Comet Watch Chart – March 2010

I have added some additional details  to the Comet Watch Chart today in order to give a picture at a single glance at what is happening with each of the comets curently available fom Sydney.

At the moment, there are 10 comets visible from Sydney whose magnitudes are below +14.5.    Three of these comets mind you are low to the horizon or visible only too close to sunrise or sunset so they are pretty much diffacult to see.

Comet Watch Chart 7th March 2010 (Click to Enlarge)

With the comets featured in the chart, you will be able to see what their magnitude is which will give you an idea if your telescope will be able to spot them. Keep in mind light pollution will have some effect on viewing the more distant comets.

The chart will also let you know if each comet is becoming brighter in the sky or fainter as each night passes. This will allow you to try and observe comets now which may be easier to see this week than they will be in a few weeks time.

I have also added a column to show when is the best time of the night to view these comets. This time is based on their highest position in the sky which is when you will get a better observing experience of the comet. I have adjusted the best viewing time for comets whose best time is close to sunrise or sunset. In these cases, the best time has been moved an hour in either direction so that light from the rising or setting sun will not effect observation of the comet. Next to the best time column I have added the angle above the horizon that the comet will be that night. The rule of thumb is that the higher the angle, the better your view will be as you will not have to contend with atmospheric disurbance close to the horizon.

I have also added a column which will indicate if the comet is moving closer to Earth or away from Earth. This will hopefully give you an idea of comets which will be good for observing over future months.

The chart is updated each day and can be found on our site at  http://sydneycometwatch.wordpress.com/

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~ by sydneystargazers on March 7, 2010.

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