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Archive for July 2020

Images of C/2020 F3 NEOWISE: How our colleagues have been viewing the comet [Photo gallery]

July 20 2020, Marcus Schenk

Here at Astroshop.eu, we have a conspicuous cluster of amateur astronomers and people who have spent years gazing at the sky in awe. You can probably picture the scene – during the lunch break, comets were the topic of discussion, accompanied by tomato soup and tortellini. We had hoped for an amazing, bright comet in spring but all of the most recent visitors failed to meet expectations. We were, therefore, even more excited when comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) was discovered in March.

Initially visible in the southern sky, it has gradually climbed into the northern hemisphere. At the start of July, it was still close to the horizon and could only be seen in the early hours of the morning. It can now be admired in the late evening and in the morning from 3am as a bright, elongated fist above the northern horizon. It is so bright that it can even be seen with the naked eye from within cities.

Some are even comparing it to Hyakutake, which swept rapidly across the sky in 1996 with a long tail. And it is a fact that we have not had comets this exciting since Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp.

In the following image gallery, some of our colleagues present their photographs of the comet, all of which were taken in the last few days:

Komet Neowise Michele Russo

Photographer: Michele Russo

 

Komet Neowise von Uli Zehndbauer

Photographer: Uli Zehndbauer, Sony RX-100 Mk I, 10s ISO 800 single frame without tracking. 10/07/2020 03:15, Location: Kalvarienberg, Karlskron/Pobenhausen

 

Photographer: Frank Gasparini, single-shot exposure 400 ASA, 4 sec, 70mm with Pentax K3

 

Photographer: Marcus Schenk, shot using Sony Alpha 7s full format, 70mm, f/5.6, 3.1 seconds, 03:41.

 

Photographer: Michal Baczek, telescope: SW 120/600 on Meade LX85 mount. Nikon D3200 camera, time 1x30s

 

Photographer: Carlos Malagon, Omegon ED80 with reducer, Canon 350D camera, stacked 30×20 seconds.

 

Photographer: Joao Martins, Sony A7 III camera, Sigma 50mm, f/5,0, 15 seconds, Pateira de Fermentelos – Portugal

 

If you want to view the comet yourself, you can find a star chart in our blog entry: C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) A new comet in the spotlight?

Have fun observing!

PS: Are you still looking for binoculars to observe the comet? We have some binoculars recommendations.

New: fabric masks with attractive astronomy themes

July 13 2020, Marcus Schenk

Whether you are going to the supermarket, the book shop or the public observatory; in all these locations you need to wear a mask. So why not wear one that you really like? Luckily, there are now new astronomy-themed masks. Beautiful images with the Pleiades and the solar corona during an eclipse. As a hobby astronomer and fan of outer space, make a statement with one of these masks.

A great addition to the Masketo fabric mask range, which were previously only available in black or white, in different sizes – including for children – or with the Corona Borealis design.

The solar corona: the Sun is one of the reasons why there is life on Earth. It is only a medium-sized star on the edge of the galaxy, but it is for us – along with our Earth – vitally important. This mask shows a total eclipse of the Sun, which occurs when the Moon moves in between the Earth and the Sun. By an absurd coincidence, the Moon and the Sun appear to be the same size in the sky, which allows us to marvel at the solar corona depicted on the mask during a total eclipse.

Maske mit Sonnencorona

Solar corona

The Pleiades: the Pleiades were recognised in the sky even in the very early days, as found in a 17,000-year-old rock-drawing in a cave, or in an image on the ancient Nebra sky disk. Some people mistake it for the Little Dipper, but it is the best-known open star cluster in the starry sky. Just 400 light years away, large blue stars and only 100 million years old.

Plejaden auf der Maske

Pleiades

Summer theme: If you simply want to share a little summer with your mask, this one is ideal, with palm trees and fresh turquoise colour accents.

Maske mit Sommermotiv

Summer theme

All Masketo masks are non-medical masks that can help reduce the spread of airborne droplets in the Corona crisis.

The benefits:

  • Themed mask
  • With elastic loops
  • 2-ply with wire for nose clip
  • Inner surface 100% cotton + outer surface 100% polyester
  • Washable at up to 60°C
  • Made in Europe

Note: these masks serve to reduce the risk of transmission in the environment through airborne infection. This is not a medical product within the definition of the MPG and not personal protective equipment (PPE).

Totally stylish, whether in the observatory or at the astronomy club: be sure to secure your fabric star mask today.

C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE): A new comet in the spotlight?

July 10 2020, Marcus Schenk

A star on the celestial stage? Or quietly disappearing through the stage door? Another promising comet is currently travelling through the solar system. But what kind of performance can we expect from C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)? Predictions are creating suspense …

Komet F3 NEOWISE

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

It all kicked off in spring with the Y4 ATLAS comet: There were already rumours that it could be the Great Comet of 2020 as it was following a similar trajectory to the Great Comet of 1844. This reached a magnitude of -1 back in its day. In reality, comet Y4 ATLAS put on a good show until it suddenly disintegrated. Now its debris is continuing to travel through the solar system but the great experience failed to materialise. We were also able to see comet C/2017 C2 (Panstarrs) periodically but this also failed to meet expectations.

The wonderful new appearance of a bright comet – C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

But the Universe is always full of surprises: The new comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) was discovered as a faint magnitude +17 firefly on 27 March by the NEOWISE Space Telescope. The comet talent scouts amongst the scientists are now predicting it will have a bright future. Whispered rumours say it could reach a magnitude of +0.6. What? No. Yes! But keep your voice down.

Where is the comet now and when can I observe it?

Pay attention, the most important information is coming up.
Comet NEOWISE is currently located in the southern sky but it is slowly moving into the northern sky and is climbing higher each day. From 15 July, you will be able to marvel at it in the evening sky (from 22:30) at 15 degrees above the north-western horizon. Unfortunately, its position close to the Sun means that you cannot see it all night long. In the following days it will traverse the Lynx constellation (which is rather faint) on its way to the Great Bear’s front paw. You only have a small window of time after twilight – but it’s worth it.

Telescope, binoculars or the naked eye?

If the experts are right, NEOWISE will reach a magnitude of +0.6 on 5 July during its perihelion. But it is also supposed to glow with an impressive magnitude +2 on 15 July . This would mean it was a comet for your telescope, any binoculars you can envision – and even for the naked eye.

Of course, its journey does not end mid-July: over the course of the month it wanders further along the Great Bear’s paw and reaches the amazing Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) on 1 August. During this time, it leaves its magnitude behind, dimming to magnitude +3 by 20/07 and to magnitude 5.5 by 1 August. But even then it will be an attractive object. Partly because it will then be somewhat darker and the comet could gain more than 10 degrees of additional altitude.

Will we be able to finally break out of the vicious circle of faint comets? We will see. Have fun observing.

You can download a PDF of the star chart here: C:2020 F3 NEOWISE star chart.

29.10.2020
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