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mwayne

Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson

42 posts in this topic

Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson was my 'new to me' target last night. Positioning the scope was difficult as its location in Bootes meant that at the time I was observing it wasn't far away from vertical. Despite the scope handling difficulty the comet was quite easy to see. For me I couldn't make out a tail or any shape but it was an obvious fuzzy patch not far to the north of delta- Boo (Thiba), caught in a net of three magnitude 7 stars HIP 74080, HIP 74130 and HIP 74265. I had good views of the comet with 40x and 59x magnification.

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If anyone out there who is looking for Comet Johnson, visual or imaging same, I'd love to hear people's reports who have/use a SWAN-Filter (Lumicon Comet-Filter - the only source). Mostly I'm curious about the tail of this 'visitor.' A SWAN-Filter will highlight a gaseous-tail, while doing very little to a tail that's mostly composed of dust and other debris. I'm under the clouds here - with my SWAN-Filter, around my neck as an Albatross.....

Enjoy!

Dave

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Posted (edited)

Here is a good article about comet Johnson in S&T, with their usually useful chart:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/comet-johnson-makes-a-splendid-sprint-through-bootes/

Hope everyone gets to see it. I will try tonight, in spite the northern twlight. I have to get out anyway out of self respect since it is clear!

Edited by Cinco Sauces
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Bit hazy here this evening but Comet V2 Johnson is showing quite well in Bootes despite that. I'm using my 12" dob (no SWAN filter, sorry Dave) and 122x magnification which helps to make the comet stand out through the thin haze. I'm hoping that the haze will thin and disperse but usually it does the opposite :rolleyes2:

 

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Hi @Cinco Sauces. Thanks, that was a good read. The link didn't work but cut and pasting it into my browser did. I'm hoping to catch the comet again soon and now that I have some better suggestions for viewing tips I look forward to it.

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1 hour ago, David Levi said:

The link didn't work but cut and pasting it into my browser did

Ouch... I posted with the phone, it often leads to something weird. I will edit later using a real computer.

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It's not given up too much in these light nights...  At 50x best described as an irregular haze surrounding a tiny rough cut diamond ! 

 

andrew 

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How bright is the core? I have something that to me looks like a grey fuzzy patch, not unlike a nebula. Struggling to see a bright core to it though so I'm not sure if I have it or not!

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The core is not really very bright. The comet does look rather like a grey fuzzy patch, slightly more condensed towards the centre but not a tight bright core at all.

I suspect you have seen it :smiley:

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Thanks John! I'm arcing up from Izar. Have come to it multiple times now. I can detect some increased brightness with averted vision. Very exciting to chalk up my first comet! Will be fun to see how it develops over the next month :)

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Yes as John says that sounds like it -  about the size of a finger nail.  I found a good sketch, but don't expect to see this fine detail, but that darker central spec can flicker star like among the haze.  Glad you saw the comet !

 

andrew

post-652-0-97934700-1495073486.jpg

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I looked for the comet last night (27 May) at around 23.15 BST.  I couldn't find it with my 8"SCT. :hmh:

I've observed it on several occasions recently, even managing to glimpse it with a 4" refractor, so I am trying to figure out the reasons for this 'fail'.

Used 8" SCT (have seen the comet on 25th with this), goto worked fine on every other object, (picked up 10th mag planetary nebulae in 8mm eyepiece) used live co-ordinates from theskylive.com, checked with red dot finder that the telescope was pointing in more or less the right place.  Still nothing. 25mm eyepiece. Swept the scope around a bit with the handset. Nothing.  Must be something wrong somewhere. Sky conditions no worse then previous nights. Stumped.

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My guess is at 11.15 the sky is just not dark enough this time of year for diffuse objects, so i don't think you are doing anything wrong !

 I last saw it on friday night 26 in binoculars and telescope, but it was not till after midnight that it started to look good, so check a bit later.

 

andrew

Edited by andrew63
spell
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It's a rather small and insignificant and easily overlooked I find. Even with my 12" dob I have to look carefully for the comet and it's not a "stand out" object by any means.

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I've been on this comet a lot.

I use a Go-To mount and recently learned how to copy and paste RA/DEC from The Sky Live into my hand control. But took it a bit further and C/P into Stellarium (which doesn't have it cataloged yet) and slew the telescope right to it.

Still, it has been taking 600 second images to really grab a handful.

I won't be crass and stick my pictures in the observing forum, but here's a LINK to where I did put my images here on SGL.

Keep looking, it's out there.

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36 minutes ago, SonnyE said:

  into Stellarium (which doesn't have it cataloged yet)

One thing I did figure out today is how to get that comet to show up on Stellarium. It's totally non-obvious, but Googling reveals a Wiki procedure which if you follow it carefully results in the aforementioned comet data and any others of interest being downloaded and added.  Now I can at least see what the comet-containing field is supposed to look like seen through my telescopes. Minor planets can also be selectively added.

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