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Old 22-04-2024, 12:50 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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Elusive Comet

Is it possible to glimpse 12P/ Pons Brooks now or is it too close to the sun to have a chance of seeing it? I went out yesterday evening just after Sunset and searched until end of Twilight without any sign of even its nucleus. The media claim it is now visible from Australia. I guess moonlight and light pollution only added to the difficulty.
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Old 22-04-2024, 04:15 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Itís a tough target especially from the burbs. I havenít even attempted it yet - was going to head out of town maybe on the weekend and try to get a pic if Iím lucky and the weather complies
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Old 23-04-2024, 08:53 AM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Hi Michael. Yes this comet is now becoming more visible for us in the southern hemisphere. It is still currently a bit low down after sunset. I'm planning to try and see it this weekend with my binoculars.

It is currently around magnitude 4.6 . Happy hunting!
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Old 23-04-2024, 09:28 AM
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OzEclipse (Joe Cali)
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Magnitude 4.6 in a sky washed out by moonlight and twilight is definitely not naked eye. Ignore all the rubbish in the mass media.

All the pictures being used to illustrate mass media stories were taken when the comet was in dark sky in the northern hemisphere with 8-14 inch scopes. RASA’s etc

The moon will be below the horizon at twilight after this weekend. Try from then through to mid-May.

Joe
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Old 23-04-2024, 10:59 AM
Mickoid (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzEclipse View Post
Magnitude 4.6 in a sky washed out by moonlight and twilight is definitely not naked eye. Ignore all the rubbish in the mass media.

All the pictures being used to illustrate mass media stories were taken when the comet was in dark sky in the northern hemisphere with 8-14 inch scopes. RASAís etc

The moon will be below the horizon at twilight after this weekend. Try from then through to mid-May.

Joe
So true Joe, the media stir up the hysteria by making unresearched claims that now is the time to view the comet or you'll have to wait another 71 years to get another chance. There is a reason why there are little or no images of the comet taken from Australia at the moment.

Nothings changed, I remember the media back in 1986 informing the general public that Halley's Comet was at it's best some time in April of that year when in fact the best viewing was from December '85 to March '86.

The other night, at a popular lookout, there were families with their young children hoping to see this 'Devil's Comet' before they went to bed. Hat's off to the parents who got their little ones organised to be ready to view the Comet at ' Prime Time'. Their excitement was soon quashed once they realised no one could see the comet.

Last edited by Mickoid; 23-04-2024 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 23-04-2024, 04:09 PM
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It's a tough one at the moment but things will be better soon. I've imaged it a few times beginning on 13 April but I had to get a high vantage point for the horizon. There's lots of burning off around here too so skies have been very smoky, making it even more difficult.

On Sunday evening in bright moonlit skies I briefly managed to see two relatively bright stars close to it (mag 3.7) through 8x42 binocs but couldn't see the comet. Then the stars sank further into the smoke and disappeared.

Pics from each night are attached - also a view showing the smoke on Sunday night (there are no clouds in this picture, just smoke layers!). The distant mountain protruding from the left is Mt Buffalo and I shot the comet as it was setting over that mountain.

Good luck!

Cheers -
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (12P, 13 Apr 2024 textsm.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (12P, 14 Apr 2024 text.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (12P, 21 Apr 2024 text.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (image0 (Copy).jpeg)
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Old 23-04-2024, 04:18 PM
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By the way, if you look at my pic from the 21st (above), the comet is actually fainter than the star closest to it in the widefield, xi Tau at 3.7. In processing to try to get as much of the tail as possible, the comet head & coma blow out. The more point-like star is much, much less affected.

Cheers -

Last edited by Rob_K; 23-04-2024 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 23-04-2024, 07:45 PM
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OzEclipse (Joe Cali)
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Thanks for that Rob,
Unfortunately, all our ruminating here does nothing to stop the media hype. Iím sure you like me have been inundated with requests from friends to point out this huge comet. Then we have to let them down gently.

Joe
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Old 23-04-2024, 08:32 PM
Leo.G (Leo)
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I saw all of the hype about April 21 but a neighbours fence lined with 30+ feet high trees didn't offer much chance. I looked on Stellarium and despite it showing it above the horizon it failed to take the mountain directly west of me into account, Plus I want the shed it always shows directly behind me..
I've now decided I'll wait until there's no moonlight.
I did take my original model Megrez 80SD out with the Nikon D810, focused using the moon (I don't normally hook a camera up to the little travel Megrez)and a pair of binoculars on another tripod hoping to spot it but looking at the images Rob has taken I'm probably better off with my Nikkor 80-200 F2.8 ED lens instead of a small scope (80mm 400 focal length I think).
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Old 23-04-2024, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzEclipse View Post
Thanks for that Rob,
Unfortunately, all our ruminating here does nothing to stop the media hype. Iím sure you like me have been inundated with requests from friends to point out this huge comet. Then we have to let them down gently.

Joe
Yesterday I went out with a birdwatching group and one of the ladies said she had been all primed to go out and see this amazing bright comet in the west on Sunday night but because of the amount of smoke in the air around here she didn't do it. I told her that was a wise move. Thanks Channel 7 news!

Isn't it odd that the very worst time to view this comet is being touted as the very best by the media? Talk about Opposite World!

Cheers -
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Old 24-04-2024, 09:03 AM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Yeah the mainstream media is always overhyping astronomical events " See the super wolf moon tonight"

I'm always having to explain to my non astro mates that it's basically just hype and nothing else
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Old 24-04-2024, 12:15 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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Thanks Rob_K for adding your photos to this discussion. You may well be the first in Australia to have posted an image online of comet 12P/Pons Brooks!
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Old 26-04-2024, 01:54 PM
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Mainstream media did the same thing with E3 ZTF.. oh the green comet is whizzing by, get out and see it before it's gone.!
When it was near Mars it was just a faint smudge in my 8 x 42 binos. Told people not to worry about trying 5o see it without a good pair of binos.

From this weekend on should get a darker sky before the moon pops up.
I found it easier to see it last night with a slightly darker sky while the moon was low.
The tail showed up better in my short exposures with a 200mm lens

Good pics Rob, you are up against the odds with all that smoke!
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Old 26-04-2024, 08:46 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Oh wow guys , I just caught Comet 12P Pons Brooks right now through my 10x50mm binoculars, 11į above the horizon from my backyard! It is close to the star u Tauri which aided me. It's still not yet completely dark but it is very clearly seen.

It shows a clear bluish glow, the coma I presume. Well I didn't expect that This is the first time I've ever seen a comet through binoculars, and the sky was not even fully dark! It's a pity it was too low for my dob, this really is a bright comet
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Old 01-05-2024, 01:00 PM
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For what it's worth, here's a sketch of what 12P/Pons-Brooks looked like to me last night, 30 April 2024, in 8x42 binoculars. Quite faint with just over a degree of ion tail visible. Details on sketch. Also my shot from last night showing the photographically-spectacular ion and dust tails which are detectable now as the comet moves into darker skies.

Cheers -
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (12P binocular view.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (12P, 30 Apr 2024, 08-48 UT st20xpt30sec ISO 12800 1000px full text sm.jpg)
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Old 02-05-2024, 04:59 PM
Mickoid (Michael)
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Nice sketch and photo, Rob. Aided I would think by Bortle 2-3 dark skies up there. I'm going to have another go finding it first and then photographing it through Melbourne's muck. Haven't had any luck so far but this evening is looking like the best so far, no clouds or smoke in the west. Here's hoping!
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Old 03-05-2024, 10:31 AM
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astronobob (Bob)
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Cool to see a 'Twin Tail Comet hunting thread Micheal, following the 'Cloud' Satellite images very closely for next week here in SeQld for a very worthy Pons Brooks,,, I hope to find an opening, even drive a bit, kind-of opposite to Storm Chasing, instead of locating for a 'massive super-cell, be hunting the elusive hole in the sky,,..
Good luck down in Melb..
Nice shots Rob. K.
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