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Panstarrs - Better now it is in a dark sky.

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#1 chrisrnuttall

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:43 AM

Helo all

Last night was clear for me so I set up my 15 x 70mm binoculars on a tripod and armed myself with a laptop running Stellarium, and digital angle finder, and set about locating the comet in the bright blue sky just after sunset.
I found it in about twenty minutes and my first impression was that it has faded significantly since I last observed it on the 13th. I quickly set up my 300mm dobsonian and centred the comet in a 30mm 2" eyepiece, the view was larger but the bright sky still washed out much of the tail.

I was able to follow the comet in telescope and binoculars for over an hour and a half, also trying but failing to take some decent photos at the same time. As the comet tracked towards the north west horizon the sky became darker and darker until I was eventually observing against a perfectly black background. I could easily see an asymmetric fan-shaped dust tail, longer on one side than the other, stretching about 0.75° from the bright yellow head. Also just visible was a second tail, equally broad but much shorter pointing straight down in my drawing, I take this to be the gas tail?

It was a thrilling a beautiful sight to see this comet through the eyepiece, looking every bit a splendid as the best photos on the web. Not usually the case with visual astronomy!

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#2 Laurent Ferrero

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:02 AM

Hi Chris,

Very beautiful sketch !
She seems to have changed a bit since my last observation.

#3 Andrev

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:09 AM

Very fine sketch. Thank you for sharing.

Hey Laurent, I didn't know you were around.

Andre.

#4 Aquarellia

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:13 AM

Lovely sketch, thanks to push us to watch PanStarrs tonight!

#5 frank5817

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:54 AM

Chris,

Spectacular capture of Comet PanStarrs.
The dark sky view is a good tradeoff for the loss in magnitude.

Frank :)

#6 SteelStar

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:18 AM

Excellent sketch and observation! Well done! :cool:

#7 niteskystargazer

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:10 PM

Chris,

Good sketch of Comet PanSTARRS :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#8 Jef De Wit

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:56 PM

Seeing (and sketching) the second tail :waytogo:

#9 chrisrnuttall

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:31 AM

thanks all, here is a photo I took the following night, you can see the little gassy fan shape to the side of the main tail pointing towards the nearby bright star here too, although it is a bit tenuous. It took averted vision to detect visually.
Also note how yellow the comet is compared to the stars, all I have done to this image is pushed up the contrast and colour saturation about 10%.
Seven stacked 30 second colour exposures with my canon DMC-FZ150. An unforeseen advantage of making an equatorial platform for my Dob is that I can also use it for my camera mounted on its tripod:)

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#10 chrisrnuttall

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

and here is a horribly forced version to show all the really faintly glowing areas to the left hand side. note the line running from the head of the comet towards the bright star, this is what I could see visually.

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#11 niteskystargazer

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:52 AM

Chris,

Nice Photo's of Comet PanSTARRS :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#12 Dee

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:15 AM

Awesome

#13 Tommy5

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:40 PM

very nice sketch and photo, still haven't seen this comet from my lp location.






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