C/2007 F1 LONEOS




I made a visual observation of C/2007 FI LONEOS during the evening (Oct 9/10th 2007) from 20.27 - 20.39 BST despite a very poor sky. The western sky was covered with dense haze with the trans ranging from 1 - 4 at best. Slow moving light cumulus clouds revealed only narrow clear horizontal strips. I began seeping for the comet in bright twilight at 19.50 and after much frustration picked it up in the 8.5" low in the NW within Coma Berenices this time located further to the east of Melotte 111. I noted that the comet IS visible in a dark sky despite being only 32 degrees in elongation from the Sun.

The coma was very striking with a brilliant white and quite intense central condensation which looked much more active since my previous observation on the 4th. The inner coma looks very energetic and a stellar false nucleus could clearly be seen in the 9.7mm. The eastern side of the coma looked wider than the west. The coma had a very compact well condensed profile, spherical in shape with a dominating white colour. I did not see any green tonight. The coma looks very similar to a unresolved globular cluster. Imagine Messier 15 without the mottled texture.

Once the sky was completely dark the tail seemed to 'switch on'. I could see the faint blue gas tail pointing to the NW for at least 1 degree. The tail seemed to widen with distance from the coma. Perhaps a faint dust tail is superimposed on the gas?. Spotted one blue streamer running from the coma into the tail.

Comet soon set behind treetops. Seen LONEOS fairly easily in 10X50 binoculars once I knew where to look. The telrad on the scope really helped here. Also tried for a naked eye observation without success.

Mag: +6.7? (perhaps brighter), Dia: 3' D.C:6