6 September 2023 at 5:48 pm #619033
Perhaps I have missed it but I haven’t seen much on the website about this comet. Do we have some predictions about how bright it will get, what it’s path is and how best we can see it? Thanks.6 September 2023 at 9:27 pm #619035
This comet is really close to the Sun in the sky so even if it does get bright it will be hard to find. It is currently very low in the morning sky in Leo but will soon move to very low in the evening sky as it approaches perihelion.
There was some discussion of it in the forum and on the comet section mailing list here:
and there are plenty of images in our archive here:6 September 2023 at 11:09 pm #619036
Thanks Nick. I did see this other forum post but I missed the detail about it remaining close to the sun. When I first read it I thought it was a discussion about visual comet finders versus automated surveys. I think it would be useful to have a specific news item that just describes what is going on with this comet in slightly more layman’s terms. Clearly some people are getting good pictures of it but it means getting up an hour before twilight?
I think it is annoying that this comet is getting heralded in the press as yet another comet for the general public to see but it sounds like it is anything but easy to follow.
7 September 2023 at 7:48 am #619040
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Duncan Hale-Sutton.
Yes, you’re right, the media have hyped this comet up a lot and for most people it would be a real challenge since it is so close to the Sun in the sky. The elongation is now rapidly decreasing as it heads for perihelion so you will need very clear skies and a very low horizon and, preferably, a convenient mountain to see it over the next couple of weeks. It is an interesting object though and it does have a relatively short period (440 years) so I really should get a news item on the website. I’ll have a go at preparing something over the next few days.
This amazing image of it showing a 10 degree tail was taken from Austria this morning (Sept 7):
Michael Jaeger is one of the best comet imagers in the world and he has an excellent site.7 September 2023 at 8:42 am #619048
That’s a pretty amazing picture and a fantastic tail only marred by the curse of the satellite trail.7 September 2023 at 12:24 pm #619049Robin LeadbeaterParticipant
Too low for a spectrum from me but here is one by Christian Buil this morning
The usual emission bands but not much dust and no obvious sodium despite it being close enough to the sun, at a similar distance to this spectrum of 2020 F3
Robin7 September 2023 at 8:54 pm #619051
This is a periodic comet which has been close to the Sun many times. Such comets tend to have a low dust/gas ratio which doesn’t bode well for a bright dust tail post-perihelion. It certainly has an impressive gas tail at the moment and it will be interesting to see how that develops over the next few weeks. Jaeger’s image shows it at 10 deg long so it might be visible in darker skies once the head has set.11 September 2023 at 5:29 pm #619100
Thanks very much for your detailed news item about the comet. I did try to find it Sunday morning but even though we have had some “clear skies” we have been plagued by hazy conditions and there was too much murk near the horizon to make it possible to view anything. I will try again, weather permitting, when it moves round to the evening sky in a few days time.12 September 2023 at 8:33 pm #619120
I’m not expecting that C/2023 P1 will look anything like this but there have been reports of bright objects near the Sun in the past which may have been comets. A nice example is the object of 1921 seen from Mount Hamilton and possibly other places that is reported here:
Anyone who has been to Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton can imagine that party looking out to the west towards the Pacific and seeing this mystery object appear briefly at sunset. We’ll probably never know what it was but they were experienced observers and a comet is a good bet.13 September 2023 at 5:34 am #619133
Could you check and/or fix your link please Nick?
It didn’t work for me just now.13 September 2023 at 10:17 am #619134Alex PrattParticipant
Incomplete hyperlink – just copy the whole line and paste it into a browser16 September 2023 at 11:45 am #619178
By coincidence I’m on La Palma at the moment. Last night I went up to the visitors’ centre which is around 2100m to look for the comet. Unfortunately there was a lot of cirrus out over the ocean in that direction but I did get a few images of the comet through thinner gaps. This one:
is a single 2s exposure with FoV 4×3 deg. The comet was 0.25 degrees above the theoretical horizon but refraction and my altitude made it appear more than a degree up.
It certainly wasn’t spectacular and it wasn’t visible in binoculars but it does show a bit of a tail if you zoom in.16 September 2023 at 11:58 am #619179Grant PrivettParticipant
By coincidence? 🙂16 September 2023 at 1:03 pm #619180
Remarkably, it really was a coincidence!22 September 2023 at 7:09 am #619216
The comet has been in the STEREO HI1 field of view since 17th Sept. The full res data is now available for the 17th and 18th.
Here’s an example for Sept 18:
Two nice tails.
Nick.23 September 2023 at 8:13 am #61922123 September 2023 at 8:45 am #619222
By coincidence I’m on La Palma at the moment.
What a shame. I flew out of La Palma on the 16th. We could have met up at my place and have shown you my observatory if the timing had been more convenient.24 September 2023 at 8:59 am #619231
Hi Paul – Sorry to have missed you.25 September 2023 at 4:56 pm #619241
I’m in LP for all of February and all of August every year. How many weeks before or after those depends on what I feel like closer to the dates.
Anyone who happens to be in the district is welcome to drop by. Just let me know at least a day in advance …
(Sorry, that this is off-topic but I don’t know where else to make the offer.)
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