Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Comet Report And Upcoming Astronomic​al Events For The Early Spring....

Comets: Its not been a brilliant Year for Comets with 103P/Hartley reaching its best magnitude of 4.5 during October of 2010, the Comet did actually start to appear in Binoculars during the early part of September and also visible all night but the cloudy skies and wet weather during this part of the year and late Summer made it difficult to get to see this one-thankfully I managed to get a window to observe this one only twice during last year but it made it my 22nd Observed Comet since 1996 which gives me an average Comet Observing rate of 1.5 Comets a year now, it wasn't a spectacular Comet to see but I could vaguely pick out the small tail pointing away from its nucleus that wasn't very condensed and bright at its center although nebulous.

Upcoming Comets to look out for:
C/2009 P1 Garrad-will be at its brightest to see in late February 2012 and may become Binocular visible anytime after July 2011 of this year so this Comet hangs around for quite a while because of its distance-at its closest approach to the earth (Delta) it will be 129'000'000 miles from us which is actually further away than the Sun during February 2012 and its best brightness should reach Magnitude 5.4 during February 2012-strangely enough Perihelion date (closest approach to the Sun) is around 25th December 2011 at a distance of 1.55 au or 144'150'000 Miles (r).
C/2010 X1 Elenin-should come into Binocular observing range during October 2011 in the early morning skies whilst it will be fading from magnitude 4.0 but will be closing with the Earth to be at its closest during mid Month at a distance of 0.23 au or 21'390'000 Miles which is quite close by cometary standards-Comet Hyakute came within 15 Million miles of the Earth back in 1996 and was here an past within a matter of weeks-this Comet will be the same and fade quickly into the latter part of 2011, Perihelion will occur during September 2011 at a distance of 0.48 au of 44'640'000 Miles (r).
Feb. 24  Shuttle Discovery   •  ULF 5
Launch time: 2150 GMT (4:50 p.m. EST)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

STS-133 will be the 35th U.S. mission to the International Space Station. The flight will carry the fourth ExPRESS Logistics Carrier with spare parts for the station. Discovery will also deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM). Delayed from Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. Moved again from Nov. 3 by main engine controller issue. Scrubbed on Nov. 4 by weather. Scrubbed on Nov. 5 for gaseous hydrogen leak on ground umbilical carrier plate. Delayed from Nov. 30, Dec. 3 and Dec. 17 due to external tank stringer cracks. Delayed from Feb. 3 for repairs.
Nothing much happening in the way of Astronomical events for February although there is still Jupiter on view now heading for the Western evening twilight and early morning Saturn in the constellation of Virgo close to the glittering bright star Spica in that Constellation.
Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)


No comments: