Star gazing

Submitted: Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 08:08
ThreadID: 10502 Views:1398 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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G'day All,

If any of you are travelling in the outback in coming months and you enjoy a bit of star gazing, 2 comets will be observable to the naked eye with the best viewing during May.
The first is C/2001 Q4 NEAT which should be at it's brightest on May 5 and the second is C/2002 T7 LINEAR with best viewing on May 20.
They will both be in or near the constellation Canis Major and look for them in the early hours of darkness.

Diesel1
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Reply By: Member - Ross - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 09:13

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 09:13
Pretty impressive D.

But where would we find Canis Major??

With my vast experience as an astromomer I usually have more success finding constellations by standing buckus nakedus staring into a shaving mirror on the ground between my feet ......... ;-}Fidei defensor

Rosco
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Follow Up By: ianmc - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:57

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:57
Thats a black hole in your mirror , not a comet Rosco.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 11:55

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 11:55
That explains why it swallows all in its path. Galvanised bur, stirrup irons, dingo bones etc etc..... worst of all, Herself reckons it's where old Goannas go to die.Fidei defensor

Rosco
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 22:23

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 22:23
Why do you shave?????????????Willem
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Reply By: equinox - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:31

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:31
Look for Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, that's in Canis Major!!

Eq
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Reply By: farmer - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:32

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:32
Is there a site on the internet or a book that you know of that shows what and where the stars are in our southern sky ?
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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 12:46

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 12:46
The site here
contains a demonstration version of some pretty good planeterium software which may be of assistance.

Eq.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scooby (WA) - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 12:49

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 12:49
There is an interesting site called link text that has star charts available.Hilux Dualcab, 3 litre diesel
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Follow Up By: Diesel1 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 07:52

Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 07:52
There are quite a few websites that will give you info - some are in laymans terms while others are more technical. If you use Google, just do a search for 'observable comets in 2004' and you will be able to choose a site that you should be able to understand.

There are conflicting predictions on some of these sites as to the exact path of the comets due to the fact that it is the first known visit each of them has made to the inner solar system, but in general terms they will be visible in the western sky just after nightfall in the vicinity of Sirius or possibly a bit more to the north which will put them into the constellation Cancer. In terms of celestial distances, they will be reasonably close to Earth - within 50 million kilometres. To most people, that is a bloody long way, but when you consider that the nearest star to Earth (apart from our sun) is around 43 trillion kilometres away, these comets are virtually in our backyard.

Even though C4 NEAT will be at it's predicted brightest magnitude on May 5, there is a full moon that night which will make it a bit harder to view. If the best of predictions are correct, both comets should be observable on May 15 (no moon) and reasonably close to one another which makes it a rare occurrance.

Diesel1

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Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 14:53

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 14:53
Isn't canus major just below Orion?!
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Follow Up By: Diesel1 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 07:57

Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 07:57
Yeah - you're just about spot on there Dave - looking to the east it is just below and a bit to the south.

Diesel1
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 22:29

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 22:29
Thanks Diesel...I'll go and find Canis Major on my Starry Night program

Cheers,
Willem
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 22:46

Friday, Feb 13, 2004 at 22:46
Sirius is the main star....the program shows the dog ( looks somewhat like a Rottweiler) lying down but to our view in an upside down position.
Hopefully we will be able able to see it in May as once you are 2km out of town you are in the outback!

Cheers,Willem
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Follow Up By: Diesel1 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 08:09

Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 08:09
G'day Willem,

You shouldn't have any problems seeing these comets apart from a full moon on May 5. According to my calculations using astronomy software, the best night will be May 15 when they both should be observable in approximately the same area. The best viewing platform will be anywhere from around the red centre north, but should be observable at lower lattitudes.

Diesel1
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