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2/21/2020 11:35:28 PM
Posted: 12/31/2014 11:05:44 PM EST
Maybe not a great comet, not yet, but Comet Lovejoy is rising up out of the south under Orion, becoming a better target for those under northern skies. I picked it up tonight in 8x42 binos without problem. The waxing moon will interefere for some days, but the sky should be darker a little after full. Tonight it was just a big fuzzball, with perhaps a tinge of green. Cameras should easily catch it with a tripod and a few seconds' exposure.

Details on finding the comet can be found here, along with finder charts:

A Comet of the High DarkFinder charts for December and January are provided below. You may prefer to use the print-friendly versions here: December, January. The dates on the charts are in Universal Time, and the ticks on the comet's path are at 0h UT (which is 7 p.m. on the previous date Eastern Standard Time).The comet spends the last few days of December in Lepus. On New Year's Eve (a little after January 1st Universal Time), look for the comet just off Lepus's forehead as shown on the charts.By January 7th, when we get a moonless view again, the comet is crossing northernmost Eridanus. That's the same day it passes closest by Earth: at a distance of 0.47 a.u. (44 million miles; 70 million km). That's also about when it should start entering its brightest two weeks, as it crosses Taurus and Aries higher and higher in early evening. It passes 8° west-southwest of the Pleiades on the evening of January 17th.After the 7th the comet begins to recede into the distance, but its intrinsic brightness should still be increasing a bit; it doesn't reach perihelion until January 30th, at a rather distant 1.29 a.u. from the Sun. By that date the comet should be starting to fade slightly from Earth's point of view, and in late January the Moon returns; it's first-quarter on the 26th. In February the comet will continue north between Andromeda and Perseus as it fades further, on its way to passing very close by Polaris late next May when it will again be very faint.This is Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy's fifth comet discovery. He found it last August at 15th magnitude in Puppis, in the comet-search images that he takes with a wide-field 8-inch scope. His previous discovery, C/2013 R1, put on quite a show in late 2013 for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. - See more at: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/spot-comet-lovejoy-tonight-122920141/#sthash.mM5qBmBq.dpuf
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Tonight, if you draw a line from Sirius (the Dog's Heart) through the star to its west (the Dog's front foot), and draw a line down from Rigel in Orion, the comet is close to the intersection of those lines. Did you get a new telescope for Xmas? Lovejoy could make a good target for it! The next couple of weeks should be prime.
Link Posted: 12/31/2014 11:10:04 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/31/2014 11:15:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/1/2015 10:31:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/1/2015 10:37:38 AM EST by Darrellbear]
Bump for the day crew. Anyone else seen it yet?

Photo credit to Chris Schur. Chart credit to Sky & Telescope.
Link Posted: 1/1/2015 10:33:42 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/1/2015 10:34:00 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Darrellbear:
Bump for the day crew. Anyone else seen it yet?
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I'm waiting for clear skies to see it. Can't wait to try and photograph it.

Here is a sky chart for anyone looking for it.

Link Posted: 1/1/2015 10:34:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/1/2015 10:56:36 AM EST
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Shouldn't that be OUT!?
Link Posted: 1/1/2015 10:57:24 AM EST
I have seen it three times, including last night.
Link Posted: 1/2/2015 7:58:14 PM EST
Bump for the night crew. After snow and clouds yesterday, it's clear as a bell today and tonight. Gonna give it a go with the 5" Mak scope. The moon is nearly full, which will be a bit of a hindrance.

Here's a great pic by Gerald Rhemann:

You can see the full version here:

Link Posted: 1/5/2015 7:30:48 PM EST
finally saw it tonight, was going to drag out the telescope and photograph it but the wind is a solid 20-30mph and its fucking cold as hell out right now. full moon doesn't help either, but damn it if it wasn't cool to see
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 7:32:32 PM EST
Maybe I'll drag my big 12-inch out tonight.
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 7:34:53 PM EST
Should I buy some new Nikes?
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 7:34:58 PM EST
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Originally Posted By California_Kid:
Maybe I'll drag my big 12-inch out tonight.
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moon was washing it out pretty good here
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 1:56:09 PM EST
Bump for the weekend/day crew. Weather and work have conspired to keep me from additional looks. Nice day here, in the 50s. Hopefully it will stay clear for tonight. Should be easy to find, just west of Orion's belt, and under the Hyades and Pleiades.
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 2:30:04 PM EST
I'll have to look for it.
Spotting scope on a sturdy tripod is what I use.
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 7:13:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2015 7:36:39 PM EST by Darrellbear]
Venus and Mercury are in conjunction (very close together) in the SW just after sunset. Mercury can be a bit elusive, so the next few days are good times to look. I picked them up instantly in 8x42 binos in bright twilight a little while ago. Makes a nice bonus to looking for the comet!

ETA: Deeper twilight now, Venus is the very bright object to the SW. Mercury is just to its lower right and fainter, though easily visible to the naked eye. They're so close in the sky that both can be covered wth a fingertip at arms length. If you're in the eastern half of the country you'll probably have to wait 'til tomorrow night to catch them.
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 8:43:12 PM EST
Okay then! I picked it right up in the binos at 6:35 pm local time, 20 degrees (two hand spans) or so west of Orion's belt, and south of the Pleiades,. Big fuzzball, no details in the binos. Maybe a bit of a greenish tint. I'll take another look when it's a bit higher. I'd say it was borderiline visible to the naked eye, and my sky is a bit light polluted.
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 11:05:33 PM EST
That's about all I saw with binoculars and my spotting scope - a fuzzy blob. No tail that I could see.
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 11:12:40 PM EST
Just found this thread

Clouds showed up an hour ago

I might miss this
Link Posted: 1/10/2015 11:19:05 PM EST
Finally looked for it and found it quite easily tonight with my Nikon 10x50's
Naked eye at my place with a hint of a tail

Glad I looked as the clouds are supposed to come in tonight and hang around for awhile

I just deleted a post about Lovejoy I made a few hours ago. I didn't see this one
No wonder no one responded to it with this one already going
Link Posted: 1/11/2015 12:13:23 AM EST
just a tiny blurry ball here w/ binoculars and my Canon L lens
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 6:32:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/15/2015 6:34:19 PM EST by Darrellbear]
Finally had clear skies again last night, took another look with the 8x42 binos. Picked up the comet instantly, to the west of the Hyades and Pleiades; definitely saw more detail--brighter in the center, looked a little more defined than last time. I thought I saw a hint of the tail, trailing to the comet's east (pointing away from the sun, duh). May have seen it naked eye with averted vision. I may break out the 5" Mak tonight if the weather holds.
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 6:33:41 PM EST
Gonna try again tonight.
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 7:44:46 PM EST
I went out just after sunset--clear as a bell here, cooling off after a nice day in the mid-upper 40s. I just watched the sky, waiting for Venus and Mercury to appear in the SW. Took a while to pick up Mercury, but Venus was obvious, and Mercury popped out, just a fingertip's width at arms length away to Venus's lower right. Several flocks of geese came over and joined up into one big one, the geese honking and jockeying for position in the Vee. One by one the stars of Orion popped out, first Rigel and Betelgeuse, then the Belt, then the rest. Beauty. Going back out when it gets fully dark to look at the comet.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 2:12:18 AM EST
The comet was easy to spot, but it's kind of hazy here as usual.

Jupiter is pretty magnificent tonight.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 10:10:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 9:59:20 AM EST by gODZOOKIE]
Sky's cleared finally after a few days of gloom.
Ok seeing and good transparency.... and no moon!

Fairly bright, fuzzy ball with long tail extending easterly (averted vision). It looks to extend out past the 6.5° FOV (Nikon AE 10x50)
Can't wait to get the 10" out to see the core and Jupiter plus the usual goodies this time of year. Hopefully, weather will hold for tomorrow night

Link Posted: 1/18/2015 8:20:11 PM EST
Clouds on the horizon, seeing ok, transparency not great. The comet is fairly bright and slightly naked eye but not making out much of the tail with the 10x50's (maybe a ° or two with averted vision)

Still really and there's a whole lot to see scanning the Milky Way
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 9:17:08 AM EST
Here's a beautiful new pic of the comet, near the Pleiades cluster in Taurus. Image by Alan Dyer:

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