Despite poor weather forecasts, the sky cleared for a couple of hours right on time for the grazing occultation of star HD69809 (Cancer, m=7.9). The occultation was visible from Public Observatory Bussloo (Netherlands). Six observers in total gathered at the observatory in preparation of the occultation. Hendrik Beijeman and Tom Borger found a place 500m to the south of the predicted limit line and observed two occulations. Jan Maarten WInkel was observing from a site 1400m south of the line and observed a short occultation followed by the complete disappearance of the star. Alex Scholten was the most southern placed observer 1700m south of the line and he saw a complete disappearance. Mark-Jaap and myself observed from the observatory, 250m south of the limit line. Mark-Jaap shot the occultation with a Celestron C8 and Canon EOS 70D in video mode. I used the observatories’ Celestron EdgeHD1400 with a Watec902 camera, a EZCap frame grabber, AME Video Time-Inserter TIM-10 and VirtualDub.
At the observatory two occultations occurred:
21.36.47-21.36.57 and 21.37.44-21.37.45 (timings in UT).
See below movie clip covering the period 21.36.30 – 21.38.00 UT.
Very poor conditions; high clouds, humid and a very light sky background. Couldn’t get rid of a strong gradient caused by light pollution.
Caught a glimpse of the Northern lights, hours after a Kp=8 storm hit the atmosphere.
In spite of the first quarter moon and low clouds, Lovejoy was easily visible with binoculars.
Conditions were not as good as last week, but Lovejoy was still remarkably active. No brightness estimate this time, due to a bright star too close to the comet.
Finally clear skies and the moon out the way. Arrived early at public observatory Bussloo and piggy-backed the camera on the AP 1100 GTO mount. With short focal lengths this mount does not need autoguiding. At magnitude 4.7 the comet was still clearly visible to the naked eye. A pair of 8.5×42 binoculars showed a nice gas tail. A lot of visitors, there were some 80 in total, also got a glimpse of the comet through binoculars.