Podcaster:  Shane and Chris

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Title: Comet Leonard and Other Objects to Observe in the December 2021 Night Sky

Organization:  Actual Astronomy

Link :

Description: The Actual Astronomy Podcast presents  Comet Leonard and Other Objects to Observe in the December 2021 Night Sky  and places a focus on when and how to see comet Leonard as well as other events to help you find the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mercury, Uranus as well as what you can see on the Moon. Learn why it is thought that comet Leonard may brighter due to a unique set of circumstances, we also track it’s path over the coming weeks and highlight opportunities to see a planetary alignment with the comet, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn as well as a pairing of the comet and a globular star cluster.

Bio: Shane and Chris are amateur astronomers who enjoy teaching astronomy classes and performing outreach where they help the eyes of the public to telescope eyepieces.

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00:00:02.340 –> 00:00:13.559
Chris Beckett: Welcome to episode 175 of the actual astronomy podcast we’re calling this one comment Leonard and other objects to observe in the December 2021 night sky.

00:00:13.860 –> 00:00:24.210
Chris Beckett: Is Chris and joining me to shane your amateur astronomers who love, looking at the night sky and this podcast is for anyone else who likes going under the stars so shane are you excited for the comment Leonard.

00:00:25.110 –> 00:00:25.440

00:00:26.910 –> 00:00:43.020
Shane Ludtke: You know I think when we recorded in January at the start of 2021 this was a comment that we talked about yes was one that was on everybody’s radar because it had a I guess a bit of an estimate or a forecast that it could get really, really bright by years end.

00:00:44.130 –> 00:00:45.990
Shane Ludtke: So, ever since that.

00:00:47.310 –> 00:00:58.020
Shane Ludtke: was on the list, I was quite anxiously anticipating December, but like we always say with these comments they’re highly erratic like it’s really hard to know for sure how bright they’ll get.

00:00:58.950 –> 00:01:07.470
Shane Ludtke: So i’ve always approached these types of comments with some reservation because i’ve gotten really excited in the past, only to have it not meet the expected brightness.

00:01:08.310 –> 00:01:17.190
Shane Ludtke: But regardless leonard’s looking pretty good right now and there’s an opportunity that this could maybe get naked eye, particularly under a dark sky.

00:01:17.730 –> 00:01:34.380
Chris Beckett: yeah Eric had written us about an image he saw that was taken by another observer on the 24th of November, showing Comet Leonard and ngc 4631 and the whale and juicy 4656.

00:01:34.800 –> 00:01:38.010
Chris Beckett: And he was really inspired by this and excited to.

00:01:38.160 –> 00:01:49.620
Chris Beckett: Work and try to start observing it because I think I think at that time it was a magnitude 9.3 and I think before the podcast you were saying it’s getting getting in and around, perhaps even 92 eight at this time.

00:01:50.100 –> 00:01:56.250
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah like I see some plotters like plot graphs here and it looks like around magnitude eight.

00:01:56.880 –> 00:02:05.760
Shane Ludtke: sky safari is saying magnitude seven but I mean I don’t I don’t know if that’s really accurate or not, but I myself have not observed it, yet I haven’t even tried.

00:02:06.450 –> 00:02:16.740
Shane Ludtke: You know our weather here has not been very accommodating you know we founder pretty much non stop cloud for the last seven or so days I think our forecast is a little bit better this week, Chris.

00:02:16.770 –> 00:02:20.220
Shane Ludtke: yeah so i’m thinking, maybe a couple mornings.

00:02:21.270 –> 00:02:22.680
Shane Ludtke: yeah it’s hard to say anyway.

00:02:24.510 –> 00:02:30.420
Shane Ludtke: From now until the end of the year old i’ll certainly be trying to get a few observations in of this call to see what it looks like.

00:02:30.900 –> 00:02:45.930
Chris Beckett: yeah so originally we didn’t really have much in this episode about comments, because, like you were saying change these comments comments in general are notoriously difficult to predict and and currently this one.

00:02:46.530 –> 00:02:56.580
Chris Beckett: is still in many ways, not all that break because frequently throughout the year we’ll see comments in sort of that eighth to ninth magnitude range, I mean you know I think that’s fairly accurate to say.

00:02:57.360 –> 00:03:01.620
Shane Ludtke: yeah like I think this year, there was a couple, at least where they got about that bright.

00:03:02.670 –> 00:03:05.220
Shane Ludtke: they’re not you know they’re not super.

00:03:06.810 –> 00:03:16.890
Shane Ludtke: You know it, if you think of the dictionary picture of a Comet those ones, probably aren’t it but there’s still need to observe and you know they can be targets to add to your list but.

00:03:18.600 –> 00:03:20.640
Shane Ludtke: you’re right there are somewhat common.

00:03:21.240 –> 00:03:27.060
Chris Beckett: yeah and so you know with this this comic currently around eighth and ninth magnitude, I was thinking.

00:03:27.870 –> 00:03:34.200
Chris Beckett: You know, probably shouldn’t put too much in here, because then it builds in expectations and then, when Eric sent me.

00:03:34.860 –> 00:03:43.230
Chris Beckett: His email, and I was, I was kind of digging around a little bit more just to see what was being said about the about the comment I came across.

00:03:44.160 –> 00:03:52.680
Chris Beckett: there’s a really good article on the sky at night magazine website and skynet is a is a British magazine and.

00:03:53.280 –> 00:04:00.600
Chris Beckett: One of the reasons why I often go to their website, instead of other websites is that well it’s a reputable source and they’ve been doing this for a long time.

00:04:00.900 –> 00:04:10.590
Chris Beckett: And as well they’re at or about just a little bit north of our latitude, so I think the route of 52 degrees North latitude whereas we’re.

00:04:11.370 –> 00:04:19.200
Chris Beckett: Just about 50 degrees North latitude here so it’s it’s generally about the same latitude so by looking at what they have in their finer charts.

00:04:19.800 –> 00:04:35.490
Chris Beckett: can give us a really good indication of visibility of things which you know you know things may be more visible, or sometimes less visible if they’re five or six degrees further south of service or in a different location, like many of the other magazines sort of.

00:04:36.660 –> 00:04:48.510
Chris Beckett: You know aim for so anyhow this this article mentioned in this very brief little bit about what’s called forward scattering.

00:04:48.960 –> 00:04:55.770
Chris Beckett: And so, this forward scattering is why the Comet might brighten up, and so I hadn’t really seen this before so.

00:04:56.460 –> 00:05:03.060
Chris Beckett: We talked about this before the show typically comments that are eighth or ninth manatee well okay if it’s either magnitude.

00:05:03.930 –> 00:05:12.780
Chris Beckett: You know at comic can change or can go through outburst but those outbursts are hard to predict and typically i’m thinking if the Communists around eighth or ninth magnitude.

00:05:13.170 –> 00:05:24.930
Chris Beckett: Well it’s probably not going to get her might not get naked eye visibility might get the binocular visibility, but I was thinking you know what Why do people think this one is going to bring up Have you ever heard of this forward scattering before.

00:05:25.650 –> 00:05:39.090
Shane Ludtke: No, I wasn’t aware of it, you know, to be honest, when it comes to comets it’s really just I really just observed them I didn’t know about all the different classes or reasonings why they brighten but this this was interesting when you were explaining it to me.

00:05:39.870 –> 00:05:48.630
Chris Beckett: yeah so I hadn’t really heard much about it before it sort of ring a ring a very faint bell and I remembered that 2006 is comment and ignite.

00:05:49.560 –> 00:06:03.270
Chris Beckett: was a beneficiary of this forward scattering as well if people recall that one became spectacular, it was very close to the horizon, I was actually ill at the time you had observed it, though, so what did you observe when you saw a comment not.

00:06:03.750 –> 00:06:11.640
Shane Ludtke: Make note was phenomenal now, I think, well, I know that Southern Hemisphere folks had much better views like it was much higher in the sky.

00:06:11.910 –> 00:06:27.750
Shane Ludtke: In this Comet really was probably close to like that dictionary picture of a Comet it had a real bright nucleus, with a gigantic tail it was huge I saw this a few times, it was our wintertime and.

00:06:28.890 –> 00:06:41.580
Shane Ludtke: Oh gosh it was really, really cold, I want to say it was it was in the minus 25 to 35 degrees Celsius range and and the one night, the best night that I had there was even a bit of a breeze.

00:06:42.360 –> 00:06:55.530
Shane Ludtke: So I it was it was in the setting like it was all in the horizon, as a sunset during its brightest and I just used 10 by 50 binoculars on a tripod and the view was incredible.

00:06:56.370 –> 00:07:06.090
Shane Ludtke: Those by knows, I think, had a seven and a half degree field of view and i’m just trying to think I believe I think I could fit it all in if I remember correctly.

00:07:06.540 –> 00:07:17.220
Shane Ludtke: But the other part of this was I was, I was seeing this in like twilight like the sun was setting it had not darkened and you could see all of this Comet and tail.

00:07:17.490 –> 00:07:33.390
Shane Ludtke: Even though it wasn’t like a black sky behind it entirely it was just phenomenal that it was that bright, but it also made it such a unique observation, because you know it was sort of in those sunset colors you know, it was in the background of the sky, it was it was something else.

00:07:33.840 –> 00:07:42.180
Chris Beckett: Now, with common but not make my recollection is it sort of came up from the south and then sort of just this blend of horizon just at an evening dusk.

00:07:42.480 –> 00:07:44.520
Chris Beckett: And then sort of quickly sank.

00:07:44.610 –> 00:07:53.700
Chris Beckett: This one is sort of doing the opposite it’s coming around in our morning sky it’s going to be very high and then, as it switches into the evening sky just before mid month then.

00:07:53.970 –> 00:08:06.150
Chris Beckett: that’s when we’re going to get our best views of it but anyway back to the forward scattering so I looked it up and so forth scattering is something that they’ve known about for for some time for a little while anyway.

00:08:06.780 –> 00:08:12.420
Chris Beckett: But it only has recently really been discovered or really been investigated so.

00:08:12.840 –> 00:08:25.560
Chris Beckett: You know, one of the one of the papers will the first paper I landed on was by Joseph Marcus and it has been a long title scope forward scattering enhancement of Comet brightness three perspectives for see 2010 Ellen.

00:08:25.830 –> 00:08:31.620
Chris Beckett: is viewed from the earth and the soho stereo eight and stereo be spacecraft so that’s actually all the title.

00:08:32.010 –> 00:08:36.960
Chris Beckett: And, but in in that he talks about what it is and there’s there’s a few other papers.

00:08:37.380 –> 00:08:42.630
Chris Beckett: That have been written there’s one that references comment mcnaught and and there’s a couple others I think there’s some going back even into the.

00:08:42.900 –> 00:08:49.890
Chris Beckett: into the 80s and it’s sort of an effect that sort of been bantered about for some time, but like a lot of the sort of enhancement effects.

00:08:50.400 –> 00:08:58.380
Chris Beckett: Only recently, maybe have they realized their impact and that’s why they think that this comment is going to bring So what does it do so.

00:08:58.860 –> 00:09:07.170
Chris Beckett: Forward scattering can make a back well that comic book much brighter as the dust and the ice crystals reflect sunlight.

00:09:07.500 –> 00:09:17.400
Chris Beckett: And that enhances the apparent brightness so it’s actually not brightening to sort of common actually won’t bring it’s just going to appear to brighten because of.

00:09:17.970 –> 00:09:26.250
Chris Beckett: Our geometry with the sun and the comment, so this apparent brightness is by scattering light towards the observer okay.

00:09:26.580 –> 00:09:38.070
Chris Beckett: And so it’s been known about for the past couple decades set fairly well but it’s only recently been discovered and sort of only recently, especially since mcnaught sort of been factored into the visibility of comments sort of for the rest of us.

00:09:38.610 –> 00:09:41.520
Shane Ludtke: hmm so is this more.

00:09:43.230 –> 00:09:50.130
Shane Ludtke: Like it or predictions than more accurate, because this is easier to predict or the results are more likely to occur.

00:09:50.610 –> 00:09:52.050
Chris Beckett: yeah I think so, so this is.

00:09:52.320 –> 00:09:57.960
Chris Beckett: Now a known and studied effect and people can go and I think that’s probably a good paper to begin with.

00:09:58.500 –> 00:10:02.970
Chris Beckett: I did just sort of do an article search, I found that paper, I read the bid.

00:10:03.570 –> 00:10:10.830
Chris Beckett: By Marcus and then I did go and look on Wikipedia that paper is also referenced there but it actually doesn’t take you.

00:10:11.220 –> 00:10:14.970
Chris Beckett: To the paper, the the link is broken or whatever so anyway that’s why I read it with the whole bit.

00:10:15.210 –> 00:10:22.350
Chris Beckett: I think there’s a there’s about four or five other papers, you can go and work through, but I think this is the most sort of recent one that kind of sort of locks it down.

00:10:22.860 –> 00:10:26.100
Chris Beckett: A little bit wealth people kind of want to get into to the science side of it.

00:10:26.760 –> 00:10:35.310
Chris Beckett: But you know really what it boils down to for us is that is that geometry lines up so right now, even though the Comet is only about ethan 92 whatever it is.

00:10:36.090 –> 00:10:46.020
Chris Beckett: it’s when we get into that close sort of mid month geometry between the earth, the Comet and the sun that it’s going to get this.

00:10:46.350 –> 00:10:53.790
Chris Beckett: backlight scattered so that’s going to order this forward scattering so what happens is the light is going to pass through the comment from the sun on its way to us.

00:10:54.060 –> 00:10:57.870
Chris Beckett: And that’s when it’s going to be low on price if we think back to be done, low on the horizon.

00:10:58.170 –> 00:11:06.330
Chris Beckett: In that orientation was just rate again you mentioned in the winter I don’t know if that has something to do with the geometry enough, but at least for us we’re getting into the winter Now this is sort of really.

00:11:07.230 –> 00:11:15.780
Chris Beckett: Really went to comment certainly feels like meant here we’ve got snow on the ground it’s getting dark early and so maybe that is something new, with the geometry but definitely being low on the horizon creates that.

00:11:16.530 –> 00:11:26.310
Chris Beckett: That opportunity for that light to pass through the Comet really brighten it up as it gets into that sort of earth hiking orientation with us so i’m excited to see this.

00:11:27.090 –> 00:11:45.900
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah this is really cool it’s a great opportunity again comets are not uncommon but bright comments can be somewhat rare and not that this really should be taken as like set in stone, but this looks to be the brightest Comet for about the next three years.

00:11:46.980 –> 00:11:54.930
Shane Ludtke: Now why that’s not set in stone, is the erratic behavior of comments you just never know some can flare up and brighten unexpectedly.

00:11:55.890 –> 00:12:13.470
Shane Ludtke: So maybe there is something that comes along our way that is brighter but if Leonard gets up to magnitude for territory that’s going to be pretty special, so I think everybody should add this to their observing list here for the next three or four weeks or five.

00:12:14.760 –> 00:12:19.230
Shane Ludtke: And, and you know every opportunity, you have to look at it, you know, probably should.

00:12:20.190 –> 00:12:27.900
Chris Beckett: Yes or best chances are going to be in and really the way to start looking at this is as soon as possible on the first of December it’s going to be in your.

00:12:28.590 –> 00:12:38.880
Chris Beckett: beta coma bear and accessible talk with that and then it’s going to be quickly heading so that’s going to head down and off you kiss so we’re gonna we’re going to lose it in the morning style you’re going to be getting up really.

00:12:39.390 –> 00:12:52.050
Chris Beckett: The best chances to see it are going to be that hour before suddenly begins interfering with your done here, that means actually you can start observing it as late as about six o’clock in the morning because we’re dark here until almost 7am.

00:12:52.380 –> 00:13:01.710
Chris Beckett: And so you can get a full hour and shane I think you’re up at six so even though you’re not really, really morning astronomer you can actually go in your backyard, or maybe start trying to hunt this one up even.

00:13:02.400 –> 00:13:13.440
Chris Beckett: For me i’ll probably be getting up at 430 or five and actually driving go to dark site and trying to see if I can pick it up here starting next week and then, as it moves down.

00:13:14.010 –> 00:13:22.950
Chris Beckett: In the morning sky, it should be brightening but then around the I think it’s around the maybe the 11th and 12th it flips over into the evening sky so.

00:13:23.190 –> 00:13:28.800
Chris Beckett: You would have to be observing it very close to to sunrise or the sentence definitely going to be impacting it.

00:13:29.550 –> 00:13:40.770
Chris Beckett: In that December say 10th to 12 period of time in the morning, and you can actually have the opportunity to see this Comet just before sunrise.

00:13:41.550 –> 00:13:55.620
Chris Beckett: I think, on the 11th and then you can see, it just after sunset on the 11th as well, so there is this sort of unique opportunity, you might get a couple days around the 11th where you can actually observe the comment in both the morning in the evening sky I think that’s pretty cool.

00:13:56.100 –> 00:13:56.940
Shane Ludtke: yeah that is cool.

00:13:57.570 –> 00:14:03.990
Chris Beckett: I could be wrong I was just like watching the orbit and kind of flipping back and forth to be morning and evening and just kind of the way.

00:14:04.290 –> 00:14:15.840
Chris Beckett: The way that we are set now that’s not going to be for everybody, but just just like where we are at 50 degrees North latitude I think we get this this interesting a thumbnail weather weather will actually be able to see this or night time will tell okay.

00:14:16.170 –> 00:14:16.800
Shane Ludtke: yeah for sure.

00:14:17.250 –> 00:14:26.820
Chris Beckett: Really quick any observing advice for looking at comets either naked eye binoculars dark skies what’s your advice seen how can we best see things.

00:14:27.540 –> 00:14:38.160
Shane Ludtke: Well, number one get your star chart so that you know where to look that will be essential, whether you’re doing naked eye or anything with optics so know where to look.

00:14:39.720 –> 00:14:48.810
Shane Ludtke: Use your planetarium software on your phone or there’s a lot of resources online that can help you with that so that’s number one number two is.

00:14:49.800 –> 00:15:05.880
Shane Ludtke: If you’re going to try this naked eye you definitely need a dark site like you’re going to have to get away from light pollution and really it’s not naked eye yet it’s going to have to probably hit magnitude six before most people have a shot at it naked eye.

00:15:06.210 –> 00:15:08.490
Shane Ludtke: Even then it might need to be a little bit brighter.

00:15:09.210 –> 00:15:24.840
Shane Ludtke: So, for now, if you’re trying to get out say in early December to see this thing you’ll want for sure binoculars and maybe even a telescope right now it’s again it’s hard to say what the magnitude is if it’s around that eight to nine magnitude for sure you need a telescope.

00:15:25.920 –> 00:15:36.840
Shane Ludtke: If it is seven to eight like what sky stuff are you saying you might be able to see this with like some 10 by 15 or seven by 50 something like that, like binoculars is what i’m talking about.

00:15:38.010 –> 00:15:47.040
Shane Ludtke: But yeah if you do take a telescope I would just probably bring like a wide field eyepiece it shouldn’t require a whole lot of magnification to see this thing.

00:15:47.790 –> 00:15:58.260
Shane Ludtke: Depending on your aperture, I suppose, but I think even a like a 60 millimeter telescope will pick this thing up if it’s if it’s out there and you’re under you know somewhat decent sky.

00:15:59.010 –> 00:16:10.560
Chris Beckett: yeah no for sure, and you know just to kind of highlight a couple of resources sort of for the more advanced astronomers for people in a really good chart you can go to sky hound calm and under his comments section.

00:16:10.950 –> 00:16:23.400
Chris Beckett: You can actually download printable sky chart that’s going to really zoom in on those star fields, which is really going to help you out, especially at the start of this and then for those looking for more of a general interest.

00:16:24.390 –> 00:16:28.860
Chris Beckett: overview of where to find the Comet you can take a look at something like.

00:16:30.360 –> 00:16:43.200
Chris Beckett: The sky at night, their webpage sky and telescope is going to have some good information on there and then yeah it’s it’s going to sort of be making its rounds in the media as well i’m sure if if it begins to break up.

00:16:43.470 –> 00:16:50.910
Shane Ludtke: yeah one other thing Chris i’d like to mention, for a tip if you’re somebody like me who does not like waking up super early in the morning for this stuff.

00:16:51.900 –> 00:17:08.370
Shane Ludtke: And you’re going to wait for the evening opportunity, what I would do, or what I will be doing for sure is um in the next week or so on a clear night i’m going to go to a spot where I think will be you know, a satisfactory location to observe this.

00:17:08.370 –> 00:17:16.410
Shane Ludtke: comment, I will advance my planetarium software to about the middle of December to see where I need to look to find this comment.

00:17:17.040 –> 00:17:28.020
Shane Ludtke: And then I will just do some sort of test observing you know from that location to see first of all can I get that constellation or can I get that area of the sky, or is there, you know something blocking my view.

00:17:29.040 –> 00:17:33.150
Shane Ludtke: But also just to familiarize myself with where this thing will be.

00:17:34.020 –> 00:17:39.300
Shane Ludtke: You know, again with these comments, especially at sunset you’re going to have a short window to observe it.

00:17:39.480 –> 00:17:53.100
Shane Ludtke: So you really don’t want to be messing around trying to get oriented in the sky you just want to be able to point your telescope at the right spot and begin observing so a little bit of practice prior to that you know, will help you out a lot when the column it’s actually there.

00:17:53.760 –> 00:18:04.590
Chris Beckett: ya know and that’s that’s a good point yeah good find a good darks bond and check it out during the day and make sure it’s safe and and that nothing is going to be blocking your view to that.

00:18:05.280 –> 00:18:09.450
Chris Beckett: I guess, in this case can be South western region, the sky and once we get to to mid month.

00:18:10.440 –> 00:18:16.980
Chris Beckett: yeah and before that, of course, you know you’re gonna have an opportunity to get up early in the morning and start tracking as it’s me isn’t makes its way across so.

00:18:17.190 –> 00:18:20.940
Chris Beckett: Without further ado let’s talk about some of the other stuff to observe in the night sky as we go through.

00:18:21.630 –> 00:18:31.710
Chris Beckett: Everything sort of on a on a day to day basis let’s start on December 1 So the first week of December is actually going to present the opportunity to see uranus.

00:18:32.040 –> 00:18:41.220
Chris Beckett: At a boat its brightest which will be magnitude 5.7, and this would give you an opportunity to see it naked eye, so now it’s gonna be more in the evening sky, of course.

00:18:42.060 –> 00:18:50.820
Chris Beckett: But maybe you’re going to quote somewhere dark and if you’re sitting over summer, you might be able to see uranus naked eye and and have have that opportunity.

00:18:51.840 –> 00:18:59.970
Chris Beckett: And also, as we get into that first part of December that’s when Comet Leonard it’s going to be passing very close to beta coma Baron ISIS so.

00:19:00.540 –> 00:19:09.090
Chris Beckett: If we think about Coleman Baron ISIS it forms, just like basically a right angle has like two lines and where those two lines meet.

00:19:09.510 –> 00:19:21.210
Chris Beckett: rate at that right angle, the Comet is just going to be a few degrees, to the North East off of off of that star, which is beta Coleman Baron aces so that would be a good time, I think, for people to start.

00:19:21.840 –> 00:19:29.460
Chris Beckett: Looking for this comic because, even if it’s just magnitude eight you should be able to pick it up in a telescope or decent size binoculars, I think, from a dark side.

00:19:29.880 –> 00:19:34.200
Shane Ludtke: yeah for sure yep start early and get as many observations in, as you can.

00:19:35.190 –> 00:19:43.230
Chris Beckett: And then on December 3 we have the opportunity to take a look at the moon and Mars, as they pair up in the morning sky.

00:19:43.530 –> 00:19:57.210
Chris Beckett: And it’s actually an occupation in areas of the earth like central, Russia, China and Japan and Hawaii and then we have people who are observing and listening to our podcast in Japan and yeah so that’s a good opportunity.

00:19:58.020 –> 00:20:13.440
Chris Beckett: For you folks there so on the seventh now when when when we received an email today somebody was talking about the Comet pairing up with deep sky objects, and so it had paired up with the whale galaxy.

00:20:14.580 –> 00:20:23.550
Chris Beckett: So I thought I wonder if it’s going to pair up with anything else that’s interesting so on the third that’s when we get our really first interesting pairing.

00:20:23.940 –> 00:20:30.960
Chris Beckett: Of Comet Leonard and a very bright deep sky object which is messy three, so I think it’s within.

00:20:31.830 –> 00:20:44.790
Chris Beckett: A couple degrees of messy three on December 3 so on the third that Comet is forecast to be a boat seventh magnitude, even on a conservative estimate, so I think that’s when.

00:20:45.420 –> 00:20:54.780
Chris Beckett: Our alignment starts to start to be giving us that that brightening and I think the comment just in general is is getting close enough to actually give us some of that bringing as well, so.

00:20:55.140 –> 00:21:02.130
Chris Beckett: Seven mainly to calm it definitely brings in range of binoculars and messy three is a binocular globular cluster that we can see.

00:21:02.790 –> 00:21:12.690
Chris Beckett: From that from a reason the dark sky so shane I think that would probably be a really interesting photograph for people to try to capture the Comet and the globular cluster on that night.

00:21:13.230 –> 00:21:21.990
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah that would be super cool i’ve never photographed a column it before so i’m not sure you know i’m not sure what you need to do there entirely but.

00:21:23.640 –> 00:21:30.030
Shane Ludtke: You know I think you probably will want some longer exposure i’m not sure how long, and I think a tracking mount would certainly help there too.

00:21:30.630 –> 00:21:38.640
Chris Beckett: yeah I would imagine, I would imagine this vm like at least a few minutes of exposure for somebody capture, though, now the way that.

00:21:39.210 –> 00:21:41.820
Chris Beckett: The images are taken where people do a lot of stalking that sort of thing.

00:21:42.510 –> 00:21:50.370
Chris Beckett: i’m sure those that that would be able to capture this are going to have the skills to do it and they can find that information elsewhere on December 4 the new moon.

00:21:51.240 –> 00:22:09.180
Chris Beckett: is actually going to create a total solar eclipse down in the Antarctic coast so it’s pretty pretty remote and in far off lands, but there is going to be a solar eclipse on the fourth of December I would be very shocked, if any of our listeners are within the ring of fire.

00:22:10.020 –> 00:22:11.910
Shane Ludtke: you’re not flying down to see that one Chris.

00:22:12.120 –> 00:22:15.450
Chris Beckett: No, I would love to go to Antarctica someday and I once I.

00:22:15.780 –> 00:22:32.730
Chris Beckett: mean I did seriously start looking at at one point years ago and the logistics of it are really quite challenging more so than one can ever imagine it in fact it’s it’s easier now to get a ticket to space, but it has to Antarctica gotten that’s new joke.

00:22:33.360 –> 00:22:45.000
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah I looked into it, too, and you know the class like if you get to the you know southern South South America, even the cost from there is quite prohibitive for me.

00:22:45.810 –> 00:22:54.480
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah the cost yeah it’s like I said it’s it’s it’s it might be cheaper and easier to get the space, these days, which is it’s almost.

00:22:55.050 –> 00:23:11.220
Chris Beckett: astounding to think that it’s easier to go to space than it is to get to certain parts of our of our own world so also on December 4 Venus it is at its greatest illumination see it almost as well as as large an illuminated Bisque as will get still look a bit that give us.

00:23:12.330 –> 00:23:21.090
Chris Beckett: However, that that’s the greatest extent and now it’s very difficult to see much on cloud deck of Venus but i’ve certainly found that I can see.

00:23:22.020 –> 00:23:28.110
Chris Beckett: Some inklings of shading in the clouds and certainly planted horns and and other interesting phenomenon, where the.

00:23:28.620 –> 00:23:39.270
Chris Beckett: Where the dark and the light areas meet, especially in the polar regions saying I don’t know if you’re going to be doing any Venus observing here in the next few days, but I think this this is now getting to an interesting point in the Venetian or but.

00:23:40.530 –> 00:23:43.920
Shane Ludtke: If I can get any observing in I will.

00:23:45.060 –> 00:23:45.840
Shane Ludtke: i’m getting quite.

00:23:47.040 –> 00:23:53.640
Shane Ludtke: Like cabin fever setting in with all of the cloud we’ve had, I really haven’t been able to observe so yeah if it’s clear i’ll take a look at anything.

00:23:53.940 –> 00:24:02.820
Chris Beckett: yeah and it’s in the it’s sort of high in the in the south western part of the sky is actually getting fairly high for us, because of course it’s dark pretty early these nights.

00:24:02.970 –> 00:24:05.940
Chris Beckett: So you know you can get that telescope on it just.

00:24:06.510 –> 00:24:09.840
Chris Beckett: Just just about I think for 30 years almost so.

00:24:11.040 –> 00:24:19.830
Chris Beckett: You know, presents a better opportunity than I actually thought it was going to be earlier on this year, when I saw it was going to be making good apparition this December so.

00:24:20.670 –> 00:24:29.220
Chris Beckett: yeah i’m probably going to get a little telescope on there, and especially as as we’re getting into observing comment, the comment and Venus are going to get pretty close we’ll talk about that here in a minute.

00:24:29.880 –> 00:24:37.530
Chris Beckett: December 5 the gig and she is going to be quite visible that sort of first full week of.

00:24:38.370 –> 00:24:49.710
Chris Beckett: December, people can go back and see your episode or listen to our episode with Dave Chapman from I know if it was released at the end of July, or the beginning of August we did an episode with the Chapman on observing the gig machine.

00:24:50.460 –> 00:25:04.740
Shane Ludtke: yeah I don’t remember the date but Dave really does an awesome job to explain it and and really takes you through a really interesting observation that he had of it and was kind of was perplexed what it was at first and then did some research to to learn about it.

00:25:05.760 –> 00:25:11.700
Shane Ludtke: yeah it’s it’s a neat it’s a neat thing to observe and you’ll need some dark skies for it, if you want to see it.

00:25:12.600 –> 00:25:24.270
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah I tried to look it up there really quick but couldn’t quite find anything out there, so yeah Maybe you can just look it up really quick and see if you can figure out which episode, it was that would be awesome.

00:25:25.590 –> 00:25:35.250
Chris Beckett: All right, okay December 6 the Comet might be approaching magnitude six and a half or maybe even getting closer to magnitude six and kind of taking.

00:25:36.000 –> 00:25:42.480
Chris Beckett: somewhat of a middle of the road, as far as the estimates go some of the estimates seem a little bit brighter than we think.

00:25:43.020 –> 00:25:49.050
Chris Beckett: Some of them are seeing it’s it’s actually still fainter than what it is a presence so i’m just cutting it down the middle and seeing.

00:25:49.320 –> 00:26:04.350
Chris Beckett: My my estimate might be way off, but i’m saying, but December 6 magnitude 6.5 Comet Leonard is going to be in the same wide field binocular view as arcturus to think about the type of boots that herdsman.

00:26:04.740 –> 00:26:10.200
Chris Beckett: arcturus is the brightest start in the bottom of that you can also find arcturus by archiving to our tourists.

00:26:10.440 –> 00:26:23.910
Chris Beckett: From the handle of the big dipper he sort of follow that seems sort of Arc from the handle and you go I think about the 35 or 40 degrees from the tip of the handle down in that same general area, and that will find braid are tourists will be high in the.

00:26:25.410 –> 00:26:33.390
Chris Beckett: In the sky and comment Leonard you’ll need a reasonably whitefield binocular to get the Comet and are tourists in the same field of view.

00:26:33.720 –> 00:26:46.230
Chris Beckett: I put it out about six degrees away my binoculars are both nine degrees so yeah I anticipate being able to get our tourists and the comment from a dark side in the same binocular field.

00:26:46.830 –> 00:26:59.700
Chris Beckett: That night, and I think sort of the end of that first full week of or I guess around the seventh of six or seventh of December is remember saying that it starts to become a binocular target for people.

00:27:01.080 –> 00:27:01.290
Chris Beckett: All right.

00:27:01.440 –> 00:27:09.480
Shane Ludtke: Let me pause you there Chris if anybody’s interested in the gig and shine episode it’s 136 when Dave Chapman joined us.

00:27:10.020 –> 00:27:25.080
Chris Beckett: Perfect episode 136 people want to know more about the gang alright December 7 Venus Paris, with the crescent moon I think here in Canada we’re looking at about a three year three and a half degree separation, but I know in other places it gets closer than two degrees.

00:27:26.190 –> 00:27:34.590
Chris Beckett: So the Venus and the crescent moon at closer than two degrees, for some people, I didn’t put down where, though I just I just know that it does get that close when I ran my simulation.

00:27:34.920 –> 00:27:43.950
Chris Beckett: And so that would be in the same field of view in small telescopes with low power wide field optics but even for us at three and a half degrees.

00:27:44.640 –> 00:27:49.050
Chris Beckett: I can get three and a half degrees in my hundred millimeter telescope and I get a boat.

00:27:49.380 –> 00:27:57.990
Chris Beckett: I think about five degrees or six in my 60 millimeters so i’m like what that night and and try to try to get that pairing of Venus and the crescent moon.

00:27:58.500 –> 00:28:05.610
Chris Beckett: And then the crescent moon moves on over the next few days to pair up with Saturn and Jupiter, and each time they get as close as about four degrees.

00:28:06.900 –> 00:28:18.060
Chris Beckett: And then some other other areas, you might see it as as a little bit closer, but basically that week of the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and even the 10th you get the moon pairing up with several of the planets.

00:28:19.710 –> 00:28:24.900
Chris Beckett: let’s see so on the 11th of first quarter moon is going to display that lunar X.

00:28:25.380 –> 00:28:31.920
Chris Beckett: And so that’s an opportunity for people to take a look at that it’s going to be at 1230 universal time so whatever time that is for you.

00:28:32.130 –> 00:28:44.670
Chris Beckett: Like for us, we have to subtract six hours, so if it’s if it’s a 12 hours universal time i’m not sure that I think that’s going to place it in the morning sky or at 630 in the morning here and I don’t think.

00:28:45.720 –> 00:28:52.860
Chris Beckett: The first quarter moon is visible in the morning here so maybe later on that day, you might just just catch a glimpse of of Warner.

00:28:53.340 –> 00:29:06.300
Chris Beckett: But I don’t think going to be able to see the Lunar X from here, but other people in other places, might be able to capture the interacts just look for it around that 1230 universal time chain, you talked about meteor showers December 14 we have.

00:29:07.530 –> 00:29:18.510
Chris Beckett: The great geminids meteor shower which is, which is often the the peak we have a little bit of a moon in the field of view right now, but how can people see the geminids meteor shower.

00:29:19.800 –> 00:29:31.170
Shane Ludtke: So this one in any meteor shower in fact do not use any optics, the best thing you can use as your eyeballs and what we recommend number one get to a dark site.

00:29:31.830 –> 00:29:39.270
Shane Ludtke: Number to bring a comfy chair and then number three dress warm or bring a sleeping bag, because if you’re just sitting in a chair at night.

00:29:39.780 –> 00:29:45.480
Shane Ludtke: you’re probably going to get a little chilly so you want to stay comfortable and with a meteor shower.

00:29:45.990 –> 00:29:54.540
Shane Ludtke: Essentially, just look at the sky and you’re going to see them now, the geminids meteor shower you know the the.

00:29:55.470 –> 00:30:00.690
Shane Ludtke: meteors that you see well originates sorta from the constellation of Gemini so.

00:30:01.410 –> 00:30:13.050
Shane Ludtke: You can look in that general direction but really as long as you’re looking up you’re going to see me two years, and this is usually one of the top showers of the year so it’s a it’s a fun one to observe if if you can.

00:30:13.710 –> 00:30:23.100
Chris Beckett: If you vote that night, if you go a little bit earlier now the best time to see the meteor showers typically in in the morning or after after midnight.

00:30:23.490 –> 00:30:32.460
Chris Beckett: And that would be a good time so so because the moon, is going to be in the evening sky, I would say, get up early on the morning of the of the 14th.

00:30:32.880 –> 00:30:44.850
Chris Beckett: And, but if, but if you’re up late if you’re up in the evening of the of the 14 go and take a look at the moon, with your binoculars and just almost straight above the moon you’re going to see a little.

00:30:45.600 –> 00:30:56.190
Chris Beckett: star, but that star is going to start it’s uranus uranus is going to be about three or three and a half degrees just read above the moon at that age should be able to see it, maybe as a Turquoise Easter, if you have a little telescope.

00:30:57.090 –> 00:30:58.410
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah that’ll be pretty cool.

00:30:58.800 –> 00:31:09.060
Chris Beckett: yeah on the 16th we get this i’m calling it the the Comet and planetary lineup you get Jupiter Saturn Venus in common Leonard.

00:31:09.390 –> 00:31:23.370
Chris Beckett: All in a row I hadn’t seen this anywhere else so well, maybe you’re going to hear first, because I was just running it to see what the Comet was going to be passing by and any kind of interesting alignments and I saw that it makes us really pretty.

00:31:24.420 –> 00:31:28.590
Chris Beckett: You know line with Jupiter Saturn Venus and the comment.

00:31:29.670 –> 00:31:41.400
Chris Beckett: on the night of the 16th so by the 16th it’s definitely in the evening sky that’s definitely after it’s transitioned over to basically an evening sky only object and that’s when they’re saying.

00:31:42.060 –> 00:31:48.870
Chris Beckett: You know it’s going to be in and around fourth magnitude so it’s very close to the horizon, as you can see shane I think it’s only.

00:31:49.500 –> 00:32:03.960
Chris Beckett: Three or four degrees up but, just like with you know comment mcnaught there 15 years ago, maybe we’ll get get this this enhanced view of it because of the forward scattering we’re gonna have to watch it to find out see what happens.

00:32:04.350 –> 00:32:14.220
Shane Ludtke: yeah it if Leonard turns into a real nice Comet that will be an incredible photo that night to get you know, three planets in a column it all in the same frame.

00:32:14.820 –> 00:32:20.070
Chris Beckett: yeah that would be truly spectacular sight, if it does, if it does Brighton.

00:32:20.280 –> 00:32:26.160
Chris Beckett: And even still even if it’s not that bright, you may still be able to get it like in a small telescope or binoculars or something like that and.

00:32:26.430 –> 00:32:31.350
Chris Beckett: actually be able to view three planets in the in the comment rate they’re all together.

00:32:32.040 –> 00:32:33.000
Shane Ludtke: yep absolutely.

00:32:33.390 –> 00:32:39.510
Chris Beckett: Now is as the Comet moves along it’s going to actually hug that sort of Southwestern horizon it’s going to pass.

00:32:40.290 –> 00:32:49.950
Chris Beckett: You know sort of from west to east right below Venus but actually gets really close to Venus so Venus right now it’s about like 6667.

00:32:50.730 –> 00:33:03.060
Chris Beckett: million kilometers or million miles away from us, but that Comet Leonard is going to get within is actually a little bit closer than 2.7 million miles from Venus on December 18.

00:33:04.500 –> 00:33:04.950
Shane Ludtke: Oh well.

00:33:05.040 –> 00:33:16.140
Chris Beckett: Okay, so yeah when I was reading that that Skype nadir article they actually sort of mentioned that as as well, they said it was like 0.03 astronomical units so kind of you know.

00:33:16.740 –> 00:33:26.280
Chris Beckett: sort of basic some of this off of off of that article, but people can go read that for themselves, but I kind of dug into it a little deeper and I ran all my simulations and you can actually tweet it some of these photos.

00:33:26.790 –> 00:33:36.030
Chris Beckett: That I made in my own software machine that would be awesome if you could put this one of the alignment out on the 16th because I didn’t didn’t see that in any articles, I read online.

00:33:36.570 –> 00:33:45.870
Chris Beckett: On December 19 we have the full moon on December 21 here in Canada anyway, we have the winter solstice I think it’s actually December 20 for other locations in the world.

00:33:48.600 –> 00:33:49.650
Shane Ludtke: Exactly okay.

00:33:49.980 –> 00:34:04.170
Chris Beckett: Something like that, and then December 27th we have the last quarter moon and on December 29 and 31st or 230 first we have Venus and mercury paired up in the evening sky.

00:34:06.180 –> 00:34:07.530
Shane Ludtke: Well that’s a good way to end it.

00:34:07.800 –> 00:34:09.060
Shane Ludtke: yeah the month anyway.

00:34:09.570 –> 00:34:18.870
Chris Beckett: yeah and then for those who are who are looking for shadow transit well you got to go to Russia, but you can see a shadow transit on Jupiter.

00:34:19.260 –> 00:34:22.770
Chris Beckett: On the 30th to end your year but for those of us who aren’t.

00:34:23.550 –> 00:34:34.290
Chris Beckett: Heading over to to Russia to to look for shadow transits you can see, you know Venus and mercury is a sort of your last sites and I don’t know where the comment is by that point, but I think I think it actually does.

00:34:35.100 –> 00:34:41.160
Chris Beckett: I think it starts to go below her our horizon here at some point in time so really for the comment for comment Leonard.

00:34:41.430 –> 00:34:49.950
Chris Beckett: The big event is going to be to start watching it very early in December and by the sixth of December when it’s going by our tourists.

00:34:50.220 –> 00:34:58.200
Chris Beckett: that’s when it might become a binocular object and then, as it gets really close to the horizon, starting around like the 11th or so of December.

00:34:58.470 –> 00:35:08.010
Chris Beckett: that’s probably when it’s going to start to be at its brightest at around that fourth magnitude and then by the 16th as it as it sort of traverses below Venus.

00:35:08.850 –> 00:35:13.410
Chris Beckett: that’s probably your best window to see it is you know as far as its brightness will go.

00:35:14.040 –> 00:35:27.540
Chris Beckett: From that 11th through so too, but the 16th of December and then sort of later on in the month like I said, I think it eventually gets really close to the horizon for us anyway might become more difficult to see so we’ll just see what happens and will update our podcast accordingly.

00:35:28.230 –> 00:35:38.190
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah i’m excited to see this thing and i’m also excited to hear about any observing reports that people may have of the Comet it’ll be it’ll be a real fun event for everybody.

00:35:38.760 –> 00:35:46.890
Chris Beckett: yeah sounds good, well, she speaking of sort of wrapping up do you have anything to add to our episode this month.

00:35:47.460 –> 00:35:48.600
Shane Ludtke: No, Sir, that is all.

00:35:49.170 –> 00:35:58.830
Chris Beckett: Alright, so we’re giving away an ASC observers calendar, we need to get your observations in by the end of the day, I think, on the on the seventh of.

00:35:59.340 –> 00:36:01.290
Chris Beckett: December we sort of cut cut it off there.

00:36:01.740 –> 00:36:11.070
Chris Beckett: If people want they can send us are observing emails and clearly state that you want to enter our calendar drawn to actual astronomy at gmail COM and also.

00:36:11.340 –> 00:36:18.480
Chris Beckett: You know, if you want, please subscribe in your pod catching software thanks so much and thanks shane and everybody else for listening to us today.

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