Jump to content


Photo

With PannStarr fading, what gear worked best?

  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 aa6ww

aa6ww

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 967
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2011
  • Loc: Sacramento, Calif.

Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:55 AM

I had a nice view of Comet PannStarr again tonight. Its definitely getting smaller and dimmer now.
I had a chance to use most of my gear on PannStarr, and most impressive of all were my 25x100mm binoculars.

Overall, PannStarr looked best when it had that wide 2.5 deg's field of view and all the light gathering both eyes of the big binos gave me.

It was also very easy to pan around for the comet and find it with my big binoculars on an alt-az tripod. It was definitely not an easy target by any stretch of the imagination and most (all) of my so called astronomy friends would not have seen it if i wasn't there to spot it first for them.

Runner up for the next best views I got were with my 6" F/5 Celestron Omni 150R with my binoviewer and 24 Pans, with straight through viewing. This was 31x at 2.2 degs field of view.

Next was my 180mm F/6 APm again with the binoviewer and 24 Pans at about 1.5 deg field of view at 45x.

Everything else I used, a C8, C11, T0A-130, TSA-102 were just not as impressive as the above top 3 I listed.

I think partly because there just wasn't that much time to observe it every available night, and by the time the comet was spotted, it was just to low and in the muck sometimes, to really take advantage of larger aperture and higher powers. At least that was the case in my area. I never had more than 45 minutes on any given night to enjoy it.

What was your best views by, using what eyepieces and what magnification and field of view, that seemed to work best with you?

this was my top choice!

....Ralph

Attached Files



#2 MikeBOKC

MikeBOKC

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4598
  • Joined: 10 May 2010
  • Loc: Oklahoma City, OK

Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:50 AM

I only used my TMB92L with a 24mm Panoptic, but at our outreach event I had a chance to view the comet through a wide range of scopes including larger SCTs and Dobs and I did not see any view that was better than mine. PANSTARRS put on a nice show in binos and smaller scopes . . . you did not need a yard cannon to enjoy it around perihelion.

#3 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 36426
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 24 March 2013 - 11:53 AM

So far I've been able to observe Comet PanSTARRS through 7x50, 8x42, 10x50, and 15x70 binoculars, an 80mm achromat, a 101mm apochromat, a 5" achromat, an 8" SCT, and a 17" classical Cassegrain. My favorite views have been through the big scope at 118 (55mm University Optics Plössl) and 162x (40mm University Optics MK-70), with a true field of view of only a shade under 26 arc minutes.

Dave Mitsky

Attached Files



#4 MessiToM

MessiToM

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2009
  • Loc: Huntingdon PA

Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:28 PM

I have two "pairs" of binoculars. Out of collimation 70mm's wich are nearly un-usable and a small pair of 30mm's wich now are un-usable besause the comet has dimmed

SO, My primary instrument has been this 6" achromat F8 and a 30mm 68*fov Meade EP and a 8-24mm Zhummel Zoom EP
Posted Image

Testing Flickr
Posted Image
scopecometmedlargeunderline by Messitom, on Flickr

#5 Erik Bakker

Erik Bakker

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3184
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2006
  • Loc: The Netherlands, Europe

Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

Hi Ralph,

I only got to use my 3 binos on this comet:

10x32 sharp but dim
7x42 bright small, long tail, very easy as a "finder"
18x70 superb views of the comet, lot of detail in the tail

Normally I would have used my 4' f/8 apo and 16" f/5 dob as well, but time constraints combined with the low horizon needed to view PANSTARRS kept me from using them.

Did find my Nikon D300s with 70-200/2.8 VR II very powerful on this comet tonight. 2 sec exposure at 200mm f/2.8 and ISO 1600 got me a lot of comet and surrounding stars :)

#6 aa6ww

aa6ww

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 967
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2011
  • Loc: Sacramento, Calif.

Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:09 PM

When observing with a few celestrons, a C8 and my C11, the conditions were never very favorable for high power and narrow fields of views that both of these scopes provided.
I did observe PannStarr with my 1080mm F/6 refractor with a 41Pan, a 31 Nagler and 26 nagler but at that time I was using an alt-az mount and the comet was very low, and the low atmosphere didn't do much to help the views with the larger aperture the 180mm scope provided. With the binoviewer installed with a set of 24 pans, contras helped and made the views significantly more pleasing.
Overall, the dual eyes of the 100mm binoculars gave the best views, I think mostly because on 2 of the nights, the skies were clear and the long wispy tail was visible and took up much of the field of view of the binos.

Overall though, I though there were many trying to capture the views with cameras, i think the visual observers were not out in force like other astronomical events, which to me was surprising.

Overall however, I think visually, it was a beautiful comet and am happy I spent every clear night observing it. It never took more than 2 hrs out of my evenings on any given night, from the time I left my home till I returned.

Looking forward to a morning view of Comet Lemmon soon!!

...Ralph

#7 Ron Luxemburg

Ron Luxemburg

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 184
  • Joined: 18 Apr 2007
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:01 PM

Hey Guys, I'll add my 3 different views into the mix here as well.

My 1st views were looking over the ocean with a Vixen 80ED and it was ok, but not great due to wind.

2nd: From home with 11x80's when it was just left of the moon. Quite nice.

Best: From Joshua Tree in the early morning with my AP155 and 35mm Pan = wow! - really nice! memorable for sure.

#8 Rich (RLTYS)

Rich (RLTYS)

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 5246
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2004
  • Loc: New York (Long Island)

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:43 AM

My only view of Panstarrs in a Red/White zone was with my 10" refl.

Rich (RLTYS)

#9 JerryOrr

JerryOrr

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Oracle, Arizona

Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

I viewed the comet with 10x50 Binos - best for locating it, 20x80 Binos - best overall view and a 90mm refractor, at 91x, to view some detail in the coma, on the few occasions I had when the seeing would allow.

#10 aa6ww

aa6ww

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 967
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2011
  • Loc: Sacramento, Calif.

Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:54 PM

Sunday night my neighborhood had a late night power outage and the entire neighborhood went dark.
I ran out side and the skies were popping with stars, so I grabbed my 6" F/5 refractor and set up on my driveway with my Vixen mount for a good hr. PannStarr still looked spectacular in Cassiopeia now. I was pretty impressed. Great fun from my driveway, very rare night with no streetlights, since I have one at the edge of my house and a few more across the street!!!

...Ralph

#11 Jim T

Jim T

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 102
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2010
  • Loc: MO

Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:17 PM

Ralph

Just saw this thread. Near perihelion, I agree that my 25x100's gave a truly AWESOME view. The 10x50's were better finders, and gave a pleasant view. The only fault with the 20x100's at perihelion was lack of detail at the coma, but it was a welcome sacrifice for the exquisite view.

Jim

#12 operascope

operascope

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 253
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

When I observed it from a dark sky on May 9, I used my 12.5" f/5 and a 35mm Panoptic eyepiece. Beautiful. The 2 tails filled the eyepiece, and created a most memorable view.

#13 Achernar

Achernar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9126
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA

Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:19 AM

I've only had a chance to see it three times. The first two times was when it was very bright but so low I could hardly see it. I got a decent view through my 6-inch F/8. The last time I looked at it was with my 15-inch F/4.5, but a 6-inch would have showed it too if I knew where to look, I used the 15-inch due to the digital setting circles I added to it.

Taras

Attached Files



#14 Scanning4Comets

Scanning4Comets

    Markus

  • *****
  • Posts: 13776
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:52 AM

I only got to see it with a really cheap pair of 7x35 Tasco Binoculars.....but I am proud to say I saw it. I also took pics with my camera which turned out pretty good.

Attached Files



#15 Scanning4Comets

Scanning4Comets

    Markus

  • *****
  • Posts: 13776
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:56 AM

15 sec exposure...

Attached Files



#16 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 36426
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

I had some great morning views of Comet PanSTARRS through 8x42 and 16x70 binoculars, a 152mm Maksutov-Newtonian, and a 22" Dob during the Texas Party earlier this month. With the ultra-wide separation between the two tails, PanSTARRS truly had a unique appearance.

Dave Mitsky

#17 rdandrea

rdandrea

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2861
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra

Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:13 AM

I viewed it through 7x50s, 12x60s, and 20x80s. 20x80s won hands down.

#18 Charles Funk

Charles Funk

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 102
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2005
  • Loc: W. Tennessee

Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:10 AM

I am quite late to this party...Observed PanStarrs with ED 80 (various magnifications), 12x50 bins and 20x90 Obies. The big Obies won hands down. Just spectacular.

#19 Erik Bakker

Erik Bakker

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3184
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2006
  • Loc: The Netherlands, Europe

Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:31 AM

Later on, I was able to observe the comet with the 16" f/5, 102 f/8 fluorite, 18x70 and 7x42 in dusk. The 102 fluorite could not match the 18x70 for overall comet detail and even the 16" f/5 struggled. A bit more coma-detail for sure in the 16", but not quite the grandeur the 18x70 showed. In the 7x42 there was little detail, but nice brightness, tail and that huge FOV that makes it so easy to find objects with this bino. Considering the effort required and the great plus of mobility when observing objects near the horizon, my preferred PanStarr comet-gear consists of the 7x42 and 18x70 binos.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics