Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:01 PM
Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:07 AM
20 May 2013 New Mexico 20X80 binoculars
Just me at 2 AM again. The comet is pretty bright, large and elongated 3X1 with a pretty bright nucleus. There is a faint anti-solar ray that is at an angle of about
135 degrees with the nucleus. Overall, it looks like a capitol letter "L". The anti-tail is easier and more prominent with averted vision.
Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:13 AM
Great shot. In actuallity, that is a very long anti-tail, the real tail is up and left. I do believe that is the longest and most prominent anti-tail I remember seeing. For those who might not know, the anti-tail is a reflection of sunlight off of particles in the plane of the movement of the comet. It is not "in front" of the comet, it is along its path, particles left behind as the comet moves in its orbit. Somewhat of an optical illusion.
Too bad the Moon is so bright now. Maybe it will still be a prominent comet when the moon is out of the sky.
Clear skies to us all;
Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:31 AM
Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:22 PM
Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:45 AM
On 5/20/13 I once again imaged C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS with the T2wf scope. Unfortunately my coordinates were off and I missed the comet in the T2hm but the comet managed to show itself on the upper part of the wide field image (T2wf). What is most interesting is the significant change of PANSTARRS tail. From what I can see the whole tail has become much wider, spanning almost 170 degrees! In this image the Ion tail is pointing almost directly east stretching across most of the FOV, looking like a searchlight beam. The part of the tail that was imaged has to be at least a degree in length, with the whole tail being longer. This is much longer then it was on the 4th. The dust tail seems to be shorter and wider pointing in a WNW direction. Only a small part of the dust tail was imaged.
The coma appears to be smaller and fainter then what was imaged on the 4th. I hope to get a better image in a couple of days.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:15 AM
Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:08 PM
This is a common phenomenom when crossing orbital planes of comets. I've seen it many times with other comets, but this one is very noticable as Panstarrs is very dusty.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:37 PM
Imagine viewing the arching stream of water from a graden hose pointed upwards at a 45-degree angle. As the stream breaks up it forms a wide, thin cascading curtain of water droplets. If the stream is viewed from the side one can look right through it making it appear as little more than a curtain of mist. But as seen from the viewpoint of the man holding the nozzle of the hose the stream looks like a solid narrow tube of water. The situation is the same as with the anomalous tail of a comet.
Incidentally, the "longest" anomalous tail every recorded was that associated with Comet Arend-Roland in the spring of 1957. It reached an incredible 15-degrees photographically, most of which could even be seen with just the unaided eye!
Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:57 PM
I obtained the following image using an old Pentacon 300mm f/4 lens, piggybacked on a Celestron C8 for 11 x 3-min unguided exposures. Stacking and registration was via Deep Sky Stacker (comet-aligned). I realise I could have framed it to accommodate more of the anomalous tail, but my setting-up was rushed due to darkness not falling locally until after 11:30pm, while I have to get up for work at 6:30am!
Regards and clear skies!
Posted 01 June 2013 - 03:54 AM
Enjoyed the comet and mock-complained about the aurora 'ruining' our viewing. Truly awesome aurora were visible from clouds-clearing around 12:30 to clouds-returning @ 3 AM.
Posted 01 June 2013 - 07:04 AM
Posted 02 June 2013 - 06:19 PM
Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:54 AM
And just to add I used a 32 mm ocular in my F/5 reflector for the observation.
Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:08 PM
I finally was able to image this comet last night. Before
it was too low behind trees and hills and of course the
weather not been co-operative either. Great that so many
have posted their observations and images of this fuzz ball
for all to enjoy.
A quick processing of my first observation of this comet.
I'll get a calibrated image up also ... just short of time
to do it at the moment.
Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:20 PM
Wrong thread really, but I've since observed C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) - my 60th comet . Not much to report, though, as I was fighting the early onset of dawn and glare from one streetlight that affects my backyard.
Posted 06 June 2013 - 04:13 PM
We also viewed C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), which was rather bright and resembled an unresolved globular cluster, and a very faint C/2011 J2 (LINEAR) through the 24" Dob.
Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:46 PM
enough time to process the data on the computer that one
collects at the telescope ... sometimes a steep learning
curve goes along with it!
Here is a calibrated image..darks/flats/dark flats of the
previous image I posted. 13 X 3 minutes @ ISO 800 using
the PowerNewt at F 2.8 and Canon D450. I am still learning
on the "best" way to process comet image data.
Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:09 AM
Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:29 AM
Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:45 AM
Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:01 AM
Weather is supposed to be clear this weekend and I'll be
out trying to grab a new image of this fuzz ball.