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Did I just discover a comet?

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by DarkHand, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. DarkHand

    DarkHand Senior Member VIP

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    So I go out to try and take some pictures of Jupiter with the D90 since it's at opposition tonight. Take a few test shots, and number three shows a fuzzy green blob just below Jupiter that I couldn't see with the naked eye. I don't take much notice and take a few more shots. The blob is still there in the next few shots, but in just a few minutes it's moved! I start taking a few more shots, and start looking at them in sequence... it's a tail pointing away from the sun! I keep taking pictures, and within just a few minutes the tail is disappearing and the blob is fading out. Within 6 minutes it went from a bright flare to invisible (on camera) and moved a quarter of the way across the sky.

    Comets don't usually move that fast, but it definitely had a tail that pointed away from the sun. When asked to identify a comet, you're supposed to take measurements over several days... It was gone in 6 minutes! I just happened to go out and take pictures of Jupiter at exactly the right time. So I'm really not sure what is was. I posted my pictures on Flickr for posterity on the insanely off chance that it's my discovery :rolleyes:, but mainly to ask some astronomy groups about what it is.

    I put my shots together into an animation... The camera was repositioned in every shot so had to stabilize each frame against Jupiter, the same way they stabilized the shaky bigfoot footage. :) Added all the info I could come up with to the pic... my latitude and longitude, the exact EXIF time (I checked my camera against atomic time and corrected it to the second), and camera settings. Hopefully with Jupiter as a locating point, that's enough to ID it.

    Here's the photoset with original images:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/plipinski/sets/72157621918821181/

    And the animation. Jupiter goes blurry in the second half because it was getting blocked by tree branches... I didn't really care about it at that point. I'm not zoomed in very far at all... the animation takes place over 6 minutes... over that time it probably went the distance of a ruler held at arms length... it was really moving:
    [​IMG]

    :ph34r::ph34r::ph34r:
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  2. double0Si

    double0Si ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) VIP

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    Were being invaded! Im not sure what it is but its pretty cool either way.
     
  3. clanny

    clanny Member

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    Looks too smudgy to be an irridium flare unless there was some disturbance in the atmosphere and judging by the clarity of jupiter (which is fantastic by the way) I can't see that being the answer. Have you lodged this with anyone? There must be a US astronomical society thay you can speak to and they'll either ID it as something else or name it after you (famous forever).

    I'm guessing you took these shots through a telescope? What equipment do you use? I want to hook up my canon 400d to my telescope but I need to change the eyepiece cos at the moment I can't find the streetlight at the bottom of my road with it!!!

    let us know how you get on. I'm guessing that Jupiter is nowhere near perseus at the moment (just incase it was something to do with the perseids).
     
  4. double0Si

    double0Si ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) VIP

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    Im sure you're not the only one who saw it so you better be quick.
     
  5. DarkHand

    DarkHand Senior Member VIP

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    Why thankya. :)

    That's what I'm trying to find out now, where I can go to ask someone who knows what they're talking about more than Flickr. :) Only took the shots about 5 hours ago.

    Nope, just a 300mm lens and a tripod. :) 70-300mm @ 300mm, f5.6, 1/2 sec, ISO 3200. This one, actually.

    Only took the shots 5 hours ago, haven't stopped yet! I uploaded them to Flickr right away, so I've got some kind of proof of the time I saw it. Discovery goes to the first to report it though!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  6. phyregod

    phyregod !!YTINASNI

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    If you look closely, you can clearly see the green alien ass alien mooning you through the window on the way by.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  7. clanny

    clanny Member

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    WOW a 300m lens and you took photos of the moons of Jupiter. I'm stunned. And I thought I was doing well getting this with my 70-200mm sigma (hand held).
    [​IMG]


    I'd get in touch with these guys:-

    IAU Secretariat | IAU

    That seems to be the international body that reigns supreme over all astronomical naming.

    How are comets named

    Comet Names

    The last one is helpful.

    Good luck.
     
  8. CRX-YEM

    CRX-YEM Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Keep in mind this week is prime viewing for the perseides meteor showers
     
  9. Hondadude141

    Hondadude141 ¿pɐǝɥ ɹn ɥʇıʍ uıop nɥɔʇɐʍ

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    yeah... I was going to say the meteor showers going on or the space station just cruised over you, I've seem the space station a few times flying over.
     
  10. clanny

    clanny Member

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    A meteor goes WAY faster than that. Split second fast from start to finish. The space station on the other hand can be tacked online so you can see where that was at that time. It doesn't look like the space station cos that looks way brighter (usually) than Jupiter. Could be that you're catching a refraction of the sun off the solar panels or something weird.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  11. phyregod

    phyregod !!YTINASNI

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    Meteors are caused by rocks burning up in the earth's atmosphere. Who is to say there is a standard meteorite speed? It could have been a large, slow one that came through and got hot enough to produce a good glow and take a few minutes to cross several thousand miles of sky.


    My vote goes to this: (from meteor wiki) The earth grazing fireball.
     
  12. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    comets go way faster than that too...


    it's the aliens y0. expect new pyramid schemes to show up soon :D
     
  13. DarkHand

    DarkHand Senior Member VIP

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    Got an initial reply from Joe Guzman, Telescope & Observatory Facilitator for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago:

    :D

    Like CRX-YEM said, we're close to the Perseids still... Maybe a chunk of the dust trail floating by? It would have to be a big chunk indeed to give off its own tail though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  14. double0Si

    double0Si ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) VIP

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    Again; Were being invaded!
     
  15. Dustin_m

    Dustin_m Active Member

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    Well, at least until it's figured out, if ever, you can say you have real photos of a UFO.
     
  16. AHHVTEC

    AHHVTEC Well-Known Member VIP

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    if it was a comet wouldnt it be there for a few days, not a few seconds
     
  17. double0Si

    double0Si ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) VIP

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    Its a big old frozen ball of poopie. Peanut, dead giveaway.
     
  18. efhondakid

    efhondakid My name is Byron. VIP

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    Nah, nah, thats a space peanut.
     
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