APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 4166
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:05 am

Image Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking

Explanation: Two impressive comets will both reach their peak brightness during the next two weeks. Taking advantage of a rare imaging opportunity, both of these comets were captured in the sky together last week over the Atacama desert in South America. Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), visible on the upper left of the above image, is sporting a long tail dominated by glowing green ions. Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), visible near the horizon on the lower right, is showing a bright tail dominated by dust reflecting sunlight. The tails of both comets point approximately toward the recently set Sun. Comet Lemmon will be just barely visible to the unaided eye before sunset in southern skies for the next week, and then best viewed with binoculars as it fades and moves slowly north. Comet PanSTARRS, however, will remain visible in southern skies for only a few more days, after which it will remain bright enough to be locatable with the unaided eye as it moves into northern skies. To find the giant melting snowball PanSTARRS, sky enthusiasts should look toward the western horizon just after sunset. Deep sky observers are also monitoring the brightening of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which may become one of the brightest objects in the entire night sky toward the end of 2013.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:21 am

Oh, cool....however...if ONE comet is a portent of bad things...what about TWO COMETS??????

:---[===] *

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2524
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:34 am

Boomer12k wrote:Oh, cool....however...if ONE comet is a portent of bad things...what about TWO COMETS??????

:---[===] *
A double negative would be positively positive!

Bruce
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

User avatar
RedFishBlueFish
Science Officer
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:33 am
Location: Texas

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by RedFishBlueFish » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:10 am

"The tails of both comets point approximately toward the recently set Sun"

Away, surely - though I suppose it depends upon what one means by 'point'

An amazing image of an amazing and very rare sight.

RChook

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by RChook » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:26 am

Boomer12k wrote:if ONE comet is a portent of bad things...what about TWO COMETS??????
Oh errr !
Two bright comets at the same time, another on its way later in the year, one near miss by a big rock, one hit by a not-so-big rock. Oh err ! I have heard of the "late heavy bombardment" 4Bny ago, could this be the start of the "even later not-so-heavy bombardment" ?!

Time to get the tin hats out ;)

User avatar
fausto.lubatti
Ensign
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:43 am

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by fausto.lubatti » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:38 am

Beautiful: a rare combination of two comets on the same picture! I hope this double show will be visible from the northern hemisphere... ;-)

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17753
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by neufer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:12 pm

RedFishBlueFish wrote:
"The tails of both comets point approximately toward the recently set Sun"

Away, surely - though I suppose it depends upon what one means by 'point'.
Surely it would be better to say that the comets (themselves) point toward the recently set Sun.
Art Neuendorffer

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:52 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:Oh, cool....however...if ONE comet is a portent of bad things...what about TWO COMETS??????

:---[===] *
A double negative would be positively positive!

Bruce
And yet, 2 times the same things = twice a much...so, in this case twice as BAD????

:---[===] *

FloridaMike
Science Officer
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:21 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by FloridaMike » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:15 pm

The International Year of Astronomy should have beeen THIS year!
Certainty is an emotion. So follow your spindle neurons.

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by ta152h0 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:08 pm

I think SOHO-LASCO will get wiped out by this pair of party goers
Wolf Kotenberg

eltodesukane
Ensign
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:40 am

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by eltodesukane » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:17 pm

Comet ISON: Comet of The Century?
Coming in SOHO's field of view: November 2013
Comet C/2012 S1 was discovered in September 2012 by Russian astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok using data from the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). For that reason, it is also known as Comet ISON. This comet is on a close encounter with the Sun on November 28, 2013 (Thanksgiving day in the U.S.), when it will pass at a distance of only 2.7 solar radii from the center of the Sun. Since Comet ISON was discovered so far out, beyond the orbit of Jupiter, and will pass so close to the Sun, many think that this could turn out to be a major comet. A number of solar missions, including SOHO, are planning an observing campaign to observe the comet as it passes by the Sun.

SOHO's LASCO C2 and C3 coronagraphs are expected to have a view of the comet as it passes through their fields-of-view.
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/index.html/

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 11076
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Ann » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:07 pm

The comet(s) come(th)! (Bringing some ice, too!)

Ann
Color Commentator

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by ta152h0 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:16 pm

Cool, pass me an ice cold one please. Don't forget the popcorn
Wolf Kotenberg

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Beyond » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:27 pm

ta152h0 wrote:Cool, pass me an ice cold one please. Don't forget the popcorn
Here ya go, ta152h0. :b:
And here's the popcorn, freshly made, while the muzak plays.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Just don't stand tooo close to the popcorn when it finishes :!: :!: :wink:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

User avatar
Anthony Barreiro
Turtles all the way down
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: San Francisco, California, Turtle Island

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:55 pm

This is an awesomely beautiful photo! Thanks Yuri. PanSTARRS (I wish we were calling it Comet Nevski-Novochonik) jumps right out at you, while Lemmon takes a bit of searching.

We may have more ill portents these days simply because we're able to see more stuff in the sky and transmit news and images instantly around the world. Comets visible to the naked eye are rare, and depending on a comet's orbit and your latitude some will remain below your horizon during their periods of peak visibility. I can imagine that in olden days the sudden appearance of a bright comet would have gotten a lot of attention.

A large comet on a collision course with Earth would be a bad omen indeed.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

User avatar
Anthony Barreiro
Turtles all the way down
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: San Francisco, California, Turtle Island

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:28 pm

Playing around with my planetarium software, I figured out that the bright stars to the right of Comet Lemmon are the tail of Phoenix, the bright stars straight down toward the horizon from Lemmon are in Grus, and the bright stars between PanSTARRS and Lemmon are in Sculptor. Fomalhaut, about 4 degrees southwest of PanSTARRS when this picture seems to have been taken, has just set. (I hope to visiting the southern hemisphere one day.)
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

User avatar
MargaritaMc
Look to the Evenstar
Posts: 1836
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: 28°16'7"N 16°36'20"W

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by MargaritaMc » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:54 pm

Anthony Barreiro wrote:Playing around with my planetarium software, I figured out that the bright stars to the right of Comet Lemmon are the tail of Phoenix, the bright stars straight down toward the horizon from Lemmon are in Grus, and the bright stars between PanSTARRS and Lemmon are in Sculptor. Fomalhaut, about 4 degrees southwest of PanSTARRS when this picture seems to have been taken, has just set. (I hope to visiting the southern hemisphere one day.)
That's brilliant, Anthony! I've been getting cross- eyed trying to work it out and was just about to post to ask if anyone had any ideas. Although I get to see Grus (and Fomalhaut) here in Tenerife, they are the other way round!

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

hawkeye44

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by hawkeye44 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:17 pm

I thought the tails of comets always faced away from the sun and it looks this way in the picture. Am I goofy?

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by ta152h0 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:40 pm

I vote goofy. I think the sun just set, right ? I think the write up got corrected on a earlier posting. Wait as minute, changed my vote. You are not goofy.
Wolf Kotenberg

Diana

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Diana » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:47 am

Anthony Barreiro wrote:This is an awesomely beautiful photo! Thanks Yuri. PanSTARRS (I wish we were calling it Comet Nevski-Novochonik)

We could nickname it Comet Ne-No, or NeNo-Nik.
Diana

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by ta152h0 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:09 am

Let us assume I am standing in that exact same spot as the photographer is, and at the same exact time. For giggles let us also make the Earth completely transparent. Where would I look to see comet Ison in this geometry ?
Wolf Kotenberg

User avatar
DavidLeodis
Perceptatron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:00 pm

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by DavidLeodis » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:10 pm

In the information brought up through the "look toward" link I found this to be very interesting:- "C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a new discovery by Robert McNaught on January 3. This comet will pass very close to Mars on the 19th of October 2014. There is a small possibility that it may impact the planet! It is not currently observable visually." (the part in bold text is mine for emphasis).

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 20485
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by bystander » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:04 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:In the information brought up through the "look toward" link I found this to be very interesting:- "C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a new discovery by Robert McNaught on January 3. This comet will pass very close to Mars on the 19th of October 2014. There is a small possibility that it may impact the planet! It is not currently observable visually." (the part in bold text is mine for emphasis).
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=30797
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
DavidLeodis
Perceptatron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:00 pm

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by DavidLeodis » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:51 pm

Thank you bystander for providing that link.

Jacob`

Re: APOD: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking (2013 Mar 05)

Post by Jacob` » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:59 am

"giant melting snowball PanSTARRS"

Shouldn't that be "giant sublimating snowball PanSTARRS"? =P
Granted, that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.