Wouldn't it be awesome if it ends up looking like that photo when seen with the naked eye!
(unlikely, but I can be optimistic if I want)
The highly anticipated Comet ISON, which earlier this month was dubbed not "visually pleasing" by the NASA astroboffins who snapped it with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, has had its portrait taken again as it wends its way towards its rendezvous with the Sun. The result this time was far more impressive. Comet ISON (Credit …
Half a minute will do little ot nothing, far too short a time.
With Hale Bopp if you were in a dark place and got dark adjusted ie at least an HOUR without any extraneous light (no lighting up, no looking at your phone etc) then you could really see it, and the tail extended across almost half the sky.....
(I was out taking photos of Hale Bopp one night and my eyes became so dark adjusted that I could see the lights from planes at cruising altitude on the ground, your eyes really are amazing)
My brother and I arose at 3am to see comet West on or about March 1. It had a 30 degree bright, multi-rayed tail as it rose in the east ahead of the sun. When the nucleus became visible, it looked tiny and extremely bright. As the sunlight increased the tail slowly faded but the nucleus remained visible well after sunrise. At 11 am it was still clearly visible as a tiny 'star' next to the sun. As far as I know I'm the only person on Earth who saw comet West during that day or (with my brother) during the early morning hours. Apparently it broke apart during its encounter with the sun which made it so bright, but its flare-up only lasted one day. Regarding comet ISON, be ready. If it breaks apart also you may only get one chance to see it.
Not at all, long exposures show colour in comets, usually green, just like all those pretty red or blue nebulae which are also monochrome to our insensitive eyes.
There will have been some photoshopping or other processing to increase the contrast but not to add colour.
I'm not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. I have a foolproof method of telling whether the comet will be spectacular or not.
If the weather in Britain is bloody awful, and the skies are permanently cloudy, then the comet will be amazingly spectacular - and so bright it would be visible in daylight. If the weather in Britain is nice, it'll be a flop.
Now I've done my bit, it's up to someone else to do the easy bit, and predict the British weather.
And as stated above that the weather will cooperate. I really want to have a good reason to stand out in the cold with my telescope and look at it.
Her indoors can't object if it's a once in a lifetime comet instead of just Mars, which admittedly is always kicking around, or about to be. I still like looking at it though.
Just FYI: from the New Oxford American Dictionary:
noun — informal, chiefly Brit.
a person engaged in scientific or technical research: a computer boffin.
• a person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex, arcane, and difficult: he had a reputation as a tax boffin, a learned lawyer.
boffiny — adjective
World War II: of unknown origin.
And from the Oxford Thesaurus of English:
Brit. informal: they wore the white coats of the back-room boffin: EXPERT, specialist, authority, genius, mastermind; SCIENTIST, technician, researcher, inventor; informal: egghead, brains, Einstein, whizz, wizard; Brit. informal: brainbox, clever clogs; N. Amer. informal: maven, rocket scientist, brainiac.
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