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Rank: F5 Superstorm
25 mi. NNW of Portland, ME, elev. ~400ft.
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Viewing Topic: Jan 26-27 mid atl/NE winter storm
Local Time: Jan 25 2015, 09:13 AM
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16 Dec 2014
Looks like a decent comet to view, hopefully this gives me a reason to get out there.
The latest Comet Lovejoy should reach at least 5th magnitude in late December and January, when it will be nicely placed high in the dark for your binoculars or telescope. And it may be detectable with the naked eye.
Update Dec. 15: Comet Lovejoy is brightening faster than expected. Last night it was visual magnitude 6.1, estimated veteran comet observer Alan Hale using 10×50 binoculars in a post to the Yahoo Groups Comet Mailing List. The comey was very low in his sky.
From Australia, where the comet currently passes overhead, David Seargent says that on December 13th he "just managed to glimpse 2014 Q2 naked eye in a very clear sky. I estimated it at mag. 6.1 and at 6.2 with 2×25 opera glasses." Then on the 14th: "Much easier to see naked eye than 24 hours earlier, and estimated as bright as 5.5! I don't think that I have ever seen a comet brighten so fast!" That same night Michael Mattiazzo in Australia estimated it at 6.0, and Paul Camilleri said 5.7.
A Comet of the High Dark
"Comet Q2," as some are calling it, will skim through Columba south of Orion and Lepus from the nights of December 16th through the 26th, brightening all the while, as shown on the finder charts for December and January below and on the print-friendly versions here: December, January. The dates on the charts are in Universal Time, and the ticks are for 0:00 UT.
The comet spends the last few days of December in Lepus at perhaps 6th magnitude, though by then the light of the waxing Moon (at first quarter on the 28th) will start to be an annoyance. On New Year's Eve, a little after January 1st Universal Time, look for the comet just off Lepus's forehead as shown on the charts.
The Moon brightens to become full on January 4th. Most of us won't get a dark moonless view again until early in the evening of January 7th, with the comet now crossing northernmost Eridanus. That's the same day it passes closest by Earth: at a distance of 0.47 a.u (44 million miles; 70 million km). That's also about when it should start glowing brightest for its best two weeks, as it crosses Taurus and Aries high in early evening.
By then the comet is starting to recede into the distance, but its intrinsic brightness should still be increasing a bit; it doesn't reach perihelion until January 30th, at a rather distant 1.29 a.u. from the Sun. By that date the comet should be starting to fade slightly from Earth's point of view. In February it will continue north between Andromeda and Perseus as it fades further, on its way to passing very close to Polaris late next May when it should again be very faint.
Originally Comet Q2 wasn't expected to become this bright. We're basing these predictions on an analysis by J. P. Navarro Pina in late November using the comet's visual behavior for the previous several weeks. Whether it will continue to brighten on schedule is anybody's guess, but the odds are good; comets that don't come near the Sun are more predictable in their brightnesses than those that do.
Q2 is a very long-period comet, but this is not its first time coming through the inner solar system. On the way in, its path showed an orbital period of roughly 11,500 years. Slight perturbations by the planets during this apparition will alter the orbit a bit, so that it will next return in about 8,000 years.
30 Nov 2014
Trying to give folks a bit more lead time till the Geminid shower, could be good this year. Perhaps even coupled with some auroras. I'd love to get a photo of that!! I'm optimistic
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: Mark your calendar: The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks this year on Dec. 14th when dark-sky observers around the world could see as many as 120 meteors per hour. The source of the display is "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon. As November comes to a close, Earth is entering the outskirts of 3200 Phaethon's debris stream, and this is causing some Geminids to appear weeks ahead of peak night. The first Geminid fireball of the season was detected on Nov. 26th by NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras
12 Jun 2014
She ramped up so quick I thought she deserved a thread.
HURRICANE CRISTINA ADVISORY NUMBER 11
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP032014
200 AM PDT THU JUN 12 2014
...CRISTINA RAPIDLY INTENSIFIES INTO A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE...
SUMMARY OF 200 AM PDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 240 MI...390 KM SW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH...195 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 8 MPH...13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...960 MB...28.35 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
AT 200 AM PDT...0900 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE CRISTINA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 106.5 WEST. CRISTINA IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH...13 KM/H...AND THIS
GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE
INCREASED TO NEAR 120 MPH...195 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. CRISTINA
IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND
SCALE. LITTLE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST TODAY...AND
WEAKENING IS EXPECTED ON FRIDAY.
CRISTINA IS A SMALL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD
UP TO 15 MILES...30 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE
WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 80 MILES...130 KM.
THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 960 MB...28.35 INCHES.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
SURF...SWELLS GENERATED BY CRISTINA ARE AFFECTING PORTIONS OF THE
SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MEXICO. THESE SWELLS WILL LIKELY CONTINUE
THROUGH LATE TODAY...AND COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP
CURRENT CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...800 AM PDT.
(Click for moving pictures )
Advanced Dvorak Technique
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm
----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 12 JUN 2014 Time : 081500 UTC
Lat : 16:13:14 N Lon : 106:27:28 W
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.8 / 953.6mb/109.8kt
Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.8 6.1 6.1
Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km
Center Temp : -16.1C Cloud Region Temp : -68.9C
Scene Type : EYE
Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS
Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC
Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 55km
- Environmental MSLP : 1011mb
Satellite Name : GOES13
Satellite Viewing Angle : 40.6 degrees
5 Jun 2014
Happy Birthday! Thanks for everything you do! I'm sure it's a ton of work and no one sees it.
23 Jan 2015 - 6:41
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