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Comet Observations from Sunflower Observatory 739



Comet 2001 B2 (NEAT)





This comet was discovered by NEAT on January 24 and the call went out from the Minor Planet Center for additional observations. Sunflower Observatory acquired it on January 27. The formal announcement of the comets discovery and confirmation included mention of Sunflower 739.


M.P.E.C. 2001-B47                                Issued 2001 Jan. 27, 17:58 UT

     The Minor Planet Electronic Circulars contain information on unusual
         minor planets and routine data on comets.  They are published
   on behalf of Commission 20 of the International Astronomical Union by the
          Minor Planet Center, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory,
                          Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

             Prepared using the Tamkin Foundation Computer Network

                              MPC@CFA.HARVARD.EDU
          URL http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html  ISSN 1523-6714

                            COMET C/2001 B2 (NEAT)

Observations:
    CK01B020  C2001 01 24.60450 12 04 56.15 -22 05 45.6          15.5 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 24.61471 12 04 55.53 -22 05 43.4          15.4 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 24.62490 12 04 55.07 -22 05 40.7          15.1 T      608
    CK01B020 IC2001 01 25.29734 12 04 22.67 -22 03 00.9                      808
    CK01B020 SC2001 01 25.30243 12 04 22.37 -22 02 58.9                      808
    CK01B020  C2001 01 25.31493 12 04 21.93 -22 02 59.2          14.7 T      850
    CK01B020 SC2001 01 25.31649 12 04 21.73 -22 02 55.1                      808
    CK01B020 SC2001 01 25.33038 12 04 21.04 -22 02 52.0                      808
    CK01B020 SC2001 01 25.34427 12 04 20.36 -22 02 48.3                      808
    CK01B020  C2001 01 25.35451 12 04 19.82 -22 02 51.2          14.6 T      850
    CK01B020  C2001 01 25.37222 12 04 18.99 -22 02 45.5          14.2 T      850
    CK01B020  C2001 01 25.62550 12 04 06.48 -22 01 42.9          15.2 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 25.63646 12 04 05.92 -22 01 42.3          15.5 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 25.64766 12 04 05.35 -22 01 39.7          15.8 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.12584 12 03 41.82 -21 59 43.8          15.6 T      620
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.14259 12 03 41.13 -21 59 36.7          15.1 T      844
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.14500 12 03 40.86 -21 59 39.6                      620
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.15182 12 03 40.07 -21 59 35.6          15.4 T      844
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.16169 12 03 39.99 -21 59 32.2          15.6 T      844
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.16826 12 03 39.71 -21 59 33.3                      620
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.17327 12 03 39.70 -21 59 29.8          15.9 T      844
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.20118 12 03 38.01 -21 59 25.2                      620
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.29219 12 03 33.65 -21 59 02.6          16.1 T      912
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.31668 12 03 32.44 -21 58 56.8          16.0 T      912
    CK01B020  C2001 01 26.34106 12 03 31.01 -21 58 49.2          16.5 T      912
    CK01B020 bC2001 01 26.34722 12 03 30.88 -21 58 49.9          14.5 T      850
    CK01B020 bC2001 01 26.40764 12 03 27.79 -21 58 35.8          14.3 T      850
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.05475 12 02 55.41 -21 55 52.1          16.3 N      046
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.05571 12 02 55.36 -21 55 51.8                      046
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.05719 12 02 55.31 -21 55 51.8                      046
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.05811 12 02 55.23 -21 55 51.2                      046
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.05882 12 02 55.17 -21 55 51.0          14.8 T      046
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.09774 12 02 53.23 -21 55 41.7                      557
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.10550 12 02 52.82 -21 55 39.7                      557
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.33134 12 02 41.33 -21 54 41.1          17.7 T      739
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.34700 12 02 40.65 -21 54 38.0          17.8 T      739
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.35510 12 02 40.18 -21 54 34.5          17.6 T      739
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.40493 12 02 37.61 -21 54 23.4          16.1 T      734
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.41012 12 02 37.32 -21 54 21.5          15.9 T      734
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.41580 12 02 37.03 -21 54 20.5          16.0 T      734
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.63606 12 02 25.74 -21 53 23.7          15.5 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.64739 12 02 25.16 -21 53 20.9          15.5 T      608
    CK01B020  C2001 01 27.65762 12 02 24.62 -21 53 17.8          15.6 T      608

Observer details:
046 Klet.  Observers J. Ticha, M. Tichy.  0.57-m f/5.2 reflector + CCD.
557 Ondrejov.  Observers P. Pravec, P. Kusnirak.  0.65-m f/3.6 reflector + CCD.
608 Haleakala-NEAT/MSSS.  Observers E. F. Helin, S. Pravdo, K. Lawrence,
    P. Kervin, R. Maeda, M. Skinner.  1.2-m reflector + CCD.
620 Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca.  Observers S. Sanchez, M. Blasco.
    0.40-m f/2.2 Schmidt + CCD.
734 Farpoint Observatory.  Observer G. Hug.  0.30-m Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD.
739 Sunflower Observatory, Olathe.  Observer L. Robinson.  0.30-m
    Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD.
808 El Leoncito.  Observer C. E. Lopez.  0.5-m f/7.5 double astrograph + CCD.
844 Los Molinos.  Observers F. Artigue, S. Roland.  0.35-m f/6.4
    reflector + CCD.
850 Cordell-Lorenz Observatory, Sewanee.  Observer D. T. Durig.  0.3-m f/5.75
    Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD.
912 Carbuncle Hill Observatory, Greene.  Observer D. P. Pray.  0.30-m f/3.3
    Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD.


Comet Lynn from Powell Observatory





A recent composite image from July 24, 1999. The tail is starting to become visible as the comet moves further north in the evening twilight.



Comet 1999 Y1 (LINEAR)





A combined image of this comet shows a nice little fan shaped tail.

Comet Lynn from Powell Observatory





A recent composite image from July 24, 1999. The tail is starting to become visible as the comet moves further north in the evening twilight.




Comet 1999N2/Lynn is now moving north at 2 degrees per day and finally on July 20, 1999 UT Shelley Granger and I were able to just make it out in the evening twilight and shoot about 20 15 second exposures. When added together we get this image. Not spectacular, but it is obvious. It will get better with each passing day.

Comet Lee is now a Northern Object





Comet 1999H1/Lee is now a northern object moving through Pyxis heading north at about 2 degrees per day. It is also getting brighter as it moves towards perihelion in July. Everyone with a telescope should be looking at this comet right now. It is starting to show some tail.



Comet Williams Gets Brighter





Comet 1998P1 Williams is now moving though Leo Minor in its trek north. It is also brightening. This image was a composite of several taken on the evening of February 13, 1999 UT and shows a nice tail and a bright coma.



Comet 52P in OUTBURST





Comet 52P Harrington Abell is in outburst and brightening fast. It is also starting to show alot of tail. This image was from 12-26 and the next image from 12-30. It is brightening to magnitudes which should make it an easy visual telescope object.




Comet Williams





Comet 1998P1/Williams is finally visible to northern hemisphere observers willing to stay up all night or get up early. This is a composite of several images added together. These were taken right before dawn and so do not have the greatest contrast, but the comet is still impressive.



Comet Jaeger





Shooting many images through breaks in the clouds it became apparent that something looked different about Comet Jaeger's tail. After adding four of the images together it became clear that the tail had developed some filaments. Perhaps there has been a break off of part of the comet's nucleus.

A Follow up on Comet Jaeger





As soon as I could I took a couple of good five minute shots of Jaeger again and the twin tails are gone. One of my more experienced friends from Australia, Gordon Garradd, thinks maybe my intial images were inconclusive and the twin tail event may never have occurred, but rather may have been an artifact of processing. Sure wish there were other observers out there imaging around the time I think I got this event. Let me hear from you if you did. SUrely, someone in the world was watching, besides me. Kind of spooky if not, huh?

What's this?




Well, maybe I was being a little hasty with that last post. As I was going through my images from the night of 11-24 I ran across this finder shot of U3, which was just a 60 sec. exposure. I had not really looked at it very close, because of the cirrus cloud mess up in the corner. But after processing the two tails are very obvious. This leads me to believe that the two five minute shots probably smeared the tail detail and this 60 second shot froze it. The two tails are very obvious and as my friend Bob pointed out there appears to be a chunk of comet nucleus broken off at about 2 o'clock just out from the nucleus in the top tail. There does not appear to be a star there in the 10 minute shot so it must be something else. Interesting. It would be nice for someone with a more efficient camera to take a short exposure of this comet and compare images. Even an ST6 would probably do the trick.


Comet 52P/ Harrington-Abell




Here is a quick shot of Comet Harrington-Abell taken while it was very close to Comet Jaeger. Comet Lovas 1 is also close to these two at this time. Nice little tail on this periodic comet.


Comet 93P/ Lovas 1




This comet has just about faded beyond the range of smaller telescopes with CCD's. It would probably be impossible to see it visually with an amateur instrument.


Comet 93P/ Lovas 1 Revisited




Just shot a quicky 60sec. image while tracking down Jaeger and later noticed this weird spiral shaped opposing flaired coma. Looks like Lovas is spinning and shooting off two tails. Perhaps an anti-tail. Is anybody else watching this? It is amazing how distracting a brighter comet like U5 Linear can be and then stuff like this is going on right under our noses.


Comet U5 Linear





This fast moving comet is brightening beyond earlier expectations and is now an easy binocular and small telescope object. In sequences of shots this comet is barrelling across the sky. Observers are having a hard time finding it visually, because it is moving so fast that coordinates are not good for long. I have not had any trouble at all.

U5 Linear in Motion




Here is a composite of eight images showing the comet's progress across the sky in a just 16 minutes. Each shot was one minute long and spaced about one minute apart. Really zooming isn't it? There have been some great animated gifs made of this.

U5 Linear in False Color




Here are the same eight frames added together centered on the comet and shown in false color.

Comet Stonehouse




IAUC 6883 (April 26, 1998) reports the discovery of a comet by Patrick L. Stonehouse of Michigan. After some confusion on the position, the comet was confirmed by Alan Hale, Gordan Garradd, Akimasa Nakamura, and Y. Ikari. Hale estimates that the comet's m1=10.7 with a diameter of 4.5'. Garradd records a 30" tail in PA 205 deg. Nakamura reports a tail > 5' in PA 202 deg.

A preliminary orbit on IAUC 6887 (April 27, 1998) indicates that perihelion was on April 14.2, 1998 UT at a distance of 1.49 AU. The comet, currently about magnitude 10.5 should fade as it recedes from both the Earth and the Sun. The comet is moving north and west. Although visible from both hemispheres now, by early May the Northern Hemisphere will be favored.

My observations of Comet Stonehouse were made while it was in the constellation Bootes. The initial photo is shown here.


The comet was not exactly where I expected to find it, but I figured later that my computer clock was off a little and that is why I was looking in the wrong place.

The comet is moving very fast. There is something magical about watching a comet pass through the field of view in front of the background of stars, even if it is a series of CCD images. Comet Stonehouse has already passed as close as it will to the sun and only got as close as Mars. It is now headed back out into space and we will probably not see it again in our lifetimes. I have not heard yet what its period is. I imagine anyone with an eight inch or larger scope can see it. It is about Magnitude 10.5. I doubt that you could see it with binoculars. The orbit is perpendicular to the plane of our solar system and it came out of the south and is headed north. These are galactic directions.

For more information on Comet Stonehouse and other comets visible right now check out: Comet Observation Home Page


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