Celestial visitors from the edge of the Solar System.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 6031
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA


Post by Christopher K. »

The comet is the talk of the town--and the country--right now. Currently at approximately magnitude 7.8, there is a lot of suggestions that this object will brighten before the end of the month, which would be really nicer for participants of this year's Hodges Gardens Star Party.

Horace Tuttle spotted 41P in May 1858 but even though its periodic nature was easily determined an actual orbit wasn't. Michael Giacobini recovered 41P in June 1907, and by 1928 a man named Crommelin found a link between the two apparitions. His predictions for returns did not pan out and the comet was termed "lost". Lubos Kresák got 41P in April 1951 and at long last (heh) the orbit was known. The comet's most famous apparition, however, was in 1973 when in increased in brightness ten magnitudes in one week!

This past Saturday night, Ben Toman attempted to get 41P in the 20OGS, while I used my Orion Explorer WA 10x50 out on the front viewing pad. I know I was absolutely in the correct part of the sky. Neither of us was successful.

At this time 41P is in Ursa Major, about eight degrees from both the border with Leo Minor and the border with Lynx. The comet tonight at 9pm will be 1˚12' ENE of magnitude 5.3 A-class 31 Ursae Majoris (basically the closest reasonably bright star).

41P History:

More information:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... addys-day/
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