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Goodbye Comet Leonard

Epick Crom

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Hi my fellow stargazers! I had a nice observing session last night in the gently moonlit skies. Humidity was a bit high, this caused the sky to glow a pale colour combined with the light pollution and waxing gibbous moon. Nonetheless I proceeded with my observations.

I started in Pisces Austrinus in search for Comet Leonard. It is now getting lower and fainter in the sky, so this would be a farewell of sorts. I soon spotted it 10 degrees above the horizon, glowing below 7th magnitude. It's faint green coma and white tail were still visible. This would be my last ever observation of Leonard, since it won't be back for another 80,000 years. Goodbye mate!

After that sad farewell, it was onto other matters, I focused on open star clusters due to the conditions :

NGC 2477 in Puppis: Rich open cluster, so many faint stars. I call this cluster the "Sting Ray" as it's shaped like one.

NGC 2808 in Carina: Huge globular cluster, appears as a hazy unresolved mass through my 10 inch. 

NGC 2818 in Pyxis: This is a combination of an open star cluster and planetary nebula. Both objects share the same NGC designation. The planetary was nice and visible, I couldn't for the life of me see the cluster!

M36 in Auriga: A lovely open cluster. This was my first time ever seeing this object.

M35 in Gemini: A beautiful sight. Big and bright open cluster, I was thrilled to spot another open cluster NGC 2158 near by. NGC 2158 looked more  like an unresolved distant globular! One to revisit in better sky conditions.

A nice session. Could have been better without the skyglow. Wishing you all happy observing and clear skies!


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1 hour ago, Kon said:

Nice going despite the bright moon. I never got to see Leonard in UK, did you manage to make the tail as well?

Thanks Kostas! Yeah I saw the tail, it was a pale white colour but not so extensive. When I saw it on new year's day the tail was really long and prominent. 

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