Comet LoveJoy Early April

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Comet Lovejoy ( C/2014 Q2 ) has been with us in our sky before the year started and still with us  on April and within the grasp of stargazers across the world with the aid of binocular or an instrument of equal light gathering and magnification.

The comet is hovering near the constellation Cassiopeia at this point of its journey form the perspective of stargazer on Earth. The comet is visible from early this month to be seen and observed around the dawn hours before sunrise.

Here is a photograph of Cassiopeia rising on the eastern horizon form the night/morning of April-4th-2015 the night of the lunar eclipse. 

Cassiopeia rising at early morning hours on April 4th 2015. The shooting star at the photo is actually a passing Satellite.
Cassiopeia rising at early morning hours on April 4th 2015. The shooting star at the photo is actually a passing Satellite.
The Comet can be seen at the top of the little bush a little to the left. And it is annotated in the next image.

The Comet and constellation Cassiopeia annotated
The Comet and constellation Cassiopeia annotated
 the time in which those pictures were taken was before the Lunar eclipse totality at the time.

At summit of the mountain, near the Lunar Eclipse totality, Cassiopeia was a little higher above the horizon and the condition of the comet viewing is better, but not by much. Here are a couple of images:

A wide view of the Comet ans Cassiopeia constellation form the Summit.
A wide view of the Comet ans Cassiopeia constellation form the Summit.
A closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
A closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
Annotated, a closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
Annotated, a closer look of the comet and constellation Cassiopeia
The comet is within the 7 magnitude in brightness, and is really dim as the images shows, but still, can be observed with out heavy instruments, and if the place had a better viewing condition, and less light pollution, the view would have been great.

Here is a closer zoom in look to the Comet.

A closer look with the Comet Lovejoy
A closer look with the Comet Lovejoy
Annotated Comet Lovejoy
Annotated Comet Lovejoy
I am looking forward for the next mornings to try to capture the Comet even further more, and hope to see it even in next month in May.

Here are last two images, one crop of the comet and another wide view image of the Northbound horizon from the Summit of Rocky peak mountain.

Crop of comet Lovejoy
Crop of comet Lovejoy
A view of the North horizon from Rocky peak mountain.
A view of the North horizon from Rocky peak mountain.
The Sunrise was great.

Rocky peak mountain, CA.

April 4th- 2015

-Ahmad

 

 

Comet near Cassiopeia

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Day 80 since the beginning of observation of the Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2). The comet is still alive and can be seen by binocular near the constellation Cassiopeia.

Comet Lovejoy near Cassiopeia
Comet Lovejoy near Cassiopeia
Comet Lovejoy Indicated with the yellow arrows
Comet Lovejoy Indicated with the yellow arrows
The comet is giving its display at the visual magnitude of ~8.19 according the recently released data from Astronomy institution around the globe.

The absolute magnitude of the comet is 9.3 at this time of the observation.

A wide angle view of the Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2
A wide angle view of the Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2
Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 indicated with yellow arrows
Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 indicated with yellow arrows
The weather was nice. The temperature was between 17 to 15 degree Celsius (66~60) at the early time of the evening.

The comet was fading, and I couldn’t see it with my unaided eye. However, the photos showed it well. So is the optics I have used down to the 50mm binocular.

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy
Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy
Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 close up few.
Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 close up few.
March-21-2015

Hungry Valley, California

-Ahmad

Comet from the Backyard

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This, the observation took place in Newhall city, in the Santa Clarita Valley. Although the view of the starry night was covered with thin clouds that were dimming, but not completely covering the starry background.

The winter constellation and the Comet from the backyard in Santa Clarita Valley
The winter constellation and the Comet from the backyard in Santa Clarita Valley
The temperature was above 10 degree in Celsius (above 50 degree F) and windy. However, the observation took the backyard, which gave more comfort than observing in the mountains as usual.

The comet is bright even in the light pollution, and moving upward against the background stars position and is getting closer to the Pleiades star cluster.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) (Star focus)
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) (Front ground focus)
The comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) seems to get brighter and move slower now toward a higher position in the sky form earth perspective, and the Comet it self is closer to the Sun than before.

Looking forward to see what will happen next to the Comet.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) closeup
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) closeup
January 14th/15 2015

Santa Clarita Valley, California

-Ahmad

 

Comet still on the rise

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The comet is increasing in brightness. The weather is less humidity tonight, and little more windy which added to the chill factor. The temperature was good and around  the 11 degree Celsius (53 degree F).

A wide field image was taken to show the movement of the comet against the background stars of the winter constellations.

A wide field image of the winter constellations with Comet Lovejoy
A wide field image of the winter constellations with Comet Lovejoy
The city light glare is still in the way, but it is less distracting when the humidity level is low in the atmosphere.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014 over Simi Valley
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014 over Simi Valley
The close up images shows up a hint of the tail, which can be seen with binoculars even near city lights.

Close up of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014
Close up of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014
As the hours of the night were passing by, the comet get lower and closer to the horizon and the city light pollution. The observation also took place of the north star Polaris, the big and small dipper, The Pleiades, and the Cassiopeia while observing the setting of Andromeda galaxy go under behind the mountains. From the south side, The planet Jupiter, and the constellation Canis Major took most of the attention.

The Pleiades January 2015
The Pleiades January 2015
Canis Major and the M41 can be seen too.
Canis Major and the M41 can be seen too.
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014 is getting closer to the Sun, and it’s been a good comet and steadily increasing in brightness. Let’s hope it gets even better in the next few days.

The observations were done with a goodbye image of the Planet Jupiter next to the Beehive star cluster M44 .

The star Sirius January 2015.
Planet Jupiter next to the Beehive star cluster M44 January 2015.
Until tomorrow…

Santa Susana Pass, California

January 13th/14th 2015

-Ahmad

 

Brighter Comet Tail

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Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) 2014 is steadily increasing in brightness every night. The Comet is moving higher in the sky with respect to the south west horizon and the Moon is rising after midnight from now until the new month.

The comet start to be very visible even in the city. It is not easy to spot, but once it’s found, it is difficult to over look it.

Comet lovejoy 2014 with respect to Taurus constellation.
Comet lovejoy 2014 with respect to Taurus constellation.
the comet is still under the constellation Taurus vicinity. The Comet is slightly right and higher than it was yesterday night. The comet is showing a relativity a bright tail that can be seen in the photos, and with binocular. The pictures taken weren’t attached to a guided mount, so the light exposure is limited, and make it difficult to get the tail clearly in the photos.

The humidity affect on the light pollution of the city.
The humidity affect on the light pollution of the city.
Today however, the humidity level were high, and the temperature is lower than usual, and getting closer to the 5 degree Celsius (40s F degree), and there were winds. The humidity increased the light glare effect of the cities near by, increasing the light pollution. Fortunately the comet is higher in the sky, and not as much affected by the light.

There were no clouds when the night was young, the clouds start to roll over after 9 pm. this allow to observe the Andromeda galaxy after using the Cassiopeia constellation as a reference.

Andromeda galaxy and Cassiopeia constellation with a hint of the Milky Way band.
Andromeda galaxy and Cassiopeia constellation with a hint of the Milky Way band.
The comet shined in this weather condition, and allow to take multiple exposure comfortably.

Comet 6C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet 6C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet 6C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet 6C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet 6C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet 6C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Before the clouds rolled over, few observation were taken of the planet Jupiter, the big dipper, and the constellation Canis Major where the open star cluster  M41 can be also seen in the photos.

Canis Major constellation and the M41
Canis Major constellation and the M41
Canis Major constellation and the M41
Canis Major and Orion constellations and the M41
The Big Dipper
The Big Dipper
Another close up photos were taken of the Comet where The V shape of constellation Taurus is included in the frame, and for the surprise, a faint shooting star passed by!!!

The comet next Taurus V shape
The comet next Taurus V shape and a shooting star
The comet next Taurus V shape with lower exposure.
The comet next Taurus V shape with lower exposure.
the Moon rose up right after midnight. between thin lower clouds of the horizon. the sky start to become more cloudy, and the temperature start to drop more, and the comet start to lose it’s color as it get lower in the horizon and getting closer to the city light pollution.

The Moon
The Moon
Moon rise after midnight.
Moon rise after midnight.
Today was another great observation session, and I can’t wait for tomorrow.

January 12th/13th 2015

Santa Susana Pass

-Ahmad

 

 

Comet Back on Track

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After a cloudy weekend and a rainy Saturday, the clouds start to go away on 5 pm Sunday around Sunset time from the location I was at.

The local and web weather  forecast foretell patches of clouds at night, with optimum observation window from 9 to 11 pm where the Moon was absent too.

The humidity level was high with something around the 89%, and temperature around the 10s degree Celsius ( 50s degree F). Water puddles were all over my usual stargazing spot  in last few days with the arrive of the new visitor Comet Lovejoy 2014 ( C/2014 Q2 ).

The stars and the winter constellation were sharper tonight because of the weather and the Moon glare being not there yet.

The comet can be seen under the star Aldebran.
The comet can be seen under the star Aldebran.
The comet was actually a naked eye celestial object to my surprise even near two cities, and it didn’t take much optical eye trick like averted vision to resolve it. You can’t see the color well with the naked eye, at least not from my eyes point of view. It was right under the Aldebaran and it’s V shape star formation it is in, or the Taurus constellation head. If the V shape is imagined to be an arrow, then it’s head the Star γ Tauri (Gamma Tauri) will point to star λ Tauri (Lambda Tauri) where the comet can be found a little under.

Comet Lovejoy 2014 C/2014 Q2
Comet Lovejoy 2014 C/2014 Q2
Comet Lovejoy 2014 C/2014 Q2 with 300 mm lens unguided
Comet Lovejoy 2014 C/2014 Q2 with 300 mm lens unguided
The clouds star to roll in in small patches. It start to come from North. As can be seen in the next photos coming form the northern constellations direction such as Cassiopeia and Ursa major and Minor.

Cassiopeia constellation with clouds.
Cassiopeia constellation with clouds.
The Big Dipper Toward the north
The Big Dipper Toward the north
The comets observation with 10×50 binocular were superb. Great little fuzzy patch of light with a hint of green. The clouds start to be in the way, and the Comet starts to dims, how ever, it made a beautiful wide field picture with the Simi Valley city lights.

Comet Lovejoy above the city lights and under the northern winter constellations.
Comet Lovejoy above the city lights and under the northern winter constellations.
Once the clouds were dimming the comet and it’s color noticeably, and the observation carried on on other celestial objects such as the pledies , Orion Nubela, few globlar cluster and the planet Jupiter.

Orion Nebula, unguided one frame shot.
Orion Nebula, unguided one frame shot.
The Pleiades in a single shot unguided.
The Pleiades in a single shot unguided.
The Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy
The Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy
The Moon rose up around after 10, and didn’t  great effect until later on near midnight.

The Moon rise
The Moon rise
Santa Susan Pass, California

January 11th/12th 2015

-Ahmad