APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

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APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Dec 24, 2022 5:08 am

Image Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF)

Explanation: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility this year in early March. Since then the new long-period comet has brightened substantially and is now sweeping across the northern constellation Corona Borealis in predawn skies. It's still too dim to see without a telescope though. But this fine telescopic image from December 19 does show the comet's brighter greenish coma, short broad dust tail, and long faint ion tail stretching across a 2.5 degree wide field-of-view. On a voyage through the inner Solar System comet 2022 E3 will be at perihelion, its closest to the Sun, in the new year on January 12 and at perigee, its closest to our fair planet, on February 1. The brightness of comets is notoriously unpredictable, but by then C/2022 E3 (ZTF) could become only just visible to the eye in dark night skies.

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JohnD
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Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by JohnD » Sat Dec 24, 2022 10:35 am

No.1 Grandson used his Xmas present from last year, a 'NASA' telescope (about 50mm) to look at the recent full moon, and got very excited.

Would this comet be too ambitious a target for an 8 year old?

Sa Ji Tario

Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by Sa Ji Tario » Sat Dec 24, 2022 11:55 am

JohnD wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 10:35 am No.1 Grandson used his Xmas present from last year, a 'NASA' telescope (about 50mm) to look at the recent full moon, and got very excited.

Would this comet be too ambitious a target for an 8 year old?
No, the story goes that a boy under the age of ten discovered an asteroid recently

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orin stepanek
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Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Dec 24, 2022 1:36 pm

Comet-2022-E3_Eliot-Herman_ECP_New-Mexico_Dec-12-2022-e1671563148468.jpg
Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF)! Thankfully Comets bring Moisture to inner
planets! Oort Cloud, chunks of ice as large as mountains? Wow! :shock:
q065n6zy2r401.jpg
Oh, oh; kitty did a no no! :wink:
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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Dec 24, 2022 3:15 pm

JohnD wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 10:35 am No.1 Grandson used his Xmas present from last year, a 'NASA' telescope (about 50mm) to look at the recent full moon, and got very excited.

Would this comet be too ambitious a target for an 8 year old?
At around mag 10 it's a challenging object for a 50mm telescope. Even more challenging would be the process of finding it without a goto mount or good star-hopping skills. If found, it will look line a dim star that is just slightly fuzzy.
Chris

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Joe Stieber
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Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by Joe Stieber » Sat Dec 24, 2022 9:01 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 3:15 pm
JohnD wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 10:35 am No.1 Grandson used his Xmas present from last year, a 'NASA' telescope (about 50mm) to look at the recent full moon, and got very excited.

Would this comet be too ambitious a target for an 8 year old?
At around mag 10 it's a challenging object for a 50mm telescope. Even more challenging would be the process of finding it without a goto mount or good star-hopping skills. If found, it will look line a dim star that is just slightly fuzzy.
Based on visual estimates posted at COBS, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is currently running closer to magnitude 8 and continues to brighten along the projected light curve that peaks around magnitude 5 at the beginning of February 2023.

I've observed it visually several times this month (December 2022) with my 115 mm spotting scope from the relatively dark New Jersey Pinelands, most recently, this past Wednesday morning, Dec 21, before the start of astronomical twilight. It's currently easy to locate in the distinctive constellation Corona Borealis, and it was easy to see at 30x. Increasing the magnification, the coma extension seen to the upper left in today's APOD was also apparent (I did not see the ion tail). I could also detect it as a faint smudge in my handheld 15x56 binoculars on Wednesday morning.

I've seen many dozens of faint comets over the decades, so I wouldn't be too optimistic about an inexperienced 8-yr old seeing it now with just a 50 mm scope, especially if from a non-rural location. However, young eyes do have an advantage for seeing faint things (vs. an old buzzard like myself), and if it does get to the magnitude 5 range in February 2023, it will be a much easier target, albeit, by then in the non-descript constellation of Camelopardalis. In the meantime, the youngster could practice by looking for some of the Messier objects ("faint fuzzies" that were faux comets Charles Messier cataloged to avoid during his comet hunting).

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Dec 24, 2022 9:03 pm

Joe Stieber wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 9:01 pm
Chris Peterson wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 3:15 pm
JohnD wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 10:35 am No.1 Grandson used his Xmas present from last year, a 'NASA' telescope (about 50mm) to look at the recent full moon, and got very excited.

Would this comet be too ambitious a target for an 8 year old?
At around mag 10 it's a challenging object for a 50mm telescope. Even more challenging would be the process of finding it without a goto mount or good star-hopping skills. If found, it will look line a dim star that is just slightly fuzzy.
Based on visual estimates posted at COBS, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is currently running closer to magnitude 8 and continues to brighten along the projected light curve that peaks around magnitude 5 at the beginning of February 2023.

I've observed it visually several times this month (December 2022) with my 115 mm spotting scope from the relatively dark New Jersey Pinelands, most recently, this past Wednesday morning, Dec 21, before the start of astronomical twilight. It's currently easy to locate in the distinctive constellation Corona Borealis, and it was easy to see at 30x. Increasing the magnification, the coma extension seen to the upper left in today's APOD was also apparent (I did not see the ion tail). I could also detect it as a faint smudge in my handheld 15x56 binoculars on Wednesday morning.

I've seen many dozens of faint comets over the decades, so I wouldn't be too optimistic about an inexperienced 8-yr old seeing it now with just a 50 mm scope, especially if from a non-rural location. However, young eyes do have an advantage for seeing faint things (vs. an old buzzard like myself), and if it does get to the magnitude 5 range in February 2023, it will be a much easier target, albeit, by then in the non-descript constellation of Camelopardalis. In the meantime, the youngster could practice by looking for some of the Messier objects ("faint fuzzies" that were faux comets Charles Messier cataloged to avoid during his comet hunting).
Yeah, making an educated guess about the nature of a typical 50mm scope (in particular, its mount), combined with an 8-year-old operator, finding most anything besides the Moon or a bright planet is probably optimistic!
Chris

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johnnydeep
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Re: APOD: Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) (2022 Dec 24)

Post by johnnydeep » Sat Dec 24, 2022 9:14 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 9:03 pm
Joe Stieber wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 9:01 pm
Chris Peterson wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 3:15 pm

At around mag 10 it's a challenging object for a 50mm telescope. Even more challenging would be the process of finding it without a goto mount or good star-hopping skills. If found, it will look line a dim star that is just slightly fuzzy.
Based on visual estimates posted at COBS, C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is currently running closer to magnitude 8 and continues to brighten along the projected light curve that peaks around magnitude 5 at the beginning of February 2023.

I've observed it visually several times this month (December 2022) with my 115 mm spotting scope from the relatively dark New Jersey Pinelands, most recently, this past Wednesday morning, Dec 21, before the start of astronomical twilight. It's currently easy to locate in the distinctive constellation Corona Borealis, and it was easy to see at 30x. Increasing the magnification, the coma extension seen to the upper left in today's APOD was also apparent (I did not see the ion tail). I could also detect it as a faint smudge in my handheld 15x56 binoculars on Wednesday morning.

I've seen many dozens of faint comets over the decades, so I wouldn't be too optimistic about an inexperienced 8-yr old seeing it now with just a 50 mm scope, especially if from a non-rural location. However, young eyes do have an advantage for seeing faint things (vs. an old buzzard like myself), and if it does get to the magnitude 5 range in February 2023, it will be a much easier target, albeit, by then in the non-descript constellation of Camelopardalis. In the meantime, the youngster could practice by looking for some of the Messier objects ("faint fuzzies" that were faux comets Charles Messier cataloged to avoid during his comet hunting).
Yeah, making an educated guess about the nature of a typical 50mm scope (in particular, its mount), combined with an 8-year-old operator, finding most anything besides the Moon or a bright planet is probably optimistic!
Based on the description of it being a "NASA 50mm" scope, it sounds like it could be this one: https://www.amazon.com/NASA-Lunar-Teles ... B081TLNB5B
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