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Comet C/2020 F8 SWAN was discovered on March 25 by use of the SWAN camera aboard a European satellite.

Based on JPL orbital elements, I calculate that its magnitude will peak at +8.9 on May 15. Although comet brightness predictions can vary significantly from eventual readings.

Below are two charts that I created. Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.

SWAN.JPG.4b8daf21082dbdfc825f2bd7c90af89d.JPG

SWAN-E.JPG.0692e0eb3435dc4f89211845aa6df237.JPG

 

 

 

 

Edited by CentaurZ
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I've tried with bins from less than perfect locations and less than perfect skies without success. Last night I had a last ditch attempt at imaging it. Not a brilliant sky and barely dark enough.

Comet C/2020 F8 SWAN was discovered on March 25 by use of the SWAN camera aboard a European satellite. Based on JPL orbital elements, I calculate that its magnitude will peak at +8.9 on May 15. A

It is very difficult, I needed very transparent skies, had little or no light pollution, and an extra 10 mm aperture. Even then it was a difficult, averted-vision only object. 

Posted Images

What instrument would you say is best under reasonably dark skies to see this comet?  I have a 70mm travel scope, 70mm bins, and the others in my signature.

Wanted to see ATLAS but alas things conspired against me on that one.

Edited by jonathan
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1 hour ago, jonathan said:

What instrument would you say is best under reasonably dark skies to see this comet?  I have a 70mm travel scope, 70mm bins, and the others in my signature.

Wanted to see ATLAS but alas things conspired against me on that one.

Currently, a telescope that is located quite far south :smiley:

 

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There is a live on youtube tomorrow 8h30 AM BST from Astroneos, Brazil. The same group who have discovered some comets and asteroids recently. Comet Jaques, 2019 OK and others. 

Latest reports Magnitude 5.1. Coma 10".

https://youtu.be/8-xlAL7uKno

Today's live is still happening.

Brazilian portuguese though. But everybody speaks astronomy.

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4 hours ago, Craney said:

One thing that comes around more often than a comet...... is the hope of a good comet display !!

Fingers crossed for this one.  

That and someone asking if it's going to hit us or if it is in fact nibiru...

Bet you'll get a decent view from brimham rocks or Sutton bank, lock down depending 

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6 minutes ago, Fozzie said:

Bet you'll get a decent view from brimham rocks or Sutton bank, lock down depending 

Hope so.   

Brimham is good looking North  at night for Aurora and Noctilucents  because there is not much habitation thereabouts. North East should be good.

Never been to Sutton Bank on a night /  early morning. I wonder if it's relative altitude might open issues from York to the South. 

Still if the comet is  'better than average'   (note suppressed enthusiasm not to tempt fate)  it would be worth a trip out. 

Have already been in the garden mapping out where the comet will be in a month or so time.    Might have to take the roof off  !!!!  🥴

 

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There are some stunning images doing the rounds at the moment, hoptefully it will give us a little show at least later in the month. Going to be difficult to view it if the lockdown is going on though from my garden.

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5 minutes ago, Paul M said:

I'm getting quietly excited but I expect twilight will take it's toll on our experience. 

yes definitely, might have a tail pointing up from the horizon perhaps.

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11 minutes ago, Pete Presland said:

Going to be difficult to view it if the lockdown is going on though from my garden.

That's a valid point. My northerly horizon is barely workable from home but I do have some high vantage points from work (I work a split of day/night shifts) where I can see across the town to a seaward horizon to the west and the Cumbrian fells to the north. Not anywhere I could get a telescope but I've been up there with bins many times.

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2 minutes ago, Paul M said:

That's a valid point. My northerly horizon is barely workable from home but I do have some high vantage points from work (I work a split of day/night shifts) where I can see across the town to a seaward horizon to the west and the Cumbrian fells to the north. Not anywhere I could get a telescope but I've been up there with bins many times.

An hours "exercise" at the 3:30am, i could easily peddle to a decnt view in 10 minutes. I think things will be little more flexible in 3 weeks though. 

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Still a week to go before SWAN is visible from the UK but the light curve is doing strange things.  From a peak of Mag4.7 it's now down to Mag5.7.  That's a 2.5x decrease in brightness despite getting closer to the sun and earth.  Is it going to fizzle out?...  Comet chasing is a frustrating sport.

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