Re: Has 2020 F3 had a flare in brightness?

reinder j bouma

Op 16-7-2020 om 8:34 schreef Charles S Morris via
Hi Everyone,

I have observed 20 F3 from a dark site on the last two evenings from two relatively close dark sites - one at 1700' and the other at 1950'.  Both had excellent horizons.  Without getting into magnitudes, which do confirm what I am saying, I wanted to point out that I believe the comet has brightened perhaps by almost a magnitude.

On July 15.17-15.19, the comet was observed faintly with the NE with little or no tail visible.  In 10x50 B, the comet had a six degree tail.  The comet was NE, but you had to search for it.  It wasn't obvious and wasn't visible in bright twilight to the NE.  The comet was followed as it set with binoculars.

On July 16.16 -16,19 (tonight), the comet was immediately visible to the NE with a tail  in bright twilight (that reached 5 degrees a little later).  The comet and its tail was an obvious sight to the NE unlike the night before.  Not surprisingly, the comet was brighter than stars it had been fainter than the previous night.  The comet and its tail could be followed to setting with the NE.    There was no need to search for the comet, the comet was just obvious.

I don't think this was do to a 2 degree increase in elevation!

Conditions on both nights were about the same.

Comments welcome. 


Hi Charles,

I observed this comet over the last 2 nights around July 14.97 and 15.95 and to me the comet looked very similar on both nights.
Both in 10x50B's and naked eye. Similar tail length around 6 deg, even a bit longer NE.
I had no problems picking up the comet NE even without proper dark adaptation immidiately after stepping out of the car.
Observations were made at a rural site north of Groningen. There was some residual twilight, and the sky was fairly humid on both nights, but quite transparant after showers during the day.
So no, I cannot confirm a possible outburst before July 16.0, but it could have started in the time before your second observation.

best regards,
Reinder J. Bouma    e-mail (1): rjbouma@...
Bekemaheerd 77      e-mail (2): comets@...
9737PR Groningen    homepage:
The Netherlands     phone: +31 (0)50-5418227

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