Comet SWAN sky watcher's guide: what you'll see and where you'll see it - ABC News

5/05/2020 9:32:00 AM

Early tomorrow morning is the best time to catch Comet SWAN and the Eta Aquariids

Comet Swan, Comet

Early tomorrow morning is the best time to catch Comet SWAN and the Eta Aquariids

Australian skywatchers are in the box seat to see beautiful Comet SWAN in the early hours of tomorrow morning. We explain what you'll see, where to see it, and how to take a great photo.

"If this had come six months later the Northern Hemisphere would have got a spectacular show as it passed."And, even if it can be contained by the gravity of our solar system, it won't be back for hundreds of thousands of years or longer.

The tail of a comet always points away from the Sun.The gas or ion tail, which appears a blueish-green colour, is created by the effect of ultraviolet radiation stripping away electrons."The gas tail has a kink in it because as you go through areas where the solar wind changes direction or is a bit gusty you get kinks and changes in the tail," he said.

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Finally a comet for the witches to go to. If you want printable black and white spotters charts I have some here, Today or tomorrow Alarm clock ready! Let’s hope the clouds clear 🤞 Should I get up early or stay up late?

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swung around the Sun on May 27 , people in the northern hemisphere will get their best view.It's time to 'curb the cost' of the stimulus measures 05/05/2020 | 4min The Australian's Adam Creighton says"it is time now to think about curbing the cost" of the government's stimulus measures announced at the height of the coronavirus crisis.Live updates on the coronavirus pandemic Mariela Jacome, right, helps her mother Catherine Quinonez, center, who Mariela says suffers symptoms common of those associated with COVID-19, as they arrive to the entrance to a hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Thursday, April 16, 2020.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Russia on Sunday reported a new record daily rise in coronavirus infections as the number of total confirmed cases surged past 130,000.

"Comets are usually a bit better on their way out than on their way in," Professor Horner says. But the comet will be on the far side of the Sun, and the Northern Hemisphere is heading into mid-summer so the comet will appear in the dusk and will be harder to see. "In hindsight, the federal government will come to look wise for their measured approach in dealing with the coronavirus crisis in Australia. "If this had come six months later the Northern Hemisphere would have got a spectacular show as it passed. Coronavirus has presented a number of puzzling symptoms , and a wide variety of rashes in patients suffering from the virus." "They'll get a decent show, but we [in the Southern Hemisphere] are getting our best view of it over the next week. "I think the federal government's been proved right to be a little more cautious," Mr Creighton said." It is travelling so fast, it is unclear at this stage if it will ever return to our solar system or just shoot through. AP Despite the increases, the government has indicated it could gradually lift confinement measures from May 12, depending on the region.

And, even if it can be contained by the gravity of our solar system, it won't be back for hundreds of thousands of years or longer. "It is strange to see several different rashes - and some of them are quite specific," lead researcher Dr Ignacio Garcia-Doval told the BBC. What does it look like now? As comets move closer in towards the Sun they heat up and the solids turn into gas and form a fuzzy halo around the nucleus known as a coma. "Then the solar wind and solar radiation act on that gas and dust to push it away from the Sun and that's how you get the tail," says Professor Horner. The tail of a comet always points away from the Sun. "So when the comet is coming in [towards the Sun] the head's in front and the tail is behind, but when it is going back outwards, the tail's in front and the head is behind. AP The authorities are preparing to set up temporary field hospitals around Moscow including at the VDNKh, the famed Soviet-era outdoor exhibition centre, in case infections continue to surge.

" Loading Comets usually have two tails — a gas tail and a dust tail — or they can have multiple tails if the nucleus is spinning. The gas or ion tail, which appears a blueish-green colour, is created by the effect of ultraviolet radiation stripping away electrons. Dust tails tend to occur as the comet gets closer to the Sun. They are usually yellowish as they reflect sunlight; and curved as they're affected by radiation pressure, which is not as strong as the solar wind. Comet SWAN currently looks like it is more gassy than dusty, says Professor Horner. In a sprawling park in southwest Moscow on Sunday, a two-person police patrol asked parents with small children to respect the confinement rules and return home.

"It looks like this comet is actually kicking off a lot of gas," he says. "The gas tail has a kink in it because as you go through areas where the solar wind changes direction or is a bit gusty you get kinks and changes in the tail," he said. While the tail of Comet SWAN has been largely straight it has started to curve over the past couple of nights, Mr O'Donnell says. "The last measurement I took showed an 11 degree tail. To give you some perspective that's about 20 times the size of the full moon so it is huge," he says. Mikhail Mishustin informed President Vladimir Putin of his positive test during a televised video conference.

Why are some comets brighter than others? Comet McNaught in 2007 was the last great bright comet to grace our skies ( Wikimedia Commons: fir0002/flagstaffphotos ) The last truly bright comet in the sky was Comet McNaught in 2007, a multi-tailed comet which cut a swathe through the evening twilight and could clearly be seen. "The hope is that Comet SWAN as it moves closer to the Sun will continue to ablate material and become really, really bright," Mr O'Donnell says. Last month, before Comet SWAN suddenly appeared on the scene, astronomers had their hopes pinned on a comet called ATLAS. This comet was a fragment of the Great Comet of 1844 that rocked up 180 years after the main event, Professor Horner says. "It was very bright initially because being a chip off the old block it exposed a lot of volatile material from within the comet that hadn't been previously exposed so it looked like it was much bigger. Sobyanin said about two percent of Moscow residents - or more than 250,000 people - have the coronavirus.

" But smaller comets are more fragile than big ones, and it disintegrated as it got closer to the Sun. Latest reports suggest Comet SWAN is starting to dim, but it is unclear whether it will go the same way as Comet ATLAS. We don't know how big Comet SWAN is because it was discovered when it was already blowing gas. Usually, the bigger the comet the brighter it is, but small comets can also be very bright if they have lots of gas and dust coming off them. "It's fair to say it's not going to be tens of kilometres across because . People in Australia must stay at least 1.

.. we probably would have found it earlier a bit further out." How to get a good shot of Comet SWAN Try to find a dark spot in your backyard away from street or house lights. After you've given your eyes 5 - 10 minutes to acclimatise to the dark, l ook directly to the east . The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

"If you just point your camera dead east and take a long exposure you will find that green blob," Mr O'Donnell says. You don't need any special camera , but DSLRs are preferred. You can use any type of lens, but a long or a wide focus lens will give you the best results. "If you are using the longer lens you can get right into that nucleus and see the detail in the tail," Mr O'Donnell says. But if you want to capture the whole tail then a wide-angle lens is better.

Use as high an ISO as possible , but if you use too high an ISO the image will be grainy. "I use 3200 for this comet," Mr O'Donnell says. The aperture should be as wide open as possible - the lower the number the better Shutter speed will depend upon your lens . "If you are shooting wide then you can do 30 second exposures, but if you're using a long lens and you're zooming in I wouldn't go more than 8 - 10 seconds. Do a few test exposures first to see if you are capturing all of the comet.

"If you centre the comet in the middle you might find that you're chopping off the tail at the edge of the frame." Want more science from across the ABC? .