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Old 08-12-2011, 05:15 AM
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Kreutz SunGrazer Lovejoy

From Live Science update.

http://www.space.com/13830-sungrazin...gn=SP_12062011

I reckon a few people will be watching this ,,...
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:39 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Fantastic!
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:42 PM
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Thanks for the link Brent. This is starting to get interesting, the comet appears to be developing very rapidly according to observations from South America. Lets hope this continues!

Terry
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:01 AM
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Latest images from the FRAM Robotic telescope in Argentina:

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7299/krv1.jpg

The left image is Red light and the right image is blue light.

Terry
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometGuy View Post
Latest images from the FRAM Robotic telescope in Argentina:

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7299/krv1.jpg

The left image is Red light and the right image is blue light.

Terry
Looking good Terry! Nice little tail. Interesting debate about how 'gaseous' the comet is. When you used your DSLR, did you consider the green/cyan response as a rough indicator of gaseousness? I've photographed a fair few now and the dusty ones tend to show as pale or white while the gaseous ones are green (and lots of variations in between). Your comet appeared quite green in my shots but I haven't seen any other RGB images of it. I realise that what they are talking about is a much stricter measure but it must be fairly gaseous at least??? Certainly not what I'd expect a dusty comet would show like anyway...

Coming up to a very interesting time now as it hits the SOHO fields.


EDIT: Just bye-the-bye, some reprocesses from 02 Dec images.

First, a video animation:
http://youtu.be/yGAxyOqP4SI

A composite, after cloning out interfering stars to get a comet-head stack, then layering it over a star stack:
http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/w...starstextb.jpg

Finally, a new image - forgot that I took 4 subs @ 1-min before I moved onto the two minute exposures.
http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/w...-mintextsm.jpg


Cheers -

Last edited by Rob_K; 09-12-2011 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Pics added
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:07 PM
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The SOHO and other solar observing teams are really gearing up to make the most of this opportunity - even to the extent of altering/sacrificing some of their routine observations!

"1. STEREO/SECCHI: This will be the first spacecraft to get a clear view of the comet, and in fact it has been visible in our HI-2A imager for the past few days now, albeit faintly. As the comet approaches perihelion, we will perform our routine COR-2 observations until it reaches the COR-1 (inner coronagraph) camera late on the 15th. We will then focus our attention on that and the extreme ultraviolet (EUVI) instruments. The STEREO spacecraft are very far from Earth and so this only gives us a pretty small amount of data to send back. So we're going to have to go careful with what we do, and be clever about it. We are considering taking "subfield" images -- that is, only return, say, the top half of the image. We also have some on-board storage space that we can use but it still takes a long time to dump that data, and we're supposed to use that storage space to capture CME events. But I can make the case for an exception here.
2. SOHO/LASCO: The comet will enter LASCO C3 on the 14th at the very lower-left edge of the field of view. I predict it will be around mag 5 or 6 at this time. We are unable to squeeze any more images out of LASCO than we already do, simply because it uses early 1980's computer technology and just can't do things all that fast. So this means the standard 5 images per hour. What we can and will do, however, is use different exposure times and filters to capture as much science as we possibly can. Finally, the rarely-mentioned UVCS instrument on SOHO has the ability to point itself at a the track of the comet and get some observations. This has happened before with great success and so that's what we're shooting for again.
3. SDO: In July of this year, the NASA SDO spacecraft observed a comet evaporating in the solar corona: the first ever observations of its kind. I'm involved with a group of scientists that are still analyzing that event (exciting publication pending!), and we're naturally very excited about this opportunity. Unfortunately, it's now 6-months later which means that the comet will reach perihelion behind the Sun as seen from SDO. So SDO will only have a relatively brief window in which to see it before it disappears behind the solar limb. However, a group of us met yesterday to discuss this and the SDO team are planning to do some special operations to maximize our chances of observing the comet.
4. PROBA: I was delighted to receive an email from the European "PROBA" team. They have an EUV imager that they plan to try and use to observe the comet. From their message to me:

'PROBA2 is an ESA microsatellite pointing to the Sun from LEO [Low Earth Orbit]. Onboard is the SWAP EUV imager with a significantly larger FOV than SDO/AIA but imaging only in the 17nm bandpass (see eg http://proba2.oma.be/swap/data/mpg/movies/swap_cr_2116_yellow.mp4 ) We have made a little movie of how the Lovejoy comet is expected to pass through our FOV. It is available here: http://proba2.nicula.net/lovejoy_predict.mov
A couple of hours after the event, the data in movie format will appear here and in FITS format here.
Of course, it remains questionable if we will see anything at all in the 17nm bandpass.'

So rest assured that we are trying to make this the most well-observed Kreutz-group comet ever, and are trying to return as much science from it as we possibly can before it is forever lost to the Sun's searing corona! As always, keep checking back on this page as I update it with the latest news about the comet and the observing operations we have planned for it. "

http://sungrazer.nrl.navy.mil/index....birthday_comet

Cheers -
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Old 13-12-2011, 10:27 AM
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Terry's comet must be generating the most widespread professional/amateur interest in ages! It's been in the STEREO fields for a couple of days, but the first 'hi-res' imagery is now coming out. Check out this gif animation:
http://sungrazer.nrl.navy.mil/index....hi1b_Dec11.gif

And this:
http://tinyurl.com/6osbdyt


Cheers -
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Old 13-12-2011, 10:50 AM
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Front cover of Spaceweather too:
http://www.spaceweather.com/archive....h=12&year=2011

Cheers -
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Old 13-12-2011, 01:46 PM
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wonderful stuff this.
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Old 13-12-2011, 08:07 PM
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It certainly looks a lot brighter than any of the other SOHO Kreutz comets - by a big margin actually. I wouldn't be suprised if it briefly reaches mag -4, with a large amount of tail material generated - should be spectacular in SOHO and STEREO imagery. I'm even thinking of trying to see/image it in daylight Thursday afternoon.

I will suprised if the comet survives perihelion however. Perhaps some of the tail may survive.

Terry
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Old 14-12-2011, 08:57 PM
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The comet has hit the LASCO C3 field now - very BRIGHT with a long tail! The comet is the thick white streak intruding from the bottom of the frame.
http://lasco-www.nrl.navy.mil/cgi-bi...g.cgi?c3+jpg24
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/c3/512/

Cheers -
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Old 15-12-2011, 05:36 AM
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Ta Rob, nice little comet indeed!!

Last edited by Liz; 15-12-2011 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 15-12-2011, 11:59 AM
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Image or view it on Thursday afternoon!!!!

Wow, how cool.


Can anyone offer some tips on how to view this comet?


Pete

Last edited by Erg; 15-12-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 15-12-2011, 04:54 PM
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How exciting!
Thanks for the links Brent & Rob.
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Old 15-12-2011, 08:46 PM
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Extra bits of comet!

Don't know if it's been noticed (probably has) but there are at least two extra pieces of comet on the same orbit ahead of Lovejoy, diving into the Sun on the LASCO C3 image. The first appears at about 11:54 on 13/12/2011, initially starlike and eventually displaying a tiny tail before disappearing at about 23:42 on 13/12. The second is just ahead of the comet by about 1/2 degree, currently faint and starlike. Didn't know about them beforehand, and will probably be as close as I ever get to a comet discovery .

http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/...current_c3.mpg

First post here, and just arrived in Oz from the UK, so hi everyone, looks like a nice forum to discuss all things astronomical!

andy
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:04 AM
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Andy and welcome to Australia!!

Certainly interesting things going on as the comet heads towards the Sun, ? naked eye!!

Couldnt get that link open for some reason, but wll try again. Got it open, and that great!!

http://www.spaceweather.com/
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:14 AM
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Thanks Andy for that website. It is amazing watching Comet Lovejoy racing in to the Sun and the puffs from the Sun are great too.
Terry found an amazing comet. http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/...current_c3.mpg
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Old 16-12-2011, 07:45 AM
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Are people keeping up with http://sungrazer.nrl.navy.mil/index....birthday_comet ? It appears every solar observation satellite is either watching or waiting for C/2011 W3

From here at home http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/ seems to be not coping with the load
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Old 16-12-2011, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for that Andrew, every little link is good for new info and images.

Today could prove quite exciting if anything eventuates!! I am ready and waiting.
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Old 16-12-2011, 09:41 AM
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That little bit of comet following in front of Comet Lovejoy is in fact called Comet Amy!!! (for Terry's daughter )

If we keep saying it enough times, it might become official!!
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