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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SEARCH FOR COMET ISON

Location:  Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  Nov 13/13 0400-0530 hrs

Weather:  -5 degrees Celsius, clear, light breeze

Attendance:  Myself

Equipment:  20x80 Binoculars, tripod

Objective:  To locate and view comet ISON.

Report:  It has been reported on spaceweather.com and astronomy.com in the last couple of days that comet ISON has now approached magnitude 8.  This should make ISON visible with binoculars...in theory. As the weather was calling for clear skies this morning(its been cloudy and rainy here for at least a week), it was decided to get up for an early morning observing session to try to locate and view ISON.

After getting up at 0400, went out for quick look to see what the sky and weather were doing.  It was cold, but clear, with almost no wind at the time.  Stars were shining brightly.  Easily picked out Leo, part way up in the sky in the east.  Looked for Leo because Regulus and Mars are in Leo and are a great jumping off pair to find ISON.  Could not find ISON at this time with naked eye.  Went in to access an on-line star chart to get a better idea of where ISON was located in the sky, exactly.  A couple of weeks ago, it was right next to Mars, which was close to Regulus, a bright star in Leo.  At this time ISON is moving very quickly almost straight at the Sun, so not surprisingly, it is moving from constellation Leo to the one that is below it in the morning.

After setting up the computer, and trying to log on to my star chart, for some reason the star chart would not load, although everything else loaded, all be it extremely slowly.  So, in effect, there was no star chart to help tell what was where.

Went out with the tripod mounted 20x80 binoculars at 0500 hrs and searched the eastern sky for ISON. Easily located Leo, then found Mars.  The comet was suppose to be almost on a straight line from Regulus to Mars to ISON.  ISON being equidistant to the distance from Mars to Regulus, approximately.  There was no confirmed sighting of ISON by this observer on this morning, although there were bright stars in the area where ISON was suppose to be, no tail or anything that would be set one star out from the other could be seen.

Observed Ursa Major(The Big Dipper) standing on end in the NE, Cassiopeia in the NW, Jupiter almost straight up to the SW, M45 low in the west and Orion in the SW.

No shooting stars or satellites were observed on this morning and did not confirm Mercury which was suppose to rise at around 0530 hrs.




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