Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

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mike a feist
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Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by mike a feist »

Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON (C/2012 S1)
Saturday 16th November 2013. I walked to Foredown Ridge with Minox MD50W on lightweight tripod, arriving there at 0510UT. Conditions were rather poor lowdown with bits of cirrus here and there. Finally I noticed Spica (the guide star for the comet) low down hanging above Brighton. The Moon was still up in the WNW and remained until about 0540. At 0520 turned the 50mm spotting scope onto Spica, moved it upwards slightly and there it was....Comet Ison. It appeared as a small glowing head with a smudge of a tail. It was near to a fainter star and below it was a curved line of stars including 49, 50 and g Virginis. I followed it till 0545, and then switched from Comet Ison to Come Lovejoy and back again and then left for home. On the way back, I dropped into the park and had another look at Comet Ison from there at around 0600 as dawn was breaking. regards maf
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by brian livesey »

There's a very pretty picture of ISON on today's www.spaceweather.com .
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by joe »

Reminds me of:

Image
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Cliff
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by Cliff »

Dear Mike
Nice one observing Comet Ison.
I have to confirm again that I still haven't seen it and is extremely unlikely I will.
Perhaps it's simply confirmation of the old ------ proverb "He who doesn't look will never see".
It might be sour grapes on my part to suggest the recent Ison outburst was caused by "global warming !!!???!!!"
Best wishes from Cliff
PS ONLY JOKING !!!!!
mike a feist
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by mike a feist »

Not 5 minutes ago, Joe, I was reading Nigel Calder's book about Comet Halley which shows the Bayeaux Tapestry Comet compared with an actual photograph of Comet Halley. As they say, great minds think alike!! regards maf
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by mike a feist »

Morning Cliff. The successful observation was dependant on lots of luckily right decisions before hand. (1) I decided to go that morning because time was getting short and I would have been vey annoyed I missed it if it did not survive perihelion . (2) The sky was clear but gloomy weather was promised the following mornings - and the next morning was indeed cloudy.(3) I had made efforts to study the exact position with reference to Spica on the night before after reading the message here. (4) I chose the right scope and tripod - not relying on a handheld binocular or monocular or lugging the MAK70 or even 102mm up the hill....certainly too much at my age! The MD50W 50mm spotting scope on the lightweight tripod was a good compromise . (5) The weather was cold but not unbearably so and it was not windy. (6) Plus the opportunity to see both comets - having already seen Lovejoy before I set out was too much a chance to miss. And it all came together and worked!! Just sometimes fate does smile on you! regards mike
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by Cliff »

Dear Mike
It's nice to read the 5 important things you bore in mind helping you make your successful Ison observation. Good advice to us all.
Even though Comets all have individual quirks adding to their fascination.
However, with regards the history of comets I cann't remember for sure with regards the Bayeur Tapestry comet but I wonder if the old history recorders were a bit (as politicians say) economical with the truth in linking Comet (whichever it was) with a battle at Hastings ? Although William the Conk seems to have been so ruthless and efficient, ordering a comet to do what he wanted might have been easy-peasy for him.
Incidentally as well as the Bayeur Tapestry comments above, I apologise to everyone about my poor joke linking the apparent recent Comet Ison outburst to Global Warming.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by stella »

It's not "Bayeur" and it's not "Bayeaux", it's "Bayeux"
The image posted by Joe is left-right reversed.
The "A" at the right-hand side is the last letter of the superscript "ISTI MIRANT STELLA"
meaning 'They wonder at the brilliance of Stella'.
How times have changed!
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by Cliff »

Dear Stella
Thanks !
However, you still missed one - I don't think he's really William "THE CONK" ?
However, I'm still wondering which comet the Bayeux Tapestry depicts - my guess is whichever it was, it wasn't visible at the Battle of Hastings ? But I won't put money on it.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by joe »

stella wrote:The image posted by Joe is left-right reversed.
To mimic the orientation of the image that Brian linked to (now gone).

I'm surprised at you, stella, as anyone who knows anything about comets knows that they always travel from left to right so it was hardly worth mentioning.
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by stella »

"However, I'm still wondering which comet the Bayeux Tapestry depicts"

It is Halley's comet that is shown.
The comet reached perihelion around March 20 (old style, I presume)
The Battle of Hastings was on October 14.
So the comet had been seen during the previous few months, and it was
taken to be ill omen, so was undoubtedly linked in the populace's mind
with the invasion and this led to its depiction in the tapestry.
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by mike a feist »

I have one modern excellent book on comets that makes an even worse typo for Bayeux Tapestry...........even in the index it is given as Beaux Tapestry....I did not think that it was that beautiful!!! regards maf
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by Cliff »

Dear Stella
Thanks for informing me it was Halley's Comet.
My knowledge of astronomical history is pretty limited (which might be said about many other things as well).
I can't help wondering how bright Halley's Comet was then. I didn't see it myself in 1986 - which I gather was not a particularly good UK apparition. I also recall reading that even in 1910 (I wasn't around then though!) Halley wasn't dead spectacular and some people who thought they'd seen it actually saw a different comet which was quite spectacular about 1910.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by mike a feist »

Tuesday 19th Nov. Tried again for Comet ISON at 0530 but only went as far as the local park but did manage to see it again, this time in Minox MD62W spotting scope despite the Moon being 20 degrees up. Comet now down to the left of Spica as a fuzzy star with perhaps a smudge for a tail when on zoom, and just above tree at first. Followed for 1/4 of an hours but not that obvious due to moonlight pollution. Probably the last sighting by me before perihelion. {NB. following further investigation I now have some doubts about the accuracy of this second observation of ISON and add this here for completeness as I have done so in my observing book.}
Tuesday 19th Nov.
Comet Lovejoy seen from the window at 0105-0115 through much moonlight pollution using 8x42 and Minox MD62W, close to 55 Ursae Majoris and its very wide fainter companion. By 0445-0455 much movement recorded since previous using instruments as above. Last seen at 0614 at breakfast.
Tuesday 19th MERCURY seen from the bedroom window just rising over the rooftops, unaided eye and 8x42 bino. at 0614 but Comet ISON not visible as too faint. regards maf
Last edited by mike a feist on Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early-morning Expedition to find Comet ISON

Post by coldfieldboundary »

I tried this morning after 5h30, with the 16x50 binos through the roof window, Spica was found, and I made a right angle with stars 76 and 82 to find the comet. I found a magnitude four star, but it looked like a real star, not the small smudge, no tail. Comparing a chart again, also stars 86 and 68 were confirmed, so that magnitude four star must have been the bright but very small head of ison, so no typical image in the binos of a comet with the hint of a coma or tail. Not really a satisfied observation.
Thanks to the clear cold nights...
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