July 31, 2011

COMET C/2009 P1 GARRADD TRACKING GUIDE


Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd is heading for magnitude 6 and is the brightest comet in the current sky. It will make a nice binocular comet from September this year to May 2012. Approximately 237 million km away, comet C2009/P1 (Garradd) is approaching earth and should reach perihelion just before Christmas whereas its closest approach to Earth will be in early March/2012.

Here I have posted some charts that gives positions of this comet from 31st July 2011 to 30 April 2012. These charts are generated using the Starry Night Pro. software. For more information like magnitude, RA and DEC of this comet download this document.


Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd Tracking Guide






CHART SHOWING COMET GARRADD’S POSITIONS FROM 18 DEC 2011 TO 2 MARCH 2012




COMET GARRADD’S POSITIONS FROM 1ST MARCH TO 1ST APRIL 2012



COMET GARRADD’S POSITIONS FROM 1ST APRIL TO 30TH APRIL 2012


July 28, 2011

OBSERVING REPORT OF COMET C/2009 P1 GARRADD


computer generated drawing of comet Garradd





On July 28th around midnight I planned to observe comet C/2009 P1 Garradd. This is the brightest comet in the current sky and I wanted to observe this comet since a month. Unfortunately during this time of a year we get no cloud-free session of observing. But I got lucky on the night of 27th. The sky became clear after sunset. It rained in the noon time and was light shower before sunset but just after sunset the clouds began to move away leaving patches of the orange sky in the West. At 11:00pm of 27th I saw stars in the zenith and also the Scorpius appeared in the south. The stars appeared crystal clear in many parts of the sky.

When I was sure that there will be no interruption of clouds I uncovered my 25x100 Binoculars. I settled the tripod in my home’s balcony, where I spend many sessions of visual comet hunting. The balcony faces toward East. I saw beautiful Cygnus, Lyra, Altair and Cassiopeia. The Great Square of Pegasus was well above the East. The comet is currently in Pegasus and it is close to the star Epsilon Pegasi (Enif). The star was very high near the upper floor’s balcony of the apartment. So I had less time to observe this comet.
I pointed the binocular to Enif (Epsilon Pegasi) and scanned the area around the star. I had no idea where exactly the comet was. In the early morning I checked its position in the Starry Night software and knew that it was a couple of degrees NW from the star. So I scanned there. Only after few seconds I spotted something fuzzy, very close to a 8th magnitude star. In the wider field of the binocular it was rather difficult to make sure that it was a comet. I spent few minutes to observe it and then I was sure that it is a comet. I then decided to observe it through a bigger aperture. I put my binocs back and uncovered my 8-inch Newtonian Telescope. Observing that object using a 40mm Plossl eyepiece I could clearly see that it was a comet. At 76x using a 17mm Plossl I saw very bright nucleus.

My observation lasted for half an hour and I detected its motion too. It was moving toward west. Its distance from that 8th magnitude star increased of about 1 arc minute. As per my observing experience I could decide that it was shining at 8th magnitude. This comet will be the best binocular object during September as it is approaching magnitude 6.

check the finder chart of the comet