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Comet SWAN a Teaser?

Early predictions for Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) suggested that it could brighten to naked eye visibility and be a showpiece object. However, early comet predictions are often overly optimistic.

Comet SWAN the morning of May 14, 2020

As feared, it hasn't brightened as hoped. But there's another problem that impacts me taking a picture of it. The comet is staying low on the eastern horizon as it travels northward. The way my observatory is positioned, its roof blocked visibility of SWAN until it was above 9 degrees of elevation. By then the sky had already started its dawn brightening. That means the sky is masking the dimmer parts of the comet's tail.

To get an image while SWAN is still in a darker part of the sky I'd have to move outside of the observatory, maybe on the driveway where there's a better view of the low NE sky, and use my small portable telescope mount.

Maybe... we'll see.

Update on Comet Swan

On May 18th I did take another picture of Comet SWAN. Unfortunately there were cloud layers on the eastern horizon that blocked the comet most of the time. Just as the sky started to brighten, SWAN went between two cloud layers and I got a picture of it just seven degrees above the horizon. Go to the Solar System astrophoto page to see it. The comet was still small though, so it just didn't blossom as hoped.

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