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Last night's look at Comet Hartley

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#1 Achernar



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Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:44 AM

This is a drawing I made last night from an airstrip west of Mobile Alabama. The previous night, I located it from my front yard, barely with a 10-inch Dob because of the extreme light pollution and milky skies that are the norm in my city. The view was much better from the countryside near the Alabama, Mississippi state line, but the comet still looked very much like a small, dim face on spiral galaxy with an active nucleus. It was well worth the effort to look for it, but it wasn't a show stopper. It will however be worth the effort to follow as long as it's relatively close to us, and therefore bright enough to find with the telescopes most amateurs have.


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#2 CarlosEH


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Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:51 AM


An excellent observation of Comet Hartley (P/103). This is a strange but interesting visitor to our neighborhood (solar system). The images of this comet may make an observer believe that it is brighter, but as you point out it is faint. I am glad that you were able to obtain a good view of it from a dark site. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#3 mikesemmler



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Posted 03 October 2010 - 12:41 PM

Acheron - great scetch


#4 Special Ed

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:01 PM

Nice sketch and report. What's the fov at this magnification? You have probably rendered the brighter inner coma--the dim, diffuse outer coma extends almost a half degree now.

#5 Achernar



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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:06 PM

Thanks! The FOV at 150X is about 24 arc minutes across, thus the outer edge of the coma was bigger than the field of view. I was looking at it with a 9mm TMB Planetary eyepiece, whose AFOV is 60 degrees. However, even with a lower power, wide field eyepiece, the light pollution and somewhat hazy skies ensured that only the inner portion of the coma was visible. Alabama's skies are most of the time like a bowl of milk with us at the bottom looking up.


#6 frank5817



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Posted 03 October 2010 - 06:32 PM


That is a much better look than mine was. Fine sketch. :bow: :rainbow: I'll need to go back for another look later in the night.
Chicago is 9 miles to my northeast and that is very horrible sky in that direction.

Frank :)

#7 Jef De Wit

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:22 AM

Fine sketch. I hope I will see the comet once from a non-polluted sky. They are some experienced observers who have seen Hartley with the naked eye from really dark skies!

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