Sun weekly

Frantic upheavals

A large and powerful sunspot group (AR1654) has a dynamic and twisted magnetic field that we followed for six days (Jan. 9-15, 2013). The interactions of a pair of regions (actually two sunspot areas when viewed in filtered light) produced numerous smaller flares, while the magnetic field lines looped and snapped and flashed almost continuously. The detailed action was captured in extreme ultraviolet light.

Credit: SDO/NASA.





This art [astronomy]which is as it were the head of all the liberal arts and the one most worthy of a free man leans upon nearly all the other branches of mathematics. Arithmetic, geometry, optics, geodesy, mechanics, and whatever others, all offer themselves in its service.


Nicolaus Copernicus, Introduction to De Revoluntionibus, 1543.

Welcome to Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) web page


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C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)

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For few days the Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) presented a good photographic opportunity while appearing close to a bright globular star cluster Tucanae (47)

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Download finder chart for comet C/2012 F6 (LEMMON):

18 February 2013

19 February 2013

20 February 2013


Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd













As the comet moves closer to the Sun, it's tail becomes brighter and more visible, but still only through a telescope.

This single frame image was taken through a 400 mm f/5.6 telephoto lens; 1 min @ ISO 1600.






Ben Bester has captured the star trails around the SCP. The comet's trail is also clearly visible due to it's specific colour.











In this unguided short exposure through 8" telescope I cougth an airplane crossing the field of view. Red ligth flashed just in time to illuminate one of the engines.






Latest cropped image by Dieter Willasch displays beautiful tail of the comet, extended in the direction, opposite to the Sun. The brigth star in the image is SSAO 258799 or Chi Octantis Magnitude 5.29

To see the full image, visit Dieter's website






Comet C/2012 F6 (LEMMON) photographed by Wens Coetzer 4-th February 2013 from his observatory in Waterberg region, Limpopo. The Comet can be seen as greenish startrail just below the Southen Celestial Pole. Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are also featured in the image.






Comet C/2012 F6 (LEMMON) photographed by Wens Coetzer from Waterberg region in Limpopo. Wens used Celestron CPC 1100 telescope and Canon EOS 550D camera at prime focus.

This nice close-up image is a composite of three images with total exposure time of 2 minutes, which were accuired on 4th February at around 23:45 SAST. It shows very brigth nucleous and coma. Just a short section of faint comet's tail is also clearly visible.

Two twin-like looking stars in the top left corner have magnitudes of 11.01 and 10.97 respectively and angular separation of only 00°00'27". In reality they are very far apart from one another: the GSC 9530:15 is 104.20 light-years away from the Earth and GSC 9530:886 is 70.90 light-years away from the Earth. The comet was just 0.000015575 light years away from the Earth at the time of the imaging.
















The Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon is currently a wonderful object in the Southern night sky. It can be seen through binoculars and photographed even with small digital cameras set on a tripod. All you need is to aim and focus it at the bright starts of the Southern Cross (Crux) and then centre it onto the neighbouring constellation of Musca (see the star maps). It will move closer to the Southern Celestial Pole every day and will appear very close to the SCP on February 4th and 5th. In fact, it stays above the horizon even during the day for the most of Southern hemisphere. It can easily be photographed even from heavily light-polluted Johannesburg and near full Moon positioned high in the sky, as shown in the unedited animation images on top of the page. The image below shows the comet between two bright stars α and β in the constellation of Musca. It also shows very dark red star 6.11 Mag SAO 251957 in the top area of the frame. This image is a stack of 11 frames at ISO 400 and ISO 800 , 15 sec. Canon EOS 550D and Sigma 400 mm lens.







The unedited wide field image below, taken through a 28-80mm lens, show the effect of urban light pollution and near full Moon and limitations of wide field photography associated with it. This is a 30 sec exposure at ISO 800.






to be continued..





Comet Lemmon 23.1.2012: This comet with the designation C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), which was discovered by A.R.Gibbs in the Mount Lemmon Survey on March 23,2012 can now be observed with binoculars in the constellation of Musca. The images were recorded by Dieter Willasch on Jan 22, 2013 between 22:06 and 23:55 UT from Somerset West, South Africa.

More info, reports and images are also at Auke's and ASSA Bloemfontein websites.



















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