Comet C2012 F6 (LEMMON)

posted: 617 days ago, on Wednesday, 2013 Jan 23 at 12:48
tags: astronomy, star charts, astrophotography, Southern Sky Highlights 2013, comets.

Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon returns to the morning sky, visible in the east shortly before sunrise. For the next week or so, the comet will share the morning sky with Mercury. The little planet shines brightly at around magnitude zero, while the comet is around 6th magnitude.

The first image since the comet's return was taken on Wednesday morning, April 10, by Kos Coronaios. The latest image was taken on Tuesday morning, April 16, also by Kos.

Mercury and comet Lemmon: 2013.04.16, 05:11

(above) Comet Lemmon. 2013 Apr 16 at 05:11, imaged by Kos Coronaios. Mercury, at bottom-left of the frame, was 2.9 away from the comet.

Finder chart: Comet Lemmon in the morning sky in April

Further down this page, you can browse photo galleries by Kos Coronaios, Dany Duprez, Brett du Preez, Wim Filmalter, Mauritz Geyser, Willie Koorts, Dale Liebenberg, Greg Roberts, Auke Slotegraaf, Oleg Toumilovitch, and Dieter Willasch.

Comet Lemmon was discovered in Leo by the Mt. Lemmon Survey* on 2012 March 23. Initially is was thought to be an asteroid, but within a day of its discovery, an English observer noted its cometary appearance on CCD images and it was upgraded to "Comet" status. It was soon listed on Seiichi Yoshida's "Weekly Information about Bright Comets" website.

* The Mount Lemmon facility is part of the Catalina Sky Survey project, dedicated to monitoring Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Mt Lemmon lies north of Tucson, Arizona, USA, and is operated by U.Arizona's Steward Observatory. One of the six large telescopes on the site is a 60-inch (f/2) Cassegrain,used to hunt for dim solar system objects. To date, 53 comets have been discovered with this survey. In earlier times, Mt Lemmon was used by the US Air Force to hunt commies.

Gallery

Browse the gallery of Comet Lemmon images below, arranged by contributing photographer (Kos Coronaios, Dany Duprez, Brett du Preez, Wim Filmalter, Mauritz Geyser, Willie Koorts, Dale Liebenberg, Greg Roberts, Auke Slotegraaf, Oleg Toumilovitch, and Dieter Willasch), and then by date, from most recent to oldest.

Images by Kos Coronaios

2013.04.16

Four 4-second images taken at ISO 6400 with a 300-mm lens at F/4, and a Canon 60D.

2013.04.16, 05:11

Mercury, the bright pale orange spot at bottom-left of the frame, was 2.9 away from the comet.

2013.10.03, 05:14

2013.10.03, 05:17

2013.03.03

Both comets currently in the evening sky - Lemmon and PanSTARRS - are captured in the image above.

2013.02.18

2013.02.17

Note the comet's ion tail (brighter, straight upper part) and the dust tail (bottom, slightly curved part).

2013.02.17

2013.02.16

2013.02.15

Comet Lemmon cruised past the Small Magellanic Cloud and NGC 104 (47 Tuc). The image above is a single frame, 116-sec exposure at ISO 2500.

2013.02.15

Comet Lemmon and NGC 104 (47 Tuc). The image above is a single frame, 148-sec exposure at ISO 640.

2013.02.11

15x 30-second subs taken at ISO 1600 with a 300-mm lens at f/5.6.

2013.02.10

Prime focus of 8-inch, 146-seconds, ISO 1600.

2013.02.10

Prime focus of 8-inch, 111-seconds, ISO 1600.

2013.02.09

Polar Comet. Comet Lemmon's position in the deep southern sky is revealed on this long exposure image by Kos Coronaios. The camera, shutter open for 5.2-minutes, was kept stationary while the stars wheeled by overhead, leaving curved trails of starlight on the sensor. Stars near the south pole left shorter trails than those further away. Kos used a 100-mm lens at f/5.6 and ISO 640 for this lovely shot.

2013.02.09

Comet Lemon at the tip of the prominent triangle of stars beta, epsilon and xi Octantis. 14x 30-second subs, 300-mm f/4 at ISO 2500.

2013.02.09

A single 4.2-minute exposure shows the comet and its tail. 300-mm at f/4, ISO 2500.

2013.02.09

Taken at the prime focus of an 8-inch SCT; 11x 30-s subs at ISO 1600.

2013.02.07

Eighteen 30-second frames, shot at ISO 1600, were combined to create the image above.

2013.02.03

Fifteen one-minute exposures at ISO 1600 were taken through a 300-mm lens at f/5.6.

2013.02.03

Comet Lemmon live on Kos's laptop (top, left), the feed relayed from a Samsung video camera mounted (bottom, right) on an 80-mm refractor piggybacked on an SCT.

2013.02.02

2013.02.02

2013.02.02

(top, left) Taken at prime focus of an 8-inch SCT. 3.5-minutes, ISO 1600.

(left) 300-mm lens, 385-second stack, ISO 640.

2013.02.01

Kos used an 80-mm refractor to image the comet, stacking 30-second exposures at ISO 1600 to produce the 9.5-minute composite above.

2013.01.31

Narrowly surviving laptop death, Kos managed to produce today's image of the comet.

2013.01.30 @ 20:30

Comet Lemmon near the 6-mag stars that mark the head of the chameleon. This region of Chamaeleon is extremely rich in dark nebulae. To the bottom-left of the bright stars is Sandqvist 153, while above them and to the top of the frame is DCld 303.0-16.6, both vast complexes of dark clouds.

Two frames, taken at 20:24 and 20:57, showing the comet's rapid motion.

2013.01.27

Photo by Kos Coronaios

2013.01.27

(left) Stack of 30-second exposures totaling 9.5 minutes at f/5.6 and ISO 1250. The bright star bottom-left is gamma Muscae, a 3.9-mag blue-white dwarf star. At the extreme left-centre is the well-resolved globular cluster NGC 4372, an intruiging gem that has both a Bennett (50) and a Caldwell (108) number. The pair of images above are crops from the image on the left.

2013.01.27 @21:55

Taken at prime focus of an 8-inch SCT. Six 10-second unguided exposures, EOS 60D at ISO 3200.

2013.01.27 @21:55

Two single-frame images, acquired at prime focus of Kos's 8-inch SCT, show the comet's rapid angular motion.
The left-hand image was taken at 21:39:59 and the other one at 21:58:46, giving an interval of 18m 47s. The co-ordinates differ by 0.0237, giving an angular speed of 4.5-arcminutes per hour.
The left-hand image is a one-minute exposure at ISO 1250, the one on the right is a 42-second ISO 3200 exposure. The faintest star shown has V=15.1.

2013.01.25 @22:35

Taken at prime focus of an 8-inch SCT. 15x 30-second unguided exposures, EOS 60D at ISO 1250.

2013.01.25 @21:51

EOS 60D, 300-mm lens at f/5.6, ISO 1250. 20x 30-second frames.

2013.01.24 @21:50

Imaged by Kos Coronaios (Limpopo) with an EOS 60d. Stack of 15 8-second exposures at f/5.6 with ISO 2000.

2013.01.23 @20:30

Imaged by Kos Coronaios (Limpopo) with an EOS 60d.

2013.01.23 @20:30

Imaged by Kos Coronaios (Limpopo) with an EOS 60d.

Images by Dany Duprez

2013.03.03

Imaged by Dany Duprez using a 40-cm Newtonian. Images acquired from 20:30 to 22:44.

2013.02.03

Imaged by Dany Duprez using a 40-cm Newtonian. Image stacked over a period of 3 hours.

2013.02.03

Imaged by Dany Duprez using a 40-cm Newtonian.

2013.02.02

Imaged by Dany Duprez. 400-mm telephoto lens, two hours total exposure time.

Images by Brett du Preez

2013.02.16

Imaged by Brett du Preez from Stellenbosch, between 21:00 and 22:00 SAST. Brett used a Canon 550D on a 10-inch f/2.8 Newtonian. Total exposure time is 49 minutes, composed of 30-second subs, with darks and flats.

Images by Wim Filmalter

2013.03.03 @20:51

Comet Lemmon, imaged by Wim Filmalter. Prime focus, 200-mm BikeScope, Nikon D5100, ISO 4000, 10-sec.

Images by Mauritz Geyser

2013.03.09

Imaged from Somerset West, 9 March 2013, 20h32 to 20h57 SAST. Canon EOS 500D, 35x 30-sec images taken with a 1000-mm lens, f/5.9, ISO 1600.

2013.03.09

Enhanced version of the image on the left.

2013.03.05

Imaged from Somerset West, 5 March 2013, 18h37 to 18h50 UT. 21x 30-sec images stacked with Registax. 1000-mm lens, f/4.9, ISO 400. Image processed to display coma and tail details.

2013.03.03

Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS, imaged by Mauritz Geyser from Somerset West.

2013.03.01

Imaged by Mauritz Geyser from Somerset West, between 21:29 and 21:31 SAST. Mauritz used a Canon EOS Rebel T1i (500D) and a Sigma 70-300mm APO DG (f/5.6, fl=300-mm) at ISO 400 to capture three frames for a total exposure time of one minute.

Images by Willie Koorts

2013.01.31 @ 00:00

Imaged by Willie Koorts from Wellington. Willie points out the light pollution from Paarl, visible as a red glow in the bottom-right portion of the image.

2013.01.28 @ 23:50

Imaged by Willie Koorts from a cold and stormy Sutherland. Thirty 13-sec frames (taken at f/5.6, ISO 3200) were stacked with Rot'n'Stack to produce this composite image. The comet is now clear of the stream of the Milky Way and heading polewards.

2013.01.28 @ 00:35

Imaged by Willie Koorts (Sutherland) with a Canon EOS 1100D and a 55-mm lens.

2013.01.26

Imaged by Willie Koorts (Sutherland) with a Canon EOS 1100D and a 300-mm lens.

2013.01.26

Imaged by Willie Koorts (Sutherland) with a Canon EOS 1100D and a 55-mm lens.

2013.01.24 @23:30

Imaged by Willie Koorts (Sutherland) with a Canon EOS 1100D, 300-mm lens at f/5.6, ISO 6400, 20x 8-sec exposures stacked with Rot'n'Stack.

2013.01.24 @23:30

EOS 1100D, 55-mm f/5.6, ISO 3200, 30x 12-sec exposures

2013.01.23 @23:30

Image by Willie Koorts from Sutherland.

2013.01.23 @ 01:00

Imaged by Willie Koorts (Sutherland). Composite image of 27 frames (10-second exposure at ISO 3200) stacked with Rot'n'Stack.

Images by Dale Liebenberg

2013.02.05 @21:00

Ten two-minute exposures, taken two minutes apart, make up the image above.

2013.01.27 @04:24

Imaged by Dale Liebenberg (Port Elizabeth). Composite image of two subs of about six minutes. Note the absence of a prominent tail.

Images by Greg Roberts

2013.03.10

This image, taken with a 102-mm f/5 Skywatcher refractor and a FLI8300M CCD camera, is "probably my last image of Comet Lemmon as now too low with house in way and bright freeway/city lights", Greg writes.

2013.02.27

Greg's image on February 27, taken with a 102-mm f/5 Skywatcher refractor and a FLI8300M CCD camera, is a composite of about ten 30-sec exposures.

The streak of light crossing the comet's tail could be a meteor, writes Greg, but judging by the brightness variation of the trail it looks like a piece of space debri. Greg, one of the foremost satellite tracking experts, thinks it is possibly "an uncatalogued piece of debri from the Fengyun1C shooting down - China deliberately destroyed one of their satellites - as several pieces of Fengyun 1C debri were in the vicinity of the comet at the time of exposure but none matched exactly."

2013.02.15

Greg imaged the comet from central Cape Town with a 102-mm f/5 Skywatcher refractor and a FLI8300M CCD camera.

"The region where the comet was is really poor - bright freeway glow and can't see any stars naked eye", Greg notes.

The image is a stack of short exposures (telescope undriven) totalling 60-seconds.

Images by Auke Slotegraaf

2013.02.16 @00:03

Wide-field view of Comet Lemon with the LMC and SMC. 17-mm f/4.0, 20x 26-second subs at ISO 1600.

2013.02.09 @02:05

Comet Lemon approaching the triangle of beta, epsilon and xi Oct. (50-mm, f/1.8, 17-sec, ISO 160)

2013.02.09 01:33-02:50

Comet Lemmon's rapid motion was particularly apparent this morning as it passed by a bright star (HD 213555, V=8.2) in Octans. A 50-mm lens at f/1.8 was used to capture the two images, at 01:33 and 02:50.

2013.02.08 @04:02

Mediocre sky conditions this morning. The crop above is from a stack of 18x 14-sec exposures (ISO 640, 135-mm at f/5.6) and measures 1.9 x 1.3. The bright star at the centre, top is 6.6-mag HD 206053. The subs were untracked; the relatively long exposure times were possible because the comet is so close to the celestial pole that star trailing is minimized.

2013.02.07 @04:40

In an attempt to combat noise, I used the 50-mm lens wide open (f/1.8) so that the ISO could be dropped to 320. The image above is a stack of 32 25-second exposures. Terrible sky gradients nevertheless had to be dealt with vigorously. The image is a crop from the full frame. The annotated image on the right shows the famous trapezium of naked-eye stars near the South Celestial Pole (marked with a +). The star nearest the SCP is sigma Octantis. Not exactly blindingly bright, our South Pole Star.

2013.02.04 @22:30

The comet was some 20 above the horizon when I imaged it this evening. This 3.9 x 2.6 field of view is a crop taken from a stack of 50 images, each exposed for 12 seconds at ISO 1600 with a telephoto lens set at 106-mm f/5.6.

2013.01.28 @04:03


(left) Ninety 20-second exposures, at ISO 1600, were made with a 16-mm lens working at f/4.0. The subs were stacked with DeepSkyStacker and processed in PS, using GradientXTerminator. The inset image is a zoomed view showing the comet bottom-right of centre. The two brightest stars are delta Muscae (the "double") and gamma Muscae.

(right) A crop from one of the 90 sub-frames. The brilliant sky background was caused by (a) horrible light pollution, (b) skyglow from airborne sea-mist, (c) the near-Full Moon, (d) the photographer's limited ability to apply corrections, or (e) all of the above. The correct answer is (e).

2013.01.26 @04:17

EOS 60D, 135-mm at f/5.6, ISO 1600. 39x 10-second exposures stacked with DeepSkyStacker. Gradient removal with the excellent GradientXTerminator.

2013.01.26 @03:26

EOS 60D, 22-mm at f/5.0, ISO 800. 75x 21-second exposures.

2013.01.24 @03:56

In June 1972, Pink Floyd released "Obscured by Clouds". In January 2012, clouds obscured Comet Lovejoy. And in January 2013, as shown above, clouds obscured Comet LEMMON.

2013.01.23 @01:46

Comet LEMMON (2012 Jan 23) appears as the dim greenish speck within the southern tip of the Coal Sack, midway between Acrux and beta Muscae. The image is a stack of 150 8-second untracked exposures taken with a 50mm lens at f/5.0.

Images by Oleg Toumilovitch

2013.02.01

Oleg used an 80-mm refractor to image the comet through the light pollution of Joburg CBD.

2013.02.01

Oleg used an 80-mm refractor to take this single 30-second exposure (ISO 400). He noted that because he was looking over the Joburg CBD, the light pollution made it difficult to see the comet in binoculars.

2013.01.24/25

The movement of comet Lemmon over a 20 minute period (2013 Jan 24 @23:41 to 2013 Jan 25 @00:01), as imaged by Oleg Toumilovitch.

Images by Dieter Willasch

2013.02.17

Visit Dieter Willasch's webiste, astro-cabinet.com, for a high-resolution image (and shooting details).

2013.01.23

Visit Dieter Willasch's webiste, astro-cabinet.com, for a high-resolution image (and shooting details) of Comet LEMMON.

name

message

e-mail (if you want to be notified of follow-up comments)

do the sum before clicking!

9 plus 2 =  

nothing more to see. please move along.