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PANSTARRS, an outreach of two

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#1 David E

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:30 PM

I had intended to view the comet alone, but a couple driving around looking for a good place to catch the comet drove up to me and we started talking. They didn't have a telescope with them and I invited them to view through mine. I spotted the crescent Moon first, and it was another 5 minutes or so before I first spotted PANSTARRS through my little SV70ED. Dennis, the husband, had a smart phone with a camera, and managed to get a decent shot through my Vixen 8-24 zoom eyepiece. It was great that, by pure accident, we happened to hook up tonight. They were excited about seeing their first comet through the telescope, and I was equally excited to get two of his photos through my SV70ED! Maybe it's not exactly a showcase shot, but considering the circumstances, I think he did a pretty good job!

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#2 nirvanix

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

Nice teamwork!

#3 solshaker

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:54 PM

not a bad shot at all.

i had a similar situation. at sunset i went to the soccer fields north of town with my 10x50s and at65. soccer practices were going on with people coming and going. found a spot that wasnt crowded with cars and pulled over. really didnt think i was going to view the comet as there was still a cloud bank stretching from the sw all the way across the horizon.

after a few minutes of searching in vain a minivan pulled up about 20 yds ahead of me and an older couple got out with some binocs. it was then that i noticed the sliver moon more to the west from where i was looking and knew i was good to go. using the nocs i easily found it.

as i pulled the nocs from my face and said "oh hell yeah!" i noticed the man walking towards me. "you out looking for the comet, too?" i asked. "yep. have you found it?" he said.
i affirmed and tried to describe its position to him in the sky and thats when i noticed he had some 25mms. he walked back to his van and i set up my at65.

i took a few shots and put the ep back in for some visual. something told me to walk over and ask if he had found it. he hadnt and so i offered for him and his wife to come over and take a look through the scope. she was back in the van because she was cold but he eagerly said yes. he commented on my "fancy rig" as i centered the comet and showed him where the tracking and focus knobs were located. then he put his eye up to the ep.

he didnt look too long; maybe a minute. then he straightened up and said "boy, thats something. thanks." and walked back to his van. i thought "he was probably underwhelmed" and went back to taking some more pics. about 5 mins or so he started his van and pulled out to leave. i noticed he kept his headlights off as he was driving towards me. he then stopped and rolled the window down and said "thanks again for letting me look through your scope. now i can say i saw the comet". it was then i knew that he wanst underwhelmed and he did appreciate the view.

im glad i walked over and offered. it was important to me to make sure he got to view the comet. not to show off, but just to share.

#4 David E

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

That's a great story Solshaker. It doesn't matter about how many you share with, it's a great feeling to share with someone, especially someone you know wouldn't get a real chance to see the comet without you.

#5 mwedel

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:07 AM

I went to the top of a local parking garage to catch the comet for the first time tonight. About 5 minutes after I spotted it, a young couple on a date drove up and parked next to me. I invited them to see the comet, then showed them the thin crescent moon. When the young woman saw the moon in the scope, she jerked back from the eyepiece, shook her hands, and said that the view had given her the chills. When people ask why I do sidewalk astronomy, I tell them about things like that.

Later on a family of five pulled up and I showed all of them the comet and the moon. So I had an outreach of seven this evening. Most satisfying.

#6 aa6ww

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:54 AM

I had intended to view the comet alone, but a couple driving around looking for a good place to catch the comet drove up to me and we started talking. They didn't have a telescope with them and I invited them to view through mine. I spotted the crescent Moon first, and it was another 5 minutes or so before I first spotted PANSTARRS through my little SV70ED. Dennis, the husband, had a smart phone with a camera, and managed to get a decent shot through my Vixen 8-24 zoom eyepiece. It was great that, by pure accident, we happened to hook up tonight. They were excited about seeing their first comet through the telescope, and I was equally excited to get two of his photos through my SV70ED! Maybe it's not exactly a showcase shot, but considering the circumstances, I think he did a pretty good job!


Its a real photo David, and considering what you used, its excellent. Ive never been impressed with Astro-photoshopping you see so many times out here now a days.
PannStarr is not an easy comet to locate. Its a challenge to everyone, and especially those who don't really put lots of time into effort into this hobby.
I have numerous so called " astronomer" friends, and not a single one has made any real effort to try and locate and observe comet PannStarr. They usually just go out with me and wait for me to find what we came out to observe, then they just either look through my gear, or then try and find it with their own after getting their bearings from my efforts. Comets that are not naked eye visible, are my most fun objects to hunt for and observe, because they take time and effort and determination to locate and find.
Your picture is great, its a real document that shows you went out and did the hunt and it paid off.
Congratulations!!

...Ralph






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