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C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

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C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

The performance of C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) and C/2020 F8 (SWAN) has made me somewhat reluctant to make any more predictions about comets but it may be third time lucky with C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). This comet was discovered in March and, like 2020 F8 and 2019 Y4, it is a small object with a close (<0.3 au) perihelion. Prior to perihelion (July 3rd) it was visible from the southern hemisphere and it was visible in the SOHO LASCO C3 coronagraph between June 23 and 27. Observations by Michael Mattiazzo in early June showed that it was looking healthy and had a nice tail. Carl Hergenrother reported the comet as first magnitude this morning from Tucson when it was 3 deg above his local horizon and the Sun was only 7 deg below the horizon.

The comet is currently very low in the morning sky for us on the border of Auriga and Gemini. From 51.5 deg N on July 4th it will be 4 deg above the NE horizon at 02:30 UT with the Sun 9 deg down. This will be a very challenging observation but the comet may be even brighter then so it is worth the effort if the weather cooperates.

Having now mentioned it the comet will probably immediately disintegrate. If it doesn't I'll post more details on the Comet Section page shortly.

Nick.

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Behind the only cloud in the sky

Hi Nick,

I gave it a go. At around 03:00BST all looked good but by the time the comet had cleared the horizon it was behind the only lump of cloud in the sky!

Oh well, back to bed.

Peter

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Similar conditions

I had similar conditions but I think I got it (see attached). I have images taken 10 mins earlier that show stars so I can get a good reference position for the expected azimuth and elevation and it is in the right place. It is also moving at sidereal rate from images before and after this one.

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Comet Neowise

Cloud and brightening dawn    here in Crawley too.  Venus a little to the  right  was well seen as able to penetrate  thin sheet of cloud.  Too optimistic I suppose . Try again  tomorrow if  weather permits

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F3 / 20200704 / Jager

A nice capture here [external link]

https://twitter.com/Komet123Jager/status/1279303106728275970

There may be a patch of clear weather up here Mon morning...

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Wow. the animated sequence

Wow. the animated sequence linked from there showing it rising out of the clouds is pretty stunning

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F3 rising

I agree. I didn't post a link to the animated image series because such things appear to be strangely unpopular.

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Unpopular links?

It is an impressive sequence. At the risk of unpopularity here is the link! The comet is probably mag 1 or so at the moment but seen against a very bright sky. As you say, Monday looks like our best chance weather-wise over the next few days. I'll certainly be making the effort to get up early.

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Comet Neowise.

Space weather.com is  showing a  an animated  frame and a series of Stills  by Michael Jaeger   now  on 4th July's page.

No mountains in Sussex to get  above the  clouds  I am  afraid  and  no  11 inch   RASA   to hand  alas. Very good images  from  one of the most accomplished Astro Phtographers

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Astrograph

Yes :) , I noticed he used his superfast 11in RASA. The good thing is that light gathering capacity isn't the limiting factor here. It's the weather that has to play ball - as you say.

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F3 from space?

The provenance seems legit... C/2020 F3 from the ISS

https://twitter.com/ivan_mks63/status/1279466839823847426

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Sorry, cloudy here in Devon.

Sorry, cloudy here in Devon. Could only catch a fleeting glance of Capella every now and again.

David

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Clear in Chelmsford this

Clear in Chelmsford this morning. Here is a single raw 3.2s frame of C/2020 F3 from this morning (for some reason my images are really dark when uploaded to the BAA site, the original is here. I have lots of frames which I'll process properly after work today but need some sleep now. Great view in binoculars. Didn't see it naked eye but theta Aur was very hard NE that low in a bright sky.

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Clouded out in NW Leicestershire

Rose at 02:30 BST only to find the NE horizon totally blanketed in cloud. Occasionally, I glimpsed Venus in the east through fleeting gaps. Typically the clouds had completely cleared away by 04:00 but far too bright by then.

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C/2020F3 (Neowise)

Observing visually in 15X70s and 10X50s over sea from Frinton at altitude of approx 20m above local sea level from 01:45 to 02:45UT. Capella easy but no sign of comet. As sky brightened realised there was low lying cloud / sea haze covering NE horizon for about 5 degrees up.  Will travel to Chelmsford next time!

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C/2020 F3

Observed from Oxfordshire about 03:10 (BST) as the streamer of cloud to the north cleared. Great view in 7x50 binoculars which I followed until about 03:40. Long tail and the comet appeared a golden colour. Certainly one of the better comet views of late. Shame that the forecast now clouds me out for the rest of the week.

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C/2020F3 (Neowise)

I stood in the middle of corn field to the west of Newbury in order to get to see the eastern horizon. But from 02.00 - 03.30 the only clouds in the sky were sitting over the comets position. Good views of Venus and the moon behind me as well. But no comet this morning. Never mind at least I tried.

 

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C/2020 F3

It was wonderful, just what a comet should look like. Got it initially below Theta Auriga in 7x50 bins at 2.30am (BST) when it was only 2 1/4 degs up. Used my tripod ladder with its legs fully extended to clear obstructions and get the view low down, my feet were 5 feet of the ground. After initial pick up switched to 15 x 70 bins. Observed until about 3.10 am when I did get a brief N/E glimpse but thereafter the sky started brightening so packed in at 3.15am.

Andrew, South Norfolk

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Nice comet

Better luck this morning. I watched this comet rise in binoculars and followed it until daylight. Lovely sight. It was just visible to the naked eye as a point of light.

Very lucky with the weather.

Peter

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Neowise c/2020/F3

Just  down loaded images  from  morning observation  night of 5/6 July.  Although nothing could  be see  either naked eye or in 10x50 Binoculars  The Camera has   caught the Comet .  So  am now as pleased as a Comet  with  several tails.  Camera Sony 65a Slt  with  Samyang  85mm F1.4 Lens  200iso  1.25 sec Spot metering   Crop of  frame.

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Inspired by CometCircular.

The simplicity of Instructions were such that I could not resist the challenge.

Despite my clarity of vision with Cataracts removed and 10x50 Bresser.. I did not visually see Comet at all.

The Comet’s position was on other side of Valley.. above the Trees of The Golf Club..##

The Golf Club keeps it's Lighting System in Partial ON mode thruthe Night.. to faciliate the fascinating Crawler 'Tidy up and Recharge' after the Golfers have gone home. The resultant view of the Range is shown..##

I knew the Comet would be rising from Total Darkness of the Golf Club Trees.

The ratio of B/W was huge. However.. The Roof camera was Teased to show the Comet peeping thru the Silhouette Crater Tail first. Obviously attempted traditional 'Drawback to a Frame'

but had to settle for this..##

Pity I never swotted Photoshop as have lots of Wide Nightview shots across valley..

Thus my shots are ‘Of the moment’.. 

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Comet C/2020

Finally a comet that has remained, so far, intact (Sorry Nick ;) Great to see a naked eye comet in the sky albeit just the core but it was worth staying awake for. Apart from the comet I also saw the ISS flypast of Venus, the Jupiter, Saturn & Moon conjunction, Mars and a rather pleasing Sunrise. 

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C/2020 F3

There are some very good images on here of this fine comet. And I hope we are treated to some good views of the comet during the coming weeks.

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Comet rising

Great pictures from everybody. You just had to be lucky with the weather last night.

It is not quite up to Michael Jager's standard and it shows the comet rising over TV aerials and trees rather than mountains but here is a short timelapse of C/2020 F3 rising from Chelmsford last night. It first appears at 0131 when the comet is 1.7 deg above the horizon.

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I was incredibly lucky with

I was incredibly lucky with the weather this morning in Chelmsford UK with a narrow slot of clear sky low down in the direction of the comet. C/2020 F3 was easy naked eye this morning. It is higher and in a darker sky than yesterday. The binocular view was fabulous. This is a single 5s frame taken at 0128UT using a 200mm, f/2.8 lens and a Canon EOS550D.

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C/2020 F3

Fantastic comet through binoculars. Well worth getting up for. Thank goodness it was clear in the NE!

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Failed Again

Morning of the 6th there were tiny gaps in the cloud and drizzle. 

Morning of the 7th a bank of cloud from N-NW with tiny gaps, but huge clear bits overhead. Stood and hoped for an hour but didnt see it with binoculars nor on the SLR.  :)

Perhaps tomorrow.

Despite that, the stillness of the predawn was wonderful.

EDIT: Eventually saw it evening of 10th. Worth the wait. Alas I fell asleep in a chair waiting for it to clear some trees for the 2am observation.

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DSLR pic

Here's a compressed jpg from this morning.

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Beautiful

Lovely wide-angle shot David. So glad you have been able to see it. Here is my timelapse of it rising this morning. A really special thing to see.

Good luck to everyone with the weather. Set the alarm even if there is only a small chance of clear skies. It will be worth it!

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C/2020 F3: appearance

I agree with Nick - get out there, and perhaps pray the evening before for good weather. The object is clearly visible to the naked-eye as a point object (you can pick it up by just scanning the sky by eye in the right area), but through binoculars it is transformed into the classic comet appearance. Leaves a real impression. I used 10 x 50 bins which framed it nicely.

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Superb view of C/2020F3

Really excellent view this morning in bins. Comet superb in strip of clear sky with dark bands of cloud above and below.  Observed from home (Thorpe le Soken) through open upstairs window. 15 x 70s showed no extra detail to 10 x 50s.  Tail around 2 deg at 1 o'clock position and closer to 2.5 - 3 deg with averted vision.  Observed from 01:25UT to 02:04UT when brightening sky, rising comet and approaching cloud caused view to deteriorate. Suspected it naked eye for short period around 01:40UT.  A decent comet at last ! you have been forgiven, Nick.

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Nick's timelapse video

Truly stupendous, Nick! In fact, stupendus maximus! Well done that man indeed!

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A spectrum

Not visible for a few days yet from the observatory so I rigged up a portable setup last night using a Star Analyser in front of a 50mm lens on an AS120mm camera, normally used as a guide camera on the ALPY spectrograph.

There is not much contrast between the spectrum and the bright sky but the sodium emission is clear.

Cheers

Robin

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C/2020 F3 NEOWISE from the Scottish Highlands

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE

Processing of high data RAW image file as promised.

First sighting & image capture of this comet I’ve managed from my home observatory in Conon Bridge, Scottish Highlands.

A very tricky capture as there was only a small narrow gap in the clouds just at the right moment.  The dawn sky was brightening quickly at this northern latitude (57N) and I didn’t have much more time left to catch the comet. 

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Hi all,

Hi all,

I had my first decent evening for the month on 7/8 July 2020. 2020 F3 had just become circumpolar from my latitude but at 56N it is still very bright even at 00UT. Anyway, a cloud bank situated on the horizon seemed to have the remarkable property of being synchronised with the earths rotation and sat exactly over the comet for two hours before allowing me a brief observing slot!

As the cloud was dancing around I took a few shots through 300mm f4 and 400mm f4 lenses. Being very amateurish and rushed, I didn't even note the time accurately, all I can say is that it was around 0010UT 8/7/20  very faint to naked eye. Image is a stack of 11 x 1 sec but background was just too bright to get the ion tail. Looked nice in 11x80 binoculars, tail maybe 1/2 to 3/4 degree long to me eyes.

Then the cloud covered it again and resumed its synchronised motion all the way to 03UT! grrrrr...

Sometimes it is really difficult not to take it personally.... ; - )

Might get to see it again next week....

However, as compensation, there were some remarkable NLC that night!

Cheers,

Bill.

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C/2020 F3

Nice Bill! I am at 55deg N and have the same problem. Isn't it notable that this comet has received almost no coverage in the mainstream press. I wonder if there has been a Y4 effect.

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Press coverage

Hi David,

Here's an online article with pics taken from Whitley Bay...

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/stargazers-urged-to-take-in-comet-that-will-not-return-for-68-centuries/ar-BB16Ihl8?ocid=msedgdhp

I had to laugh when they wrote "Dr Robert Massey, from the Royal Astrological Society..."    :-)

Clear skies,

     Alex.

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Hi,

Hi,

Indeed! A few comments by "science editors" and that's that! I have no hope of seeing the thing again until this weekend if the weather forecast is to be believed. I was down on the south coast last weekend and it still surprises me the difference a few degrees in latitude makes. I got a view from Tunbridge Wells and it was quite amazing early Sunday morning, sadly I had no gear with me. It also the furthest south I've ever seen NLC!

With the sun a little lower maybe get some better images this weekend from back at 55.5N. I'm intrigued by the spectroscopy results from Robin, there are some unusual meteors with extremely high sodium emission too. Whether they are related I'm not sure but it makes the comet even more interesting!

Cheers,

Bill.

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The view from Silbury Hill

Lovely sight from Silbury Hill tonight.  Quite easily naked eye including a fair chunk of the tail.  Just managed to capture it before it grazed the horizon

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High resolution spectrum around Na D lines

This is what the spectrum  in the region near the Na D lines looked like tonight at ~1A resolution. (The inset is the guider image showing the position of the slit). Note the Doppler blue-shift in the comet Na D lines relative to the  sky lines

Robin

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Hi,

Hi,

Just found this after posting my reply! Most Excellent! Do you have any spectrum to compare the Na emission to the CN at 388nm?

Cheers,

Bill.

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Stonking comet
Just got back from one of the great observing experiences of my life. A stunning comet and wonderful NLCs in a clear, deep blue sky. The images of 2020 F3 here are single frame JPEGS straight from the camera. I need some sleep now and will calibrate and stack the raw images later.
11

 

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Stonking Comet

It was truly stunning Nick and by 2am the tail was getting on for 5 degrees long N/E. The views through binoculars (7x50 & 15x70's) were very similar to your images. I reckon the best view was just between 2am and 2.15am BST; altitude v sky brightening.

Andrew

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2020 F3 NEOWISE

Photographed the comet from the field at the back of the house. Fortunately the farmer had mowed it a few days earlier. Used my ancient (2003 vintage) Canon 300D DSLR and bog standard 50mm f/1.4 lens on a fixed tripod. A highly distorted Capella sits in the top right hand corner. (Took some other shots with a 1982 vintage Hanimex 300mm mirror lens although they don't show any more detail.)They all look a bit pathetic compared to Michael Jager's extraordinary shots from Austria but at least I have actually seen it now.  Nice view in 10x50s. Pity the Moon was up, but at least it wasn't full!

Martin

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2020 F3 NEOWISE

Really superb view, not just of comet but of NLCs and finally brilliant Venus rising. Comet showed naked eye tail of around 5 deg at 01:25UT (not much longer in bins) and possibly even longer naked eye with AV.  In 15x70s tail showed a lot of structure and, as Andrew said, looked very similar to that seen in images.  Just a pity the Moon was around.

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Fantastic pics and

Fantastic pics and observations everyone. Here is a colour pic of mine from this morning showing the two tails. The FoV is 6.4x4.3 deg.

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Sodium tail ?

Hi Nick,

The sodium emission is so intense in the spectrum that I wonder if there is any sign of a sodium tail like in Hale Bopp?  I hope to take a spectrum of a cross section through the tails if the weather cooperates but a narrow band image though an Na D pass filter could be interesting. Not a common filter among amateurs though I guess. The inverse filter response is more common !

Robin

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Sodium

Robin, this is a very active and probably quite large nucleus that has been strongly heated through perihelion so it would be worth searching for a possible sodium tail. I don't have a suitable filter (all mine are designed to block Na D!) but a good challenge for others.

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Neowise

Excellent pictures.

As I’ve got the day off work I got up at 2am only to find the comet behind a large tree covered hill. Waited until 2:45 for the comet to clear the distant hill only to find the only patch of cloud in the sky covering the area. Such are the joys of living in a Welsh valley. Still there is always next time 

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Nick's latest

Nick - that latest image of your makes it look like a Hale-Bopp re-run! What's the secret?  :-)

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No secret!

No secret, just lots of frames, careful focusing, very good flat fields and being in the right place at the right time. There should be lots of opportunities over the next week or so if the weather cooperates.

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