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C/2006 W3 Christensen

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John9929
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 08:16:12 pm »

Managed to get a few images with this guy on this morning, details on image. This is about one third of the full single frame.

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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2009, 08:37:54 pm »

Great image John, the 50 did agreat job!
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Roman White
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 12:19:02 am »

Well done John!  Smiley

By date I have observed this comet for already 14 times, and I hope to do more in Aug-Sep...  Wink
Next are my recent observations...

July 15/16 - observed at 22:20 & 23:00-00:05 EEST.
2009 Jul.15.87 UT: m1=8.9, dia.=&2'.5, DC=5, no tail, 20x90B
[astronomical twilight, average transparency, Bortle class 5/6]
Altitude 54о. ML=11.4m. ZNELM=5.4m.
Faint stellar condensation in centre (~11.0m)

July 16/17 - observed at 00:00-01:05 EEST.
2009 Jul.16.91 UT: m1=9.2, dia.=5', DC=5, no tail, 20x90B
[good transparency, Bortle class 5/6]
Altitude 64о. ML=11.4m. ZNELM=5.5m.
Faint stellar condensation in centre (~11.0m)

July 22/23 - observed at 23:10-00:40 EEST.
2009 Jul.22.88 UT: m1=8.5, dia.=5', DC=5, no tail, 20x90B
[average transparency, Bortle class 5/6]
Altitude 63о. ML=11.3m. ZNELM=5.4m.
Star TYC 2703-0656-1 (11.0m) inside the coma.

July 24/25 - observed at 01:50-03:00 EEST.
2009 Jul.24.99 UT: m1=8.3, dia.=&4', DC=5, no tail, 20x90B
[astronomical twilight, good transparency, Bortle class 5/6]
Altitude 68о. ML=11.8m. ZNELM=5.3m.
Faint stellar condensation in centre (~11.0m)

July 25/26 - observed at 22:40-23:40 EEST.
2009 Jul.25.85 UT: m1=8.0, dia.=5', DC=4/, no tail, 20x90B
[average transparency, some interference from a distant thunderstorm, Bortle class 5/6]
Altitude 58о. ML=11.2m. ZNELM=5.4m.
Faint stellar condensation in centre (10.7m)

July 28/29 - observed at 23:10-00:50 EEST.
2009 Jul.28.90 UT: m1=8.1, dia.=5'.2, DC=4/, no tail, 20x90B
[good transparency, Bortle class 5/6]
Altitude 68о. ML=11.8m. ZNELM=5.9m.
Faint stellar condensation in centre (~10.5...11.0m)

ICQ format:
IIIYYYYMnL YYYY MM DD.DD eM mm.m:r AAA.ATF/xxxx &dd.ddnDC &t.ttmANG ICQ XX*OBSXX
   2006W3  2009 07 15.87  S  8.9 TK  9.0B 5  20 & 2.5 s5            ICQ XX KOSXX
   2006W3  2009 07 16.91  S  9.2 TK  9.0B 5  20   5   s5            ICQ XX KOSXX
   2006W3  2009 07 22.88  S  8.5 TK  9.0B 5  20   5    5            ICQ XX KOSXX
   2006W3  2009 07 24.99  S  8.3 TK  9.0B 5  20 & 4   s5            ICQ XX KOSXX
   2006W3  2009 07 25.85  S  8.0 TK  9.0B 5  20   5   s4/           ICQ XX KOSXX
   2006W3  2009 07 28.90  S  8.1 TK  9.0B 5  20   5.2 s4/           ICQ XX KOSXX
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 12:26:07 am by Roman White » Report Spam   Logged

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John9929
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 01:38:20 am »

Thanks Richard, yes the little 50 is a great lens, the only problem being getting it focused!

Thanks Roman, that's a great set of observations, it's a nice wee comet well worth a look!
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2009, 12:48:30 am »

Despite a very good weather in August I have observed comet C/2006 W3 only a few times during the month (had not much of free time)...
Now I am back from another, 18th (if I'm not mistaking), observing session, which makes this comet to be my most observable.  Smiley

The last time when I observed it, it was near γ Sge, and tonight it is already in northern Aquila.
It was already 1:30 AM and the comet was at ca. 35°SW. Very good transparency, moderate light pollution in SW, ZNELM~5.6.
Comet is best visible with averted vision, and it is faint with direct vision (maybe a very close 9.3m star affected the visibility also). Brightness is near 9.0m, coma seemed quite diffuse to me (DC 2?), dia. ~4'. A 10.8m star (TYC 1070-1015-1) inside the coma. Magnitude limit 11.4m (20x90B).

P.S. Comet's motion was visible in 30 minutes.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 04:22:10 pm by Roman White » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2009, 03:42:52 pm »

Very good observation Roman, glad to read you are having great success with this comet.

I too have been fortunate enough to observe this comet on almost every clear night, and being so high in the sky, and within a rich Milky Way region, it's a joy to do so. I found the coma to be about 3-4' in dia although I make the D.C a little stronger at 4 or even 5, this is probably because I'm using a larger aperture though, it seems to be moderately condensed with an intense stellar brightening or small disk/condensation at centre. Coma seems irregular in shape to the extent that on severe nights I thought I could see a suggestion of a faint tail, however no CCD images show this. Either way, it's a nice little comet, and apparently it's intrinsically bright too.

I'm delighted to see Christensen moving into N. Aquila because this is one of my favorite constellations. I have been doing alot of visual comet hunting lately and on the last good night I searched through Sagittarius, into Scutum and W Ophiuchus, then worked my N into Aquila finding lots of DSOs and clusters, I forgot myself then suddenly found Christensen during the sweep which made for a nice experience. Over the next couple of months this object will make for a good training object for comet sweeping when Aquila drives lower to the horizon and sinks towards the Sun. If you can pick up W3 with ease during a sweep at that time then you are well geared up for comet searching. Best of luck with your comet observations Roman.  Smiley
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Roman White
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2009, 04:21:20 pm »

Very good observation Roman, glad to read you are having great success with this comet.
Thanks Martin, but I don't think it was one of the best observations, probably because the comet was in light polluted skies and there was a bright star in the neigbourhood.
Fortunately, the weather forecast has changed for next night and I will get a chance to observe the comet this evening - and for the last time in summer. (BTW, 3 lunar occultations will also occure today).  Smiley

Over the next couple of months this object will make for a good training object for comet sweeping when Aquila drives lower to the horizon and sinks towards the Sun. If you can pick up W3 with ease during a sweep at that time then you are well geared up for comet searching.
I don't know exactly what do you mean under 'sweeping'. Last night I had no need to know the exact stars near the comet's position, instead I only quickly star hopped from Altair in correct direction and found the comet quite easy without precisely remembering the sky chart.
But when the comet will move towards south and towards twilight zone, as well as slowly fading, I have mcuh doubt on whether it will be an easy object for inexperienced observers...
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Martin Mc Kenna
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2009, 05:13:56 pm »

Good question Roman, by 'sweeping' I mean searching through the sky as if you are looking for new comets, either in horizontal strips, vertical strips, in a zig zag fashion, or along certain strips of RA or DEC. Vertical sweeping is the way I do it. Some people use GO TO, others, like yourself, star hop. I like to search through the area where a known comet is located and see if I can pick it up that way. Each to their own. I think this method makes for good training if you are into visual comet hunting...that is, searching for new comets, so these known comets are great objects to practice on.

Yes, good point, I think Christensen will be a comet for experienced observers when it gets low.

I haven't been able to find 22P/ Kopff yet, it must be too faint and diffuse.
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Roman White
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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2009, 08:15:15 pm »

Good question Roman, by 'sweeping' I mean searching through the sky as if you are looking for new comets, either in horizontal strips, vertical strips, in a zig zag fashion, or along certain strips of RA or DEC. Vertical sweeping is the way I do it.
I agree with you, vertical sweeping is a good method. I do no comet hunting, but in some cases vertical sweeping is more preferrable to me while star hopping is nearly impossible (e.g. Mercury in twilight, or bright DSO low in the sky).

I haven't been able to find 22P/ Kopff yet, it must be too faint and diffuse.
I had only 2 attempts on it in late June - early July, all of them unsucessfull. In August it was already impossible for my instrument.

Offtopic: Tonight I've already missed 2 of 3 lunar occultations due to partly cloudy skies (Ac, As trans). If the weather doesn't improves here (nobody knows), there will be no sense to observe C/2006W3.
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« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 10:30:47 pm »

Got some comet hunting in before the rise of Luna. Later ,when the Moon was well up, I was surprised to see Christensen so vividly in Aquila not far from Altair. It stands out very well in a moonlit sky.
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2009, 07:56:19 pm »

After a pause of a few weeks, I did another attempt to observe this comet today, Sep.17 at 21:15 EEST.
Need to say, that the current weather is quite good for September - it is +15C and clear, although the sky quailty could be much better.
Some haze/smoke, a bit of Ac trans. in SW-W, and moderate LP in S, where the comet was at 45° altitude. Needed 20 minutes of dark adaption before I could barely see the comet with averted vision (20x90B). ML=10.5m.
Not enough to call a sucessfull  observation, but I believe if there would be less LP under better skies, the comet would be still a nice sight, even with small instruments.
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Roman White
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2009, 03:21:44 pm »

Although I have much more experience in visual observing, I also tried to image this comet on July 22/23 night. The conditions were great on that night: clear & transparent sky & altitude 70°. (BTW, you can also find my visual estimates from that night in this topic)

Now I have re-processed the images (total exposure 9.0min) and the result is the stars up to 10.5m and the comet!  Smiley - my second sucessful attempt of comet photography (since Jul.2008).


And a wider image (adjusted levels & colours)...
centered on a bright star ζ Cygni
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 04:17:02 pm by Roman White » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2009, 08:42:42 am »

Nice capture Roman!  Glad you're getting some clear skies Smiley
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Roman White
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« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2009, 10:07:35 am »

Thanks Mark. Well, not much of those in September but July&August were awesome as they often are.  Wink
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« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2009, 02:56:25 pm »

Well done Roman on catching W3 on camera, not easy considering it's mag and small size. It's very easy to see on the image and the comparison map really helps to nail it down. Keep up the comet hunting and the great reports  Smiley
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