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mn90403

Franconia December 13th for Comet, Meteor Shower and Meteorites

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Hello Meteorite Hunters:

Last year I participated in a meteorite hunt at Franconia which was the 10 year anniversary of the field. I found gold and a good meteorite over a 4 day period. This year I want to go back but also watch a meteor shower and a comet.

I have looked at a time for an outing on a weekend and it seems that December 13th and 14th are the best for 2013-14 season for a couple of reasons.
The crescendo of the apparition will likely occur between December 10th and 14th, when the comet will be best seen just before dawn after the moon sets. Although little or perhaps nothing of the head will remain, the huge tail will loom in the northeastern sky. Almost evenly illuminated over its length, this rapidly fading appendage could [span] almost a quarter of the heavens as seen under good, dark observing conditions.
In 2013, a bright waxing gibbous moon will interfere with the Geminids throughout most of the peak night. Your best bet is to watch on the mornings of December 13 and 14, from moonset until dawn.
The moon will be setting about 4 AM if I read it correctly so there would be about 2 hours of darkness before the sun gets in the way. During the day we can hunt for meteorites in a well known and defined field.
Another date of note would be January 3, 2014 which is the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower and this will be a dark sky! The comet will be mostly gone however.
Camping is available on BLM land south of the freeway and I think a few 'experts' would show up to help us out with the sky.
I'm planning to go. Who will meet me and your friends there?
Mitchel

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I plan to be there and am sure my hunting partner Don Morin would like to go. Either date would work for me.

Twink

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Hi Mitchel.

Sounds like an interesting schedule. I'll be there. Weather permitting, camping sounds like a perfect option.

Never been to Franconia. Liked the stories I heard from you and Karl.

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Mitchel,

Sounds good to me...it's on my calendar.

Karl

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If I have the time free around the holidays I'd love to head out, but my calendar is always tight that time of year.

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Mitchel,

If nothing gets in the way I should be able to attend a day or 2.

Dave.

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As a newby if allowed, I'll be there, camping sounds like a perfect way to go.
Never been to Franconia. Liked the stories I heard and read here. Heck even if I find zip, I get to meet you all and that is great!

Jim

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Jim,

Franconia is an open place with big sky and no trees. There are few mountains to obstruct the view. Camping spots are 'easy' as there are many level places. Fires are allowed but we need to bring our own wood. The main camping area is about 3 miles south of Interstate 40 at the Franconia Road exit. There are two truck stops with showers and facilities 2 miles from Franconia Road.

Hunting for meteorites and gold can be frustrating. Meteor watching can be spectacular. We just need a dark sky to see the comet. This was an opportunity to plan a date for hunting and watching at the same time.

I certainly am not an expert nor have I been hunting in the deserts for very long but I enjoy it. I encourage everyone to come out and watch, learn and hunt with some of the original hunters of the field. They know who they are and I hope they bring back some of their better finds to show us all.

Twink, Dave and Mike have great collections, pictures and stories and I'm glad they will try to make it out.

Mitchel

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Excellent! I have my cal marked and am trying to get a newly given MH up and running for the event, but if not I will tent it!

Thanks,

JIm

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I will also try to make this one! Sounds like a great outing and I will pin this thread...

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Bill,

I hope the skies are clear and I plan to attend the Gold Basin outing. The comet may be showing then and I'm sure you will have some people out there going for gold and meteorites. One additional reason for Franconia is that your Gold Basin outing will have been just a few weeks before.

Mitchel

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Hi Mitchell.



Seems like the comet may not live up to the hype...


http://www.space.com...redictions.html



Too bad if true, I was looking forward to it.



But, it maybe, will fool everyone and be spectacular.




Saginaw




--

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Saginaw,

Well ... we'll still have the meteor shower and of course there are the meteorites we will be hunting. We can only hope that the predawn will have some sight of the comet.

Mitchel

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Comet ISOM update:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-13/news/ct-met-comet-ison-20130913_1_international-scientific-optical-network-comet-ison-brightest-comet

Bottom line ... it might be bright and it might not. Keep reading as the time gets closer to Thanksgiving.

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I cant get up at 4 am , but maybe I can go meteorite & gold hunting. I will consider going to this.

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Absolutely, count me in. I am new to this prospecting game and I need all the help I can get.

Thanks,

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Hound,

You'll meet up with a few people who have hunted this area for years and give you an idea about what is still left to find and what has already been found. I have been many trips without finding anything but just like most of the desert, it is beautiful out there!

Mitchel

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Hi all!

Wendy and I plan on being there. Pulling the trailer this time and bringing the quad. I seem to have a good record of getting flats on the quad within 30 seconds of being on the ground! I have 2 gallons of that green stuff in the tires this time. Maybe that will help until I find some 8 or 10 ply tires.

Will be arriving mid morning on Friday to set up at camp, then it's off to hunt.

Jim

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Oh...and I am bringing my moonshine too!

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Jim,

I am very pleased to know you and Wendy are coming. We will all benefit from your knowledge of the area.

Last night I was in Gold Basin in my Trooper and I was watching the Leonid meteor shower after the moon had set about 4 AM. I think in a month the conditions in the sky at Franconia will be similar.

I don't know how many people will want to get up and watch but I'll be around.

Mitchel

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Saturday December 7th at 10 PM there will be a special on Ison on The Science Channel

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