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Naked Eye Comet for 2011? - C/2010 X1 (Elenin)

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Author Topic: Naked Eye Comet for 2011? - C/2010 X1 (Elenin)  (Read 4631 times)
martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: January 03, 2011, 10:10:02 pm »

It's a little early to get excited by this at the moment as it's so far our however it's certainly worth taking onboard now and paying attention to future updates when the orbit gets refined. A new comet has been discovered called C/2010 X1 Elenin which will approach to within 0.03 AU of Earth on Oct. 27, 2011 with perihelion on Sept 11th. So far CCD magnitudes place the comet at +6.0 making it a binocular or faint naked eye object for that time however since CCD photometry is several magnitudes fainter than visual estimates then the true peak magnitude of this comet could be within the +2.0 range making this a bright naked eye comet and similar in brightness to Polaris the Pole Star. More information about this photogenic comet potential closer to the time, this could turn out to be an exciting comet. Here are the details from the comets mailing list...

Perihelion 2011 Sep 11.152203 TT; Constraint: e=1
Epoch 2011 Jan 1.0 TT = JDT 2455562.5 Earth MOID: 0.0307 Ju: 0.1493
q 0.484990 Ve: 0.0376 Me: 0.0636 Ma: 0.0412 Sa: 0.2894 Ur: 0.2020
M(T) 10.1 K 10.0 Peri. 343.69025 0.60120067 0.79886706
Node 323.25947 -0.72952343 0.53888493
e 1.0 Incl. 1.84063 -0.32611853 0.26723481
From 71 observations 2010 Dec. 10-2011 Jan. 1; mean residual 0".454.

This results in a closest approach to 0.22 AU on Oct. 18, 2011. Might be then 6 mag or brighter, since current magnitudes are solely based on CCD mags. A hyperbolic solution shifts the perihelion now 4 days earlier. Fixing e to 0.993 results in a closest Earth approach to 0.03 AU on Oct. 27, 2011, with at least magnitude 2. Wink
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martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 10:14:05 pm »

Sky & Telescope Article...

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/112431829.html
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markt
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 10:30:38 pm »

Glad you started this thread Martin, i've been reading about it over the last couple of days.   Just to add to it here's a link to a chart for its position from mid july to mid august  http://www.global-rent-a-scope.com/display/ShowImage?imageUrl=/storage/2010X1_GRAS_Chart_Jul-Aug_2011.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1293784634897

Like you say, it's revised orbit should put it a good few, perhaps several magnitudes brighter than that indicated on the chart.  Fingers crossed, we're due a gud' un'.  Roll Eyes
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martinastro
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 10:40:36 pm »

Thanks very much for the chart Mark, interesting read from sky & tel, seems the northern hem is the best place to see it, it will be visible before dawn near the ecliptic after perihelion and could experience a forward scattering event like comet comet McNaught in 2007 which could produce a long and bright tail which sounds very exciting. You never know, this one could become a borderline great comet. Time will tell  Smiley
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rjgjr
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 03:42:26 am »

Thanks for the information Mark and Martin, very exciting news for something to watch for in late Summer and early Fall.
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Big Dipper
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 01:29:22 am »

Not heard about this Mark & Martin - hopefully one to watch!
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Remember:- If all else fails, read the Instruction Manual! Grin
 


Andy


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