Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out With C2009 P1 Garradd

I have always enjoyed comets. These solar system interlopers always have a air of mystery and wonder surrounding them. One of my favorite things in my astronomy passion is watching these guys wax/wane in size and intensity, and to follow their movement amongst the starry background both over hours and days.

This cosmic iceberg is so conveniently placed right now that it begged for a look. Our local weather has been warmer than normal and that brings in moisture off the Pacific; when that air hits our mountains we get haze so that has kept me sidelined from bagging this comet sooner.

I searched around and found this pic which I feel best represents last nights view with the AT106 apo and the viewing conditions. In this size scope the typical blue/green/grayish comet glow was easy to see and movement was detected just after 15 minutes! The tails what about the and out at best. Sometimes I imagine seeing them and then they vanish. So......

Tonight we will bring out more aperture. I must have my tail fix!!!!!!!


Johany said...

You have been officially diagnosed with Comet Fever!!! Prognosis for recovery is looking bad. :)

Pembrokeshire Astronomer said...

I've yet to get the comet fever for this "cosmic iceberg" :0)

Still looking for it between the Pembrokeshire clouds :0(

Never mind I spent last night just lying on my back looking at the Milky Way...

What a Wonderful Cosmos we live in.. :0)

Sidewalk Universe said...

There is not much fever with this one Johany! But watching it's race across the Arrow and Fox has been fun. My viewing conditions have been marginal with haze so the view gets knocked down a bit.

Last evening's bag & tag required a stroke of luck - it was dim indeed!But found!

NiteSkyGirl said...

The Arrow And fox Being chased by the comet is where my scope and binoculars are these past two weeks!

What an amazing adventure! I'm enjoying tracking it night and day with my astronomy programs. It is putting on a phenomenal show.

Exquisite color.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Glad your seeing color NSG! I have only had hints of it with our unusually hazy conditions.

The comet chasing the arrow and the fox - I never looked at it that way!

Paulie said...

I've been tracking Garradd since July 26. By July 28 (actually the early hours of the 29th), it was already my most observed comet. I saw Halley (as a kid), and Lulin once each, and watched Hartley 2 over the course of one outstanding night. This is the only comet I've ever seen multiple nights. It's been a show, especially passing M71 and the Coathanger.

Last Friday, doing an astronomy program for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, I thought Garradd would be the hit of the night after the Moon set, but only the astronomers saw it. It was just above the coathanger, with fairly bright stars to reference to at the eyepiece, but nobody reported seeing it. We all described as best we could exactly what to look for, and where to look, but no luck. Man that bummed me out. Here I thought I was showing one of the coolest things I've seen all summer, seeing it plain as day, and nobody reported seeing it; not even to appease me.

The coolest time I saw Garradd was in Chicago, under some terrible lighting. It was some work to find (even with a little go-to help, but oh-so-satisfying to see under terrible lighting conditions.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Paulie this comet was not a "Shower offer"! I too had thought about doing a street program with the cosmic frosty as the headline object but it is difficult to see and appreciate - unless your a astro junkie like all of us here!

But I am glad that you enjoyed it!!!!