried with the Vixen 100mm ED at 26x. The Comet was just above (East) of a 9th Mag star and was difficult to find. I realised it was near the star and thought that it would be visible with inverted vision if I looked directly at the star. I tried that for about 2 minutes,but It was not visible.

I had to look away from the star and then with inverted vision, I could see the small, faint comet nearby.
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  #19  
Old 22-07-2017, 10:34 PM
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Clouds are my familiar story at the moment!

Cloud Free Nights is forcasting a clear sky tomorrow evening. I will keep my fingers crossed as it would be nice to get one last sighting. My last observation was way back on the 25th June!
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  #20  
Old 11-08-2017, 08:25 PM
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I saw this tonight with my Vixen Ed 102mm (F6.5) with 25mm & 15mm EPs.

It resembled a face-on galaxy, being faint and having a little bit of size but most definitely much fainter and smaller than seen in my previous viewings.

It looked to have a star-like centre, but I suspect that may just be a faint star in the same line of sight.
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