Last updated 2016 April 19
The purpose of this BAA Comet Section (http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~jds/) guide is to help amateur astronomers, of all ability levels, to develop their observational skills by hunting for comets visually, using binoculars and telescopes, by imaging and by searching images returned by spacecraft such as SOHO and STEREO. It would seem appropriate to name it ‘Project Alcock’ after the UK’s foremost comet discoverer – George Alcock.
The chances of discovering any new celestial object are small but ultimately worth pursuing. There are many aspects to comet observation all of which will eventually form part of this guide i.e.
- locating and observing known comets
- monitoring specific comets e.g. splitting, in outburst
- follow-up observations of newly discovered comets
- finding comets masquerading as asteroids or NEOs
- recovering returning periodic comets
- discovering comets
- on-line image analysis
- participation in pro-am projects
Please contact me, roger.dymock ‘at’ ntlworld.com, if you would like me to come and talk to your local astronomical society or if there are any aspects of comet observing and imaging you would like more information on or added to this website.
A beginner’s guide to spectroscopy using SSON images and Visual Spec
My thanks to Steve Broadbent, of the Hampshire Astronomical Group, for his guidance in using this facility.
CCD astrometry and photometry of faint comets – added 2016 April 19
Presentations (in pdf format)
(To return to this page after viewing one of the presentations press ‘Back’ on your browser or close the pdf viewer)
An on-going project with new material being added as time permits
Multi-aperture photometry by Julio Castellano (Translation from Spanish to English by Google with a little help from Roger Dymock)