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Panstarrs in the UK?

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#1 Lellynelly


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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:49 PM

Anyone know if I'll see Panstarrs from here and if so how do I find it in my telescope?

#2 SkipW


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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:33 AM

It should be visible low in the west by mid-March at sunset.

One source is to visit Heavens Above, enter your location in the configuration section (no need to register if you don't want to), then select Comets from the Astronomy section and pick C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS from the list. It will produce finder charts for a selected date and time.

There are other sites that will do this, too, but I don't have the addresses handy.

#3 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:06 AM

Anyone know if I'll see Panstarrs from here and if so how do I find it in my telescope?

Nobody knows what Comet PanSTARRS will look like after it rounds the Sun on March 10th, but you have as good a chance of seeing it as anyone does. Best bet is likely to be March 12-18.

Especially at first, the comet will be very low in very bright twilight right after the Sun has set, so conventional star charts won't help -- you won't be able to see any stars to guide you. You absolutely need a location with an unobstructed horizon to the west to northwest.

Go out shortly after sunset and start scanning near the horizon with binoculars. What, you don't have binoculars? Shame on you -- they're almost essential for this kind of thing.

With any luck, the comet will be bright enough to see naked-eye, but it probably won't be easy.

Once you've located it with binoculars or naked-eye, it should be a snap to point your telescope to it.

See This Week's Sky at a Glance for more information.

#4 astro_baby


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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:40 AM

If ghe UK weather runs true to form look to the west shortly after it sunset and you will get a great view of yet more clouds, possibly with fog and rain added in as well :)

For the past eight weeks its been a miracle here if you can even see the sun !!!!

#5 stevew


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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:05 AM

Here is a link to a great web site about current comets.
It has excellent finder charts for comets.

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