C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

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Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » December 4th, 2015, 8:09 pm

Well, it isn't getting as bright as we would have liked, but Catalina is here for the viewing! The comet is in Virgo and crosses into Boötes on 24 December. Different sources have different magnitude estimates but practically speaking we're lucky if Catalina is 5.7 right now.

Below are times during which Catalina reaches thirty degrees in the Baton Rouge sky...
5 December = 5:01am (20 mins.)
6 December = 4:56am (25 mins.)
7 December = 4:50am (32 mins.)
8 December = 4:44am (39 mins.)
9 December = 4:38am (45 mins.)
10 December = 4:32am (52 mins.)
11 December = 4:26am (59 mins.)
In parentheses are the times for each morning Catalina is in a completely dark sky after reaching thirty degrees altitude.

Tomorrow morning Catalina is at the bottom of a very intriguing line. Going "up and to the right" from Catalina there is Venus, Spica, Mars, the Moon and Jupiter. On 7 December Catalina, Venus and the Moon should both be in a 10x50 binocular field of view. On 9 December Catalina is a half-degree ESE of the magnitude 4.1 star Syrma.

More information:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronom ... 120320155/
http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/201 ... 3US10.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » January 12th, 2016, 5:19 pm

Catalina is now classified as seventh magnitude by Sky & Telescope, although the Starry Night Pro Plus still lists it as fifth (brighter than I'd heard it would get).

Below are times during which Catalina reaches thirty degrees in the Baton Rouge sky...
13 January = 1:31am
14 January = 1:21am
15 January = 1:11am
16 January = 1:00am
17 January = 12:48am
18 January = 12:37am
19 January = 12:24am
20 January = 12:11am

On the morning of the 14th Catalina crosses from Canes Venatici into Ursa Major. The comet will be less than a degree away from Alkaid right after midnight on the 15th.

btoman
Posts: 208
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 10:35 pm
Location: Baton Rouge

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by btoman » January 14th, 2016, 2:38 am

A tad chilly outside, but I was able to get out and see Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) with my 10" Dob and 20x80 binos. I couldn't discern a tail, but it's not all that dark at my location. It's really easy to locate right now because it's just off of the handle of the Big Dipper. Looks like tomorrow won't be too great for viewing, but hopefully I'll get a chance Friday when I get home from New Orleans. I need to sketch one more night's position to count toward the Comet Observer award with the Astronomical League.

HenryA
Posts: 15
Joined: January 14th, 2016, 11:30 am

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by HenryA » January 14th, 2016, 11:59 am

About 0500 hours on Jan 13, using a 150MM F/5 refractor, 42MM EP (17x), I was able to make out the head of this comet as a fuzzy object, mainly using indirect vision. I fancy I could see the nearest part of the tail, but wouldn't swear to it. Light pollution didn't help at my location. I used an LED pointer on the socpe and SkySafari app to find the comet.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » January 15th, 2016, 4:45 pm

Congratulations! I don't think I've heard any reports from BRAS. As it's a little more accessible in slightly earlier times I may try myself this weekend. The forecast shows that tonight and Monday night and Tuesday night are going to lend themselves to this type of hunting.

Here's a shot of Catalina acquired from Germany on the 9th:
http://spaceweathergallery.com/full_ima ... 350984.jpg

Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » January 16th, 2016, 1:59 pm

Whoops! I posted that last without seeing Ben's report! Good job, Ben! I'll try to see Catalina during these clear stretches from Sunday to Tuesday. In the meantime, here's another shot. This one was taken on the 12th from North Carolina with an Omni XLT Newtonian and processed with Paint Shop Pro X5...
http://spaceweathergallery.com/full_ima ... 610966.jpg

Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » January 18th, 2016, 6:05 pm

Over the past few nights Catalina sailed between M51 and M101, and it's still in the vicinity of the Big Dipper to get spotted easily. The comet is probably about magnitude 6.4 right now.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » January 23rd, 2016, 11:44 am

Surprisingly, last night's 20OGS operator Merrill Hess was just able to get Catalina in the field of view for our visitors. Henry W., who is become HRPO's next Apprentice today, accurately described what Merrill saw, allowing Merrill to confirm the sighting.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4837
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

Post by Christopher K. » February 10th, 2016, 8:20 pm

I just attempted to get Catalina in one of the AstroScans. I used 32mm, 25mm and 12.5mm (which would be ~36x) eyepieces. I may not have been in the right part of Camelopardalis, but I'm almost positive I was as the star patterns were correct--down to the telltale double of HIP 21587. Perhaps the AstroScan can't gather enough light.

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