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CentaurZ

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, Capella, M37 & M35

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Posted (edited)

The periodic Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner will appear to pass the bright star Capella in Auriga with an angular separation of 43 arcminutes on 2018 SEP 02 at 22:44 CDT (03 at 03:44 UT).

Greatest brilliance for the comet is expected on SEP 10 at magnitude +10.9 based on JPL predictions, although some observers have been reporting it to be significantly brighter.

The comet will appear to pass near the star cluster M37 on SEP 09 and through M35 on SEP 15.

Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.

Giac-Zinn-E.thumb.JPG.7ac736c04e1b87eb0c3724f4ff5c1fa8.JPG

Edited by CentaurZ
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The magnitude estimates posted are way off the mark.  It's around 7th magnitude and visible in binoculars. 

 

andrew

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Agree that the magnitude is much better....and kicking myself for not checking on it last night!  Capella and the whole of Auriga were ideally positioned in the wee hours

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Got up at 4am for a quick look through the bins, couldn't see it at all. Went back to bed after 15 mins of searching. I'll try again tomorrow morning if it's clear.

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Got it in 10x50’s just a short while ago. I was on the fringes of seeing it due to the moon’s interference. Should be a nice show through mid month but definitely a dawn watch thing. 

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The Moon is safely tucked away now and 21P looked very nice this morning at 102x. The core is a shining nugget with a huge gaseous coma. With a yellow filter I still struggled to see a tail beyond my imagination. Looking forward to it’s flyby’s of those clusters!!!

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I picked up this comet down in Auriga lst night with my 100mm refractor. It seemed fainter to me than the published mag 7.5 figure. I'd say closer to mag 9 but it may have been dimmed by some thin cloud that I could not see ???

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43 minutes ago, John said:

... it may have been dimmed by some thin cloud that I could not see ???

I thought the same John, and noticed some haze here and there as I was observing. The moon had an extra fogginess to it at times. It’s brightness even in waning condition might have been a factor too. Let’s see how things look as it glides past those clusters!  

If you’ve got a #12 Yellow filter I would be curious what your findings on observing the tail are. 

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Had my best view of comet 21P this morning 7 sept. around 4.  In 10x50 binoculars it stood out well, just a few degrees across from the famous Starfish cluster with M36  just below.  While M36 was the brightest, the Comet was only slightly fainter than the Starfish but smaller, I'd say around mag. 7. Conditions were good but not very transparent.  In the 4" at 19x and 39x it was extended with a hint of a tail.  All accompanied by a shrieking owl.

andrew

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Given the request for photo's at the start of this thread, here are a couple of my humble shots.

Les.

IMG_0160 Comet G-Z comp_resize.jpg

IMG_0162 Comet G-Z comp_resize.jpg

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We’ve been clouded out here until now. Missed the flyby around M37 but hopefully there’s another chance to see it before the weekend. I’m keen to see if it has brightened any more!

good luck

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Shot from early hours!

Difficult to tell if it's significantly brightened from the photo alone as the Comet was still quite low down nr the NE horizon at the time. (+/- 12 degrees). Had been out already for a couple of hours and starting to get serious dewing issues, so "bottled it" at just gone 1.30 am.

Regards,

Les

 

IMG_0251 G-Z compresize.jpg

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@Wyvernlooking at that picture, all of the stars look dimmer so it's hard to tell.  Atmospherics must have really had an effect.  This was the morning I missed and should have been out looking!  It was bright as anything Weds morning and would have been a great view.  There was no chance today due to cloud, so I slept through :) 

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Comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner is just around half a degree above Messier 35 in Gemini currently. Quite a nice view with my 102mm ED Vixen at 17x (40mm SWA eyepiece) despite some LP in that part of the sky from Bristol and environs.

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This morning offered the best view yet!  21P was not shy and retiring any more, and I'm gonna go out on that limb and claim I could see the tail fanning out from the coma a little bit.  I did the sketch below around 3am and then tinkered around other objects.  I came back about 45 mins after the sketch and it had shifted half the distance of the last void toward that huge pack of stars!!!  It's not often you can visually observe the cosmos moving and what a delight!

image.thumb.jpeg.ae9c17e012d1e4f4cecb0f066974ad5f.jpeg

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Nice report and sketch Kevin :smiley:

It is moving pretty quickly isn't it ?

I thought that I could see indications of the tail as well with my 4 inch frac and despite the LP so I'm sure your eye is not fooling you with your observation.

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1 hour ago, Special K said:

and I'm gonna go out on that limb and claim I could see the tail fanning out from the coma a little bit

I am sure you are right Kevin. I saw definite signs of it last Friday in the 14”. It wasn’t placed particularly well at the time, but the tail was clear enough to see.

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