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Comet 103P Hartley


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Does anyone know the current magnitude on this one? I read on the comet chasing site is should be about mag 12. Yet AN magazine has it starting September at mag 8 and climbing to mag 5.x by the end of September. Sounds well placed in the sky too. Thanks.

EDIT: Sorry, found it on MPC site. They report it as mag 15.

Edited by iamjulian
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NickH imaged it last week, and reported around mag 12.3 - somewhat fainter than predicted. Though comet magnitudes are notoriously difficult to predict, this is 3 mag fainter than expected. If it stays like this it will not be as nice as predicted. In Oct the max predicted was 4.4. (according to the BAA/SPA comet site).

Here is Nick's report using the Faulkes south.

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-widefield-special-events-comets/111556-comet-103p-hartley-fts.html

/callump

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I believe that in the next few weeks (during Sept) that this comet will be passing just below and to the right of Cassiopeia. Should be easy enough to find. I think Nick said in his report that it should be a naked eye comet.

I have not seen a comet with the naked eye since the AMAZING pass of Hale-Bopp. My god that was a stunning sight in the night sky. It just hung there for what seemed like months.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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The mag is around the 12.3 to 12.7 mark (or was last week). Pete Lawrence in fact put me on to this via a FB thread, as he'd been imaging it. Maurice Gavin also reported this via cloudy nights. Pete indicated that based on the current mag, the expected mag 4 may not happen.

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I looked at the comet last night around midnight. Very similar to the Andromeda Galaxy in brightness - just visible to the naked eye in a dark sky. Very easy with binoculars. To the south of Cassiopeia. Getting brighter all the time and close to Cassiopeia by the end of the month.

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Very similar to the Andromeda Galaxy in brightness - just visible to the naked eye in a dark sky. Very easy with binoculars. .

I find this hard to believe. Even at my suburban location, Andromeda is an easy naked-eye object, but this evening I had a look in the exact spot for Hartley with 7 x 50 bins and, as expected, couldn't see it. Unless it had a sudden short-lived outburst yesterday (which nobody else noticed).

Unfortunately, the orientation of my obsy means I can't view it with my scope at the moment.

Edited by lukebl
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I have to agree, sorry but I struggled to see it easily with a 12" Dobsonian in a mag 5 location, imaging with a TMB105, it's pretty faint and small with no real tail at present, bordering between mag 10.5 to 11.5.. are you sure it was 103P?

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post-15266-133877480686_thumb.jpg

I made such a Horlicks with the observing that I thought I'd put things right - with thanks to lukebl and NickH. As NickH says, the good news is that comet Hartley is getting brighter. Its really faint and I am in a good observing location - and no joy with binoculars. Closest approach to Earth is 20th October 2010 at 0.12 AU, 8 days before perihelion. So things will improve. At the end of September, it will be by Cassiopeia and easier to locate. In October, it will possibly reach naked-eye visibility in Cygnus. If the image has attached properly, it shows the comet at noon today - I took the photo using Faulkes North.

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Yes - the flare at the bottom right was a bit random. I don't know what caused it - but it was in other images as well. I haven't done any real processing as the download of the large files can only be done after 24 hours. The image was RGB for 25 seconds each. The coloured image was dire, so I changed it to black and white and adjusted the exposure a bit. I've also got an i filter image to work with as well. At least I got the RA and Dec right and got my first view of the comet!

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