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Showing results for tags 'c/2012 x1 (linear)'.
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I got up at 4 this morning to do some comet hunting. The sky was clear overhead, but haze was making visibility poorer towards the horizon. Occasional threatening clouds passed, so I did not dare set up the scope. I got out the 15x70 bins, checked the finder charts for the comets, and headed out. Lovejoy was best placed by far, I aimed the bins above Leo's head and WHAM, there was the comet. A very bright core, large coma, and in averted vision a hint of tail. Very pleasing. I checked out the transparency of the sky by looking at M101, and could barely make it out, so conditions were not that good. M81 and M82 were nice, but I have seen them look better as well. I tried getting a look at C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) which has undergone a large outburst recently, and found that it was still too low. ISON was also hidden. I went back to bed for a short nap, and got up again at 5:40. Because Virgo was largely hidden by trees, I walked over to the football fields behind my house (and said trees), and managed to find a faint blob in averted vision close to Arcturus. It was very hard, due to the haze, but I repeatedly found (at least four times) and its location fitted the finder chart so comet number two found. ISON was playing hide and seek in some low haze/fog, so I went back home. I couldn't resist giving ISON one more try, this time from a first-floor window, and lo and behold, I spotted a "star" at a 2-3 degrees left and below Porrima, which showed a bit of fuzziness in averted vision. I went away from the object and found it again a couple of times, and it persistently showed a bit of fuzziness which brighter stars around it did not show, so it couldn't be a case of glare. The position also fits with the charts, so comet number three bagged. As the sky was already brightening a bit, I was not surprised that I could see no tail. So this is clearly my best comet chasing session to date, as I raised my (fairly meagre) tally of comets from 6 to 9 in one night. Obviously I felt very pleased, but duty called, as the alarm clocks went off at 6:30, and I had to make breakfast, chase up the kids, make lunch boxes, etc.