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What scope R U gonna use for Upcoming comets!!

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:36 AM

Its almost show time here in the Northern Hemisphere for 2 of the 3 known comets heading our way. Comet PANSTARRS first followed by Comet Lemmon.

Looking forward to being naked eye seems nice, but that wont distract me at all from being excited about these upcoming visitors if I have to take out a scope. Its what we do as astronomers anyways. and regardless if they are naked eye comets or not, we are probably all going to be hunting for them the second we know they are in our skies. Even if they are naked eye comets, we are all going to take out our scopes and observe them with what we have anyways.

Since comets are my favorite objects to hunt for in the sky, I regularly look for 10th magnitude or dimmer comets in the sky just about every time I go out with my gear. There's always something out there.

For me, this time, I'm looking forward to using my Celestron 6" F5 Omni XLT, which can give me up to 3.7 degs actual field of view incase these guys are large enough that I need that much field of view. The 150mm of aperture can definitely help also. I may also use my 180mm F/6 APM, both seem to be targeted as excellent comet telescopes this time around.

What scope are you planning to observe these upcoming comets with? Since many ot of us have more than one scope, do you think you'll be favoring one over another? Binoculars may be a nice option also, or a scope with a binoviewer!!

...Ralph

#2 stevecoe

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:24 AM

Ralph;

In order, I will use my little 8X42 binoculars for wide field tail observing and to find it in the first place. Then the 20X80 binoculars for detail around the coma and head of the comet. Then on to the 16" f/4.5 Newtonian for detail around the head and looking for material boiling off the nucleus. This is assuming I do all that while the comet is still above the horizon in the case of PANSTARRS.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

#3 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 06:30 AM

If things work out, I'll be useing all my instruments. :jump:

Rich (RLTYS)

#4 MikeBOKC

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:51 AM

For in town and outreach events, my CPC1100 with an AT66 piggybacked. At the club dark site my xx14g.

#5 Ed D

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

I'll probably be observing from home using all my instruments as well: 8x56 binos, AT72ED, and 6" Dob. Dark sky would be nice, too.

Ed D

#6 aa6ww

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:23 PM

I guess it all depends on how large these guys get in our skies. I think the wide field scopes will have the edge on these larger comets. Either way, it should be a blast!!

...Ralph

#7 Astrodj

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:20 PM

Travel to a dark site is necessary for me to get the most from a comet, so...

8x42 binoculars for widest field, SV80ed on an AT Voyager mount, XT10 on an EQ platform for good views of the nucleus.

...all equipment that travels easily, plus I can stay unplugged.

#8 azure1961p

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:34 PM

The 70mm Ranger. Comet Hyakutake (spelling) shown me with frustrating tunnel vision ( tho stunning res) that my 8" reflector was too myopic and I needed this wide field scope in my arsenal. Hale Bopp was on its way in still and I resolved to get this refractor, where in which you'd swear Hale Bopp was MADE for it. Stunning "onion ring" pseudo nucleus gas shells blowing off, this huge wedge of a tail with details and bright . Those observations alone payed for the scope. I look forward to Pan and Ison. I hate the names though. Infact its just wrong. Find someone from History, make some one up but somewhere somehow get a real name for it. I'd rather just call it Comet Bob or Doug.

At anyrate, my 26mm plossl or soon to be bought 32mm plossls from Pensack in my bino viewers will do great Im sure. Nucleur details and coma close ups will be my 8" or 6" scopes.

Can't leave out the venerable 8x42s!!!!


Pere

#9 azure1961p

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:34 PM

Post deleted by RLTYS

#10 operascope

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

I'm building a 4" f/6 partly with comet viewing in mind. With my 40mm eyepiece it will give about 4 degrees FOV. I also plan to use my 12" f/5 for more close examination.

Beyond that, if all goes well, naked eye is what I'm really looking forward to...hopefully the tail won't fit in any scope!

#11 BrooksObs

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 08:50 AM

I hate the names though. Infact its just wrong. Find someone from History, make some one up but somewhere somehow get a real name for it. I'd rather just call it Comet Bob or Doug.

Pete


The fact of the matter is that the naming of comets after their discoverers only commenced in the 19th century. In Messier's and Mechain's time there was no such official naming practice. The later custom really was in recognition of the fact that a particular individual had usually expended vast numbers of hours in a search for comets, as well as the official determination of the discoverer for the awarding of discovery associated prizes/medals.

Even during much of the 20th century, when a professional might happen accidentally upon a comet in the course of some other photographic work, it was still usually as an individual and the naming was straight forward. However, once multiple sky surveys came into fashion late in the century discoveries came more often as the result of groups efforts and ever less by individuals. At one point folks even vaguely tied to the discovery images were being unfairly credited in the naming process. This was observed to be decidedly and historically inappropriate and the IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (the discovery clearinghouse) put an end to it, restructuring the naming process.

Today the discovery circumstances may even be further removed from tradition with amateur group surveys underway and sometimes employing professional instruments. Therefore, comet discoveries resulting from any group effort are rightly designated with the name of the program, not the individuals involved, avoiding a continuous run of triple-named comets.

BrooksObs

#12 Aquarellia

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

As operascope said don't forget naked eyes, sketch on paper or something like 15 sec pose with a stable small camera.

#13 Special Ed

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

I have a ridge blocking my view of the western horizon so I won't be able to use my observatory scope on PanSTARRS. I'll have to be portable to get a clear view down to the horizon so I'll be using my 12x36 image stabilised binoculars, my 15x70 binoculars on a p-gram mount, and my trusty widefield reflector, the 108mm Astroscan.

Comet Lemmon will be a morning comet for us northern hemisphere observers in May and I believe will be tricky to get a good view before it is overwhelmed by morning twilight. My eastern horizon is also blocked by a ridge, so I'll probably have to take my same portable gear to a high point on my place to get a look at Lemmon.

#14 Tonk

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

Theres always Comet Encke to look forward to as well this year :)

#15 Special Ed

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

Theres always Comet Encke to look forward to as well this year :)


That's right--in October, yes?

I didn't mention Comet ISON because I didn't want to jinx it. [Is that magical thinking, or what?] But ISON could just crumble away as it screams through the solar corona. :p

#16 Scott Beith

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

If things work out, I'll be useing all my instruments. :jump:

Rich (RLTYS)


Same here! :grin:

#17 dyslexic nam

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

If things work out, I'll be useing all my instruments. :jump:

Rich (RLTYS)


Same here! :grin:


x3?

I have a fairly limited arsenal, but I can see a role for each of them.

My 8" f6 dob - as my "big gun", any kind of resolvable detail will be best viewed in this scope. I have little (meaning "no") experience as a comet viewer, so this year will teach me a lot about what, if anything, my 8" can show me for what I understand is a traditionally widefield object.

My 20x60 Pentax binos - these are very sharp on starfields, so I am hoping that they are a good option for comet viewing "in context".

And last but not least, I am hoping my kids' Astroscan will be an effective scope on bright comets. I assume that its wide FOV coupled with a bit of aperture could be a good option to have. Given the Astroscan's design limitations, it would be nice to show my kids an object other than the moon that is well suited to its capabilities.

#18 evilmedic13

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

I hope to use all of mine as well. The 11" sct, 120mm refractor, 80mm apo, and 90mm MC, all at different points of their tours, and hopefully let a few people outside of astronomy circles see them too.
I brought my 90mm to work for the venus transit, and set it up for the ER nurses to watch it, they were very interested. Hoping for a repeat performance with the comets,

#19 mattyfatz

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:51 PM

For starters.. Each night I'll have my dual scope setup.. A 6" celestron F8 achromat ( the old C6R ) and a C10 newt (10" F4.5 ) mounted in tandem on my UA Double-Star mount. This is my DREAM setup for visually observing comets.
When comet Holmes came through in '07, I began to wish I had the ability to view a wide field and high magnification at the same time. With Holmes I set up a 6" SCT on a GoTo mount, and a Vixen r130sf on a Portamount. That worked well but it was a lot of equipment for the aperture I was dealing with. This new setup has plenty of aperture a nice wide FOV, and great magnification potential with the 6"f8.
I can also mount any of my other OTA's on the Double-Star. Meade 8" SCT, SV70, AT102, C6 even have a bino mount for it.
I'll break out the coulter 13.1 when we get close to the dates to try and squeeze it out at a dark site.
And at every session I'll have my trusty 9x63 binos around my neck. :D :D :) :)
Now of course the question is what eyepieces should I use :-/ :confused:

#20 dickie

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:08 AM

My first (priority plan) objective will be to structure at least 2-3 blocks of time to secure the best dark site I can reasonably travel to and remain there for at least a couple of nights. Hopefully this will get the most out of the Burgess 127mm refractor and 12 inch dob and my old Ultimas and Tuthills.

#21 EJN

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

Doesn't matter. It will be cloudy here.

#22 Illinois

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

My 10X50 Binocular and 100mm f9 refractor. Maybe 16 inch dobsonian for close up and details.

#23 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:54 PM

Everything, from the naked eye, through 50, 70, 80, 110-mm binoculars, 10", 12" and 16" telescopes. Wide field to high power views of the inner coma. Can hardly wait! :)
CS!Jure

#24 Phillip Creed

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 01:56 PM

I've got a set of 15x70 binoculars that will be my primary instrument for viewing Comet Panstarrs. In addition, my alt-az mounted 8" f/4.9 might come along, as I've customized the assembly for quick-strike, "guerrilla astronomy" tactics that are often necessary here in cloudy NE Ohio.

Clear Skies,
Phil

#25 hecdaca2007

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:55 PM

Hi Pete! Can I really do comet observation with a 72mm!? If so, what would be the magnitude of the skies needed to do so? I understand you live in Connecticut, I used to live in Massachusetts and I know how poor the quality of the skies can be around this time. Nevertheless I have small scopes and i would like to try them on this "thing" coming our way!






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