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Comet Kushida Brighter Than Expected

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Author Topic: Comet Kushida Brighter Than Expected  (Read 4110 times)
martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: December 21, 2008, 04:34:27 pm »

Comet 144P/Kushida is currently brighter than expected and visible in the northern hemisphere high in the evening sky in Taurus between the Pleiades and head of Cetus. The comet reaches perihelion in Jan and is expected to peak at mag +10.0. However it has recently been observed in 25x100mm binoculars at mag +9.6 with a large 10 arc min coma. It is diffuse though at D.C: 2. Worth hunting down before Luliin takes centre stage in the New year.

Chart from Heavensabove...

http://www.heavens-above.com/comet.aspx?cid=144P&lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=CET
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rjgjr
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 04:58:55 pm »

Thanks for the heads up Martin, now if I could only get away from this rain!
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brianb
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 06:47:13 pm »

Thanks for the heads up ....

There is a good epehemeris on the BAA Comet Section site
http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~jds/144p.uk

This comet is unusual in having an orbit with a very small inclination, it sticks pretty close to the ecliptic.
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jjb
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 09:25:08 pm »

Martin thanks for the link i will be hoping for clear skies so as to get the binos out for a look this week wed is looking good.

jonathan.
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Tyler
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 06:59:01 am »

Any chance this will get brighter? Im going to go look right now, But its -4 degrees better find a good window Grin
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martinastro
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 08:50:55 am »

It could get a little brighter, nothing can be ruled out with comets as you know. I suspect this object will be quite difficult due to its diffuse nature so a dark trans sky will be needed and well developed dark adaption. I haven't had any clear sky here recently to try yet, and I don't know when I will again... Sad

Good luck with hunting it down.
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brianb
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2008, 01:48:46 pm »

Quote
I haven't had any clear sky here recently to try yet, and I don't know when I will again...
Me neither ... had a nasty day yeterday groping my way down the M6 in fog & drizzle, there was a brief clearance around Shap where the cloud was being broken by the mountains & I did manage to see Venus for a while. Here I am in Derbyshire & still solid cloud.... the charts look "settled" till after Xmas so I've no real hope of observing before the weekend.
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martinastro
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 05:03:27 pm »

Same here Brian, I was in Coleraine that very same evening and on the way home there was some gaps in the cloud through which I could see Venus which looked great. My Mum asked if that was the Christmas Star, I told her it was lol. When I got home it was 100% cloud. I'm eager to see if Mercury has made an apperance yet ahead of this conjunction. As for the forecast...I don't know if I will see much before Christmas unless there are gaps in the cloud. After the 25th it's set to get much colder so hopefully it is the good kind of cold which provides us with clear crisp skies. It will then be conjunction and comet hunting time.

I haven't used my camera since Dec 14th so I'm itching to do some imaging.... I'm worried that I have forgotten how to use it Smiley
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Roman White
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2008, 08:28:18 pm »

I haven't used my camera since Dec 14th so I'm itching to do some imaging.... I'm worried that I have forgotten how to use it Smiley
My scope is sleeping in the box since Dec.05  Cry

It was snowing here today all day long, already it is 3cm of snow on the ground  Smiley
The forecast is very interesting...
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martinastro
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2008, 01:56:23 pm »

Comet Kushida is now mag +8.8 with a large diffuse coma!
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Paul
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2008, 07:08:01 pm »

The sky is supposed to clear later so I'll take some wide shots to see if I can pick it up.
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martinastro
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2008, 07:32:18 pm »

The stars are visible here now but the trans is very poor. I will wait to later in the hope I get better clarity. Happy hunting!
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rjgjr
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2008, 07:37:09 pm »

Hope you gentlemen get some viewing and imaging in. Still mostly cloudy here with 4-5" of rain expected over the weekend and showers through next Thursday, normal Oregon winter weather Good luck.
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Paul
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2008, 07:46:17 pm »

I know what you mean Martin - I have a patch of clarity towards Gemini, but  can only see Castor and Pollux and no other stars. Hopefully later things will improve.
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jjb
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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2008, 08:01:26 pm »

The skies have cleared here but there is very bad trans i did a search with my 20x100mm binos between the head of cetus and m45 but couldn't pick it up hopefully it will have cleared a bit better later good luck with the hunting martin.
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