Comet Leonard report

Ted Forte

Very disappointing conditions this morning, but here’s a report on comet Leonard:

12/2/2021 0330 -  0545  with scattered or broken clouds 20%-40% cover. Seeing fair, transparency variable. 41oF 70% humidity, SQM 21.32 SQM-L 21.25 Moonrise at 4:58 (wanning crescent 27.4 days old)

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard in Canis Venatici R.A. 13h35m16.2s Dec. +28°51'40" [Sky Tools 4 Predicted] magnitude 5.74 (20.5) size 16.8’ with a tail at position angle 314o. It is 0.5AU distant, 12 days from closest approach to earth and 32 days from perihelion. Total motion: 5.90 "/min PA 110.6°

30” f/4.45 StarSpliter Dob at 195x and 144x: The comet is obvious, and bright.  I estimate it at 6th magnitude. It has a very bright, roundish false nucleus and a large bright tear-shaped coma. The tail is very apparent for about 25’ with a fainter hint of a tail for about twice that distance.   Comet filter shows some response but the comet is not enhanced and the tail is less apparent.  With NV device (PVS-14) at 78x the comet is bright and pretty, almost photographic.  Little to no response to the h-alpha filter.

7 x 35 binoculars – detectable.  Similar in size and shape to M3 about a degree and a half away.  Similar in the 9 x 50 finder.

A little more apparent in the 10 x30 IS binoculars where it is an easy find and in the same field with M3. 

I could not reliably see it naked eye.

10” f/4.9 Dob at 50x -150x (zoom eyepiece) the comet is quite obvious.  Similar in appearance to the view in the 30-inch with a less apparent tail.


BBAA Southwest

Kent Blackwell

Ted, thanks for the report. If it's only "quite obvious" with a 10" in Sierra Vista AZ I have no idea what I'll see, if anything from my backyard.

It's hit-and-miss weather predictions for this coming morning. Shall I get up at 4:30 am, that is the question? Johnny Horne got a great picture of Comet Leonard a few nights ago from his NC home. Tom Polakis got a nice time-lapse from his home in AZ.