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Looking for PANSTARR

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#1 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:54 PM

At around 7:00pm due west around 15 to 20 degree; I saw something "NEW" ??????

Since no cold weather, Clear sky, dark sky, clean horizon and no moon in Yardley,PA and just 5 minutes drive from my house; I decided to try the comet.

I setup my P-mount on the tripod and 12x60mm (recently sold by Meade for $19) binocular and swing to west at about 15degree and as soon I looked through my binocular; BINGO... I saw something like comet !!!!

After watching about or over 20 seconds; I realized that It does not look like COMET instead it has a fat tail but very dark in colour like smoke and the body was reddish type. It was going down like setting in the west but very very slow (not like any sat or plane)

I just do not know; what was it or it was a Comet ???

ANYONE WHO WATCHED TODAY DUE WEST FOR COMET HAS SEEN IT?

#2 RedLionNJ

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:04 PM

That doesn't sound right. That sounds more like a contrail from an airplane, still high enough above the Earth to catch a bit of the setting sun.

By 7pm in your area, C/2011 L4 should have already set.

#3 J A VOLK

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

A friend and I went to a lookout in the foothills North of Los Angeles, eleveation about 1300 ft. - we had a good horizon, clear with the usual horizon haze. We are experienced observers and had 11x80 and 10x50 binos - we could not see Panstarrs.

#4 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

No, that was no air plane for SURE but what was it, I just do not know.
Just for the information is that the CONTRAIL can be seen as white or grey in orange and white zone as I have seen several times and not in black colour.

#5 RedLionNJ

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:50 PM

I don't know where you watch your contrails from, but I've seen them every color from bright white to almost black (including all shades of brown, orange and red), depending on the S-O-T angle...

#6 BrooksObs

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

Jawaid, your description simply corresponds to a distant jet con trail. Reflecting the light of either the already set (for ground observers) Sun, or the twilight glow itself, con trails can take on a wide variety of colors, just as RedlionNJ indicates.

Unfortumately, there have been a rash of mistaken comet sighting posted over the past few evenings, all corresponding to folks seeing distant con trails. So far PanSTARRS itself has remained lost in the twilight for mid northern latitude observers.

BrooksObs

#7 *skyguy*

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:42 PM

Absolutely, a dark jet contrail. I was seeing the same thing close to the horizon while looking for Panstarrs this evening. I also didn't see it with my binoculars. :(

#8 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:08 AM

As I already have mentioned in my very first post that I have not seen the comet. Instead, it was something else.

The SMOKE that I mentioned it was "going with it" and only about 2 degree long so I know it was no contrail.

That smoke like a part of a thing..

#9 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:08 AM

As I already have mentioned in my very first post that I have not seen the comet. Instead, it was something else.

The SMOKE that I mentioned it was "going with it" and only about 2 degree long so I know it was no contrail.

That smoke like a part of a thing..

#10 jonathanCR

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:43 AM

Panstarr visible from Costa Rica with 12x binos. Very faint with 7x35 binos and looks amazing with telescopes. I saw it from 5:35pm to almost 7pm central time.

#11 Mark9473

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:14 AM

I have to agree with some of the other posters, that what you saw was definitely a jet contrail. That's what they look like in early twilight.

#12 daniel_h

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:23 AM

Patience panstarrs is coming, it will be unmistakable if anything like what I saw

#13 edwincjones

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:28 AM

Patience panstarrs is coming, it will be unmistakable if anything like what I saw


:question:

what is this patience
thing you are talking
about

:question:

#14 guangtou

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:09 AM

These SH folks are starting to get on my nerves with their Comets Lovejoy and Lemmon and Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. They may have even gotten the better part of Panstarrs. Hey, we got the North Star!

#15 mercedes_sl1970

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:47 AM

These SH folks are starting to get on my nerves with their Comets Lovejoy and Lemmon and Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. They may have even gotten the better part of Panstarrs. Hey, we got the North Star!


Panstarrs was terrific through 18x70s the other evening (yes, that was a gloating tone!).

Andrew

ps wouldn't mind your North Star for quicker polar alignment...

#16 Special Ed

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

Just a note for PanSTARRS observer wannabes--until it gets a little higher in a darker sky, you will want to use big binoculars. Observers in California who have reported seeing it with telescopes say that it was not visible with 7x or 10x binoculars. See the PanSTARRS thread in the Solar System Observing forum for more details.

I have looked the past two evenings with my 12x36 IS II's with no success. I probably should have been using the 15x70's.

BTW, be prepared to see many, many contrails on the western horizon.

#17 GamesForOne

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:39 PM

Contrails can have all sorts of crazy optical effects. I've seen them look like dense black smoke and I once even observed and photographed one that projected a shadow on the cloud deck which the plane looked to be flying through!

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#18 faackanders2

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

Three Cheers for the first Northern Obserber to "See" comet Panstarr. Letthe contest begin

#19 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:46 PM

Contrails can have all sorts of crazy optical effects. I've seen them look like dense black smoke and I once even observed and photographed one that projected a shadow on the cloud deck which the plane looked to be flying through!

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Mike,
The photograph is indeed a contrail and in the photograph the contrail is a long streak while I observed a nearly 2 degree tail which was travelling with the thing and the thing was moving super super super slow . Please note I use the movement is super slow like a star but only 25 percent faster.

#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:27 PM

Observers in California who have reported seeing it with telescopes say that it was not visible with 7x or 10x binoculars.



My buddy Kau and I spotted it last night (Saturday) from out private site in the mountains about 70 miles east of San Diego along the US-Mexico border. I spotted it with my ST-80 fitted with a 2 inch focuser and a 31mm Nagler when it was about 3 degrees above the horizon. Once we knew where it was, Kau was able to see it in his 10 x 50 Action Extremes.

Jon

#21 PitchHitter

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

If you don't photograph it you can't prove it....;)

#22 ronharper

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

I saw it tonight, on a very clear evening here at 7400' elevation, 36 deg N latitude. 30 min. after sunset, it was 3 degrees above the horizon against a blue background.

Though my 10x50, the fanned out tail looked around 1/2 degree long, and appeared streaky or divided. The head was a uniformly bright white ball of light. I was too taken aback to estimate a magnitude, but it must pretty bright, since I didn't notice any stars nearby.

My wife had her 8.5x42, and we oohed and ahhed. See it if you can. It's a real beauty!

Ron

#23 btschumy

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:58 PM

I caught it tonight in my Fuji 10x50s from 40° N. There was a cloud bank over the mountains to the west that extended maybe 4° up. We first saw it when it was 6.5° up so we had about 10 minutes to look at it. As Ron said, tail was about 0.5° long. I didn't have any reference for estimating magnitude, but it was fairly obvious once seen.

It is going to be fun watching this one's apparent brightening as it moves away from the Sun.

#24 aa6ww

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:20 AM

Its a very tough lower power binocular object. Below 15x its going to be very difficult to detect and appreciate. 20x and above seems much more practical. Ive seen it for 3 nights now. The first with my 6" F/5 refractor at 28x using a 26 Nagler and tonight using my 180mm F/6 refractor. Tonight I spotted it with my 31 Nagler at 35x, then walked up the magnification to 154x using my 7 nagler. Its a tough object to find because its very low in the sky. Tonight I caught it at about 5 degees above the horizon at 7:38pm, and had about 20 minutes of viewing time before it dipped below some very low dark clouds. Best views were with my 22 Nagler at 50x at about 1.6 deg actual field of view.
PannStarr really needs some magnification to really appreciate its beauty. Its a magnificent object to observe, its just very difficult to pick out of the low sky. It has a beautiful bright coma and a wide tail that seems to fan out very nicely. I'm estimating tonight it was it was about 30 to 40 arc minutes long in the twilight light I was observing it in. At higher magnifications you can just tell this object is screaming through our solar system and ballistic speeds in how it appears at magnifications approaching 100x.
I have 25x100 binoculars but PannStarr really needs more magnification to really see it and appreciate the beauty of how magnificent is really is.

...Ralph
38 deg latitude,
Sacramento.

#25 PitchHitter

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:34 AM

I was looking for it last night and didn't see it. I bought the land out there east of San Diego then turned it back and SDAA bought it. It is a lousy place to view from and there are 6,000 ft, mountains between you and the horizon... Actually about a 8,000 ft. looking south of West.

Tonight a few of us met above Walkers Pass about a mile high and spotted it with my 20x100s. It could not be seen naked eye and the guy with the 7x35s had no luck. It looks like a neon "V" or check mark actually. The head was very bright and the tail was interesting but dim. In the 20x100s it was plain that this was one tail with a wispy center though some what shaped like Hale Bopp which had two distinct tails, one left a particle trail the other was an blue ion tail. See my photos on file with NASA or Cal Tech. -Rick Crockett

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