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Old Nov 12 2007, 03:28 PM   #41
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

i was using the slooh remote telescope (www.slooh.com) when i took them
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Old Nov 13 2007, 12:03 AM   #42
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Oldwolf...Facinating....thank you for sharing that site...we will have to look into it.
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Old Nov 13 2007, 11:28 AM   #43
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Oldwolf, those are fantastic pictures. I wondered how you had taken them and thought you must have a private observatory in your garden.

There are quite a few of these robotic telescopes becoming available. Check out the Faulkes Telescope, which is available for educational use. Any school can apply to use this telescope for a project. There is also the Liverpool Telescope. This telescope is more restrictive in its use, but if you click on "Live Status" you can watch what the telescope is doing at any time. (Watching during the day can be a bit boring!)

Have fun!
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Old Nov 13 2007, 02:56 PM   #44
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

I went to the Liverpool Telescope...but you were right, they weren't doing anything.
Thank you Steven ...I will definitly try again sometime.

I'm not quite sure what I expected...someone jumping up and down...yelling that they
had just seen a real spaceship... mabye...OOOoooooOOO that would be lovely to see
happening....OK, I snapped out of that day dream...back to the real world.
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Old Nov 13 2007, 04:09 PM   #45
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The Liverpool Telescope is in the Canary Islands, so you would need to watch it while it is night time there to see it doing somthing. I tried the site again and they are observing now. The trouble is, since it's night and the telescope is unmanned all the lights are off. All you can see are the status displays, weather information and target coordinates. They don't show you a picture of what they are observing. It's probably better to look at the Liverpool telescope site at sunrise or sunset Canary Island time, so you can watch the dome opening and closing while there's still some twilight.

On the other hand, if you go the Faulkes telescope site instead and click on the "telescopes" link they do show you a picture of the latest image . You need to wait until it's dark in Hawaii or Australia to watch those telescopes observing.

Faulkes 1, Faulkes 2 and Liverpool are three telescopes arranged around the globe so that one of them always has a view of the night sky. Does that scenario sound familar?
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Old Nov 13 2007, 04:31 PM   #46
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

It does Steven, it does

How long do you think before we can logon to a webcam in space, a spacecam? Or onboard ISS? Now that would be neat
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Old Nov 13 2007, 04:39 PM   #47
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Yes, an ISS webcam would be great, although perhaps not so welcome by the crew on board. I would really love it if someone put a webcam on the moon - especially one of the variety that can be controlled remotely.
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Old Nov 13 2007, 04:52 PM   #48
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Webcam on the moom..

hmm... for now the webcam on the floor of the White Island volcano crater might do as a substitute. It is famous for what someone put in the view of this research/surveilance cam (and the scientists hadn't the heart to remove it....)

Here's a recent picture:

http://www.geonet.org.nz/images/volc...50009.NZDT.jpg
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Old Nov 13 2007, 07:01 PM   #49
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Thanks Hans!!! That is "yabba - dabba - do" great!! Very funny!!
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Old Nov 13 2007, 07:17 PM   #50
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Yes, "Dino" is very cute!!
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Old Nov 13 2007, 11:54 PM   #51
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Hans, you got'em rolling in the aisle here with Dino in the crater. Just goes to prove that even overworked scientist have a lovely sense of humor.
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Old Nov 14 2007, 03:48 AM   #52
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Wahey!

FINALLY, the weather cleared up enough for us to get a look at Holmes between the clouds.

It's a rather freaky-looking comet, isn't it?
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Old Nov 14 2007, 03:53 AM   #53
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<snip>It's a rather freaky-looking comet, isn't it?
Uhm... as a non-astronomer what constitutes a freaky looking comet, Kath?
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Old Nov 14 2007, 05:19 AM   #54
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

This one!

You don't normally see so much mass loss so far from the sun, and because of the distance it's nebulous without having a tail.

It's weird the way it's such a nice spherical shell as well... hard to picture quite what's going on out there.
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Old Nov 14 2007, 12:18 PM   #55
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I'm with you Hans, I find it somewhat scary when one of the local MoM Astronomers, calls a comet *Freaky Looking*, you people must see some really strange things up there in the Cosmos, that we never hear about...but when we can see it too...and its still strange to you too...then I get a bit worried.
I'm starting to feel a bit like Chicken Little ...is the sky getting weird????
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Old Nov 14 2007, 02:19 PM   #56
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
This one!

You don't normally see so much mass loss so far from the sun, and because of the distance it's nebulous without having a tail.

It's weird the way it's such a nice spherical shell as well... hard to picture quite what's going on out there.
what colour is it please?
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Old Nov 14 2007, 04:24 PM   #57
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Kath, glad you got to see it. It's cloudy up here in Scotland now.

It's hard to tell the colour of something faint like that comet. I couldn't tell. How good is your colour vision Kath?
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Old Nov 14 2007, 04:32 PM   #58
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I saw something round and orange which I can't quite identify!
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Old Nov 14 2007, 04:55 PM   #59
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I looked up the Sky and Telescope observing record and observers there say that the comet has a yellowish colour. One entry (Monday, October 29th) says that an orange star was shining through the disk. If you saw the comet that day, that might have been what you saw. You could have really good colour vision.

Did you see the object quite high in the sky? The comet is really high up just after sunset.

I can see faint objects better in the dark, but Lanen has better colour vision.

P.S. The comet is expanding. There are a sequence of photographs on that Sky and Telescope page.
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Old Nov 14 2007, 05:06 PM   #60
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It was about half-way up, about due East, and it was midnight!
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Old Nov 14 2007, 06:26 PM   #61
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Default Re: Comet Holmes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
This one!

You don't normally see so much mass loss so far from the sun, and because of the distance it's nebulous without having a tail.

It's weird the way it's such a nice spherical shell as well... hard to picture quite what's going on out there.
Thanks Kath
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Old Nov 15 2007, 03:48 AM   #62
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Kath, glad you got to see it. It's cloudy up here in Scotland now.

It's hard to tell the colour of something faint like that comet. I couldn't tell. How good is your colour vision Kath?
Enough to see that Capella was looking gloriously golden that night, and that Holmes was fuzzy...

That said, it wasn't as crisply bright white as others I've seen, so I could believe it being a little off-white.
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Old Nov 15 2007, 07:38 AM   #63
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It was about half-way up, about due East, and it was midnight!
I used skymap to create a map of the sky as seen from Llandudno (the nearest I could get to mid Wales) at midnight on Saturday 10th November. Looking East and halfway up the sky you should have seen the constellation of Gemini, and right in the middle of that constellation was the planet Mars. That might have been what you saw. It would definitely have looked reddish or orange. At that same time, the comet would have been almost overhead.

The situation now is similar to what is was a few days ago. The comet will be due East at an elevation of about 60 degrees at 8pm (as seen from Llandudno) and then move to be almost overhead at midnight. I don't know where the comet has moved to right now, though I expect it's still in Perseus. For some reason skymap's comet database failed to update. Good luck. I hope you get to see it.
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Old Nov 15 2007, 01:38 PM   #64
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thanks! Mum's planetarium has gone AWOL!
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Old Nov 15 2007, 04:27 PM   #65
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It's official! Comet Holmes is now the largest object in the Solar System. I just received this news alert:

GIANT COMET: University of Hawaii astronomers have measured the diameter of Comet 17P/Holmes: 1.4 million kilometers. This makes the exploding comet bigger than the sun and now the largest object in the solar system. Not surprisingly, the comet is visible to the naked eye; with only a backyard telescope you can watch its gigantic debris cloud expand from night to night. Nov. 19th is an especially good night to look: Comet Holmes will glide by Mirfak, the brightest star in the constellation Perseus, and appear to swallow it. Visit http://spaceweather.com for a sky map and images.
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Old Nov 15 2007, 05:38 PM   #66
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Unbelievalbe...it's so huge. As nice as it has been here lately, I think we are going to go out again this evening...and have a watch again. This has to be the most fantastic thing I have ever seen in the night sky...but also the most terrifying. I think I watch to many Sci-Fi movies...ones that have a comet hitting earth like...ARMAGEDEN
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Old Nov 15 2007, 05:53 PM   #67
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Good heavens, I never realised it was that big!

Armageddon, dear Maelin, this is not an asteroid piece, it's bigger than the sun
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Old Nov 15 2007, 06:09 PM   #68
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Wow, that is awesome.
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Old Nov 15 2007, 06:09 PM   #69
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I know how you feel Master Maelin! I didn't much like the part where it said in the next couple of thousand years it would either hit a planet or run out of gas. Hit what planet????? But, seriously, I don't think they mean the thing itself is that big, it's the dustcloud shooting out of it that is expanding and growing. Or at least that's what I thought it meant.
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Old Nov 15 2007, 06:43 PM   #70
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I know how you feel Master Maelin! I didn't much like the part where it said in the next couple of thousand years it would either hit a planet or run out of gas. Hit what planet????? But, seriously, I don't think they mean the thing itself is that big, it's the dustcloud shooting out of it that is expanding and growing. Or at least that's what I thought it meant.
Yup.

It's just an expanding shell, getting more and more diffuse with every square metre it grows.
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Old Nov 16 2007, 04:35 AM   #71
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But with a reasonable large hard core, I suppose?
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Old Nov 16 2007, 05:40 AM   #72
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A two-mile snowball is neither large nor hard from my perspective!
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Old Nov 16 2007, 05:51 AM   #73
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OK, I should go and read up on it before asking dumb questions
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Old Nov 16 2007, 07:09 AM   #74
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Nah, that wasn't a dumb question.

"Ohmigod what will it do when it kills us all!!" is a dumb question!
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Old Nov 16 2007, 08:07 AM   #75
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So much for THAT question.
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Old Nov 16 2007, 01:26 PM   #76
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It's funny that when we say we have seen a comet we've usually seen the cloud of gas surrounding it. The nucleus and various bits of debris tend to end up with the same name. It's like calling the plume of gas from a volcano the same name as the volcano.

I guess I should have said "Comet Holmes' coma is now the largest thing in the Solar System". So there's nothing to worry about. Must be more specific in future... It still looks good, though.

Comet Holmes =





(with perhaps less of the rain effect, although that could be the tail).
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Old Nov 16 2007, 03:40 PM   #77
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Nice pictorial explanation, Steven
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Old Nov 16 2007, 05:58 PM   #78
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Love the illustration, Steven! It isn't just you, the articles I've seen also state the comet is the biggest thing in the solar system.
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Old Nov 16 2007, 06:04 PM   #79
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Well, it is! It's just rather wuffly.
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Old Nov 16 2007, 06:40 PM   #80
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Steven.... love the visuals...and very apt I would say...
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