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Am I the only one not inspired by Panstarrs?

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#1 azure1961p

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:09 PM

Its been a while since a decent comet has come along a d that might be part of this, but on every account this comet is so... blah. I can't motivate myself to bother looking for it as its such a drab specimen. So yes Ive panned Panstarrs.

Pete

#2 kfiscus

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:23 AM

I'm also among the underwhelmed.

#3 David Knisely

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:03 AM

Quite frankly, even Comet Kohoutek in 1973-74 was better than PanStarrs was. I went out and saw the comet a few weeks ago, and while it was "OK" (good for a telescopic or binocular comet), overall, it wasn't much to write home about. Clear skies to you.

#4 krp

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:06 AM

I'm young so it is the best comet I have ever seen. But it is annoying how close it is to the horizon and how little time there is to view it.

#5 MikeBOKC

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:39 AM

Well it is a matter of perspective. At our club's public viewing I found PANSTARRS in my TMB92L and thought "that's an ok little comet, but I was hoping for more." When I showed it to members of the public they almost uniformly gasped and oohed and aahed and said "Oh my God I am looking at an actual comet!" Perhaps we get a little jaded after many years of observing?

#6 azure1961p

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:15 AM

Yeah I think so. I m waiting for another Hyakutake to grace the zenith again. THAT was a COMET.

Pete

#7 BrooksObs

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:34 AM

"Perhaps we get a little jaded after many years of observing?" - MikeBOKC

Not really, Mike. Speaking as someone who has been viewing comets for five decades and fully appreciating them, PanSTARRS' show was downright pathetic as "bright" comets go.

Public reaction, on the other hand, can always be countered on these days to be absolute amazement on being introduced to most anything unfamiliar in the real world. It is the result of spending 99% of their time glued to the boob-tube, computer screens, Nintendo, Ipods, or whatever gizmo and totally losing touch with the natural enviroment that surrounds them. Never underestimate the public's naivete today.

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#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:55 AM

I've been able to observe the comet on five occasions, the last time being on Friday night. With the weather and the comet's low altitude, it's been a somewhat frustrating experience but the views of PanSTARRS that I had through 10x50 and 15x70 binoculars on March 13th and through various binoculars and telescopes, ranging from an 80mm achromatic refractor to a 17" classical Cassegrain, on March 14th and 19th were rather good.

So while it certainly wasn't an awe-inspiring comet and was overblown by the media, as is usually the case, I did enjoy seeing it.

P.S. Compared to 63P/Wild, as seen at 183x through a 17.5" TeleKit Dob with a Zambuto mirror on Friday night, PanSTARRS was impressive. ;)

Dave Mitsky

#9 eps0mu0

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:16 PM

I have to disagree on the pan.
My wife of five years has started to share my appreciation of astronomy. While she has been able to see many celestial objects, she always has wanted to see a 'real' comet. She saw comets Holmes and Garrard. These were nice (and Holmes was pretty impressive), but these were not 'real'. She wanted to see a comet with a tail, not just a fuzzy blob.
On Mar 12th, we went to spot with unobstructed western views. Through low clouds and haze we saw an beautiful, colorful sunset. A short while later, the very dramatic very thin crescent moon popped into view. About a half hour later, we were able to see comet Panstarrs through binoculars. The pairing of the moon and comet was awesome. And it was obviously a 'real' comet, it sported a bright coma, and a tail! We were able to see it for about twenty minutes before it set into the low clouds and haze. We then had a nice dinner to cap off the evening.
I am happy I was able to see Panstarrs. After reading the many posts on this forum, it was clear it would not be a spectacular apparition, but I was not disappointed. I am looking forward to ISON.
Regards,
J.F.

#10 rdandrea

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:11 PM

I love every comet I have ever seen, even the faint telescopic ones. I rather enjoyed PANSTARRS (or maybe still will as a morning object) because it was so, well, PRETTY. Beautiful yellow dust tail, nicely fan-shaped. It was easy enough to find that my wife picked it up before me a couple of times. It was no Halley or Hale-Bopp, but those are rare. It was a whole lot better than the average green smudges I see a few times a year in the scope.

I guess I just like dirty snowballs.

#11 MikeBOKC

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

Definitely concur on the general public malaise, Brooks. But now and then at an outreach event I am encouraged to encounter someone who expresses a real and abiding interest for shows like NOVA about astronomy . . .

#12 Bill Barlow

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:13 PM

I viewed Panstarrs four times in March, 3 with my 11x56 binoculars and once with my Meade 8" SCT. I have seen several comets prior to Panstarrs, but this comet had a nice short tail, a bright core region and an orange/pink glow being close to the sun at sunset. All comets are unique and I appreciate the opportunity to view them as they don't come around every day.

Bill

#13 Carol L

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:50 PM

All comets are unique and I appreciate the opportunity to view them as they don't come around every day.


+1 :waytogo:

#14 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:27 PM

Pete - Overall I was a little letdown but one highlight was I got to attend a Star Party at McDonald's Observatory on March 12 and the view was nice as it was just left of the moon by about 5 deg. Visually it was hard to see but with a pair of binoculars it looked pretty cool. The view through various size scopes was really nice.... Tony

#15 buddyjesus

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:46 PM

it was a let down for be because I live in a wooded area and didn't have a suitable horizon. Sour grapes certainly, but I do not feel so bad that I missed this one since it was not a "grand" comet like Hale Bopp(the best I have seen.) I am hopeful for ISON though.

#16 kfiscus

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:48 PM

Hyakutake was stunning. Aquamarine color and a tail stretching 90 (?) degrees. No warning = no hype, just performance.

#17 Gary Z

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:07 PM

Thank you JF for your post. Folks, people like us get into astronomy at all ages. Some when they are young and decades later, see it all so to speak. Others, like myself who moved around alot and waited to finally settle down got into it. This was my first real comet. Didn't know what to expect out of it until finally seeing it. The fact that it was bright enough to see with the naked eye...even with my eyes, was a treat. It probably wasn't the more spectacular event to see in the sky, but most of us haven't seen that much any way. It's great we have the internet and NSN and all, but my bragging list is much smaller, and for a few days in March, the evenings were pretty cool. Clear Skies,

Gary

#18 Rick Woods

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:18 PM

It wasn't a show-stopper, for sure.
But put me in the "any comet is better than no comet" camp. It was nice for a couple of evenings.

+1 on Hyakutake. Bring on another cosmic searchlight like that! It showed up during the time I moved from the city to a small rural town far from the light dome - a good omen for me! :D

#19 Cotts

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:59 PM

My friend, Murray, is new to the hobby. His wife asked me to pick out a scope for him for his 65th birthday party which ended up being a 6" f/8 Skywatcher Dob (she paid, not me....). We collimated it in his living room and ventured out to a nearby park for first light. I aligned the finder on Jupiter and then found Panstarrs, centered it and called him over. His first light view was Panstarrs at 50x and he went over the top! I could not drag him away for the next five minutes. He just kept exclaiming.

Disappointing? He will NEVER forget that first view.

Dave

#20 Tonk

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:13 AM

I love every comet I have ever seen, even the faint telescopic ones

All comets are unique and I appreciate the opportunity to view them as they don't come around every day.


+100 :)

Thats my philosophy on comets too - why else in a cloud bound country like the UK did I cover 1500 miles to get regular evening and morning views :) :) - requiring 160 mile round trips to get the right western and eastern dark horizons on opposing coasts of the UK. Totally enjoyable experience doing detailed weather forecast interpretation, planing new viewing sites from contour and LP maps, finding and viewing the comet and attempting to image it. Whole thing was an adventure for me and is was no issue whether it "under performed" or not (I personally think it did exactly what the informed predicted). It did look very good in binnoculars

#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:35 PM

Hyakutake was stunning. Aquamarine color and a tail stretching 90 (?) degrees. No warning = no hype, just performance.


Comet Hyakutake was my favorite comet too.

Dave Mitsky

#22 BillFerris

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:43 PM

Hyakutake was stunning. Aquamarine color and a tail stretching 90 (?) degrees. No warning = no hype, just performance.


Comet Hyakutake was my favorite comet too.

Dave Mitsky


Hyakutake was a great public event comet. With plenty of advance notice that this one was gonna rock, Madison Astronomical Society scheduled three public viewings, two in town and a second at a county park. All three were promoted by the local news media. One of the city events was clouded out but the other two viewings were well-attended. The event at the county park was extremely successful...the line of cars pulling into the parking lot was like a scene out of "Field of Dreams."

Bill in Flag

#23 brianb11213

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:08 PM

IIRC (and I'm pretty sure I do) Hyakutake was spectacular but only in a dark sky and only for a few days. A few months later, Hale-Bopp was bright enough to be very easily visible even in polluted skies & hung around for many months - but never reached the same size as Hyakutake.

The difference between a small, active comet approaching quite close to the earth (Hyakutake) and a huge, active comet whose orbit kept it a long way away (Hale-Bopp which I don't think ever got closer to Earth than the Sun is).

Panstarrs? Sorry but small, distant and only moderately active. Nice sight in small scope or binoculars but nothing special. Ison might be better, let's hope it doesn't fizzle as many sungrazers do.

#24 azure1961p

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:11 PM

I am holding out for Ison. Hyakutake was sheer spectacle - grand, sprawling, detailed and the plaque sheen of the pseudo nucleus was like a silver bullet buried in a wooly coma. It was an astonishing object.

My second fav I never saw but the pics make me envious of those who did is COMET IKEYA-SEKI. Second faV that I DID see was Hale Bopp. The concentric blowing off the nucleus were unexpected and captivating.

I used to follow faint telescopic comets but I don't anymore and do I long for a classic brilliant dramatic tail unfurling comet.

Pete

#25 BillFerris

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:39 PM

My fist telescopic observation and sketch of Hyakutake was made March 14, 1996. Two days later, I noted it as a naked eye object with a degree-and-a-half long tail. On March 22, the comet was an obvious naked eye object in Bootes and a brilliant binocular target. The best view I enjoyed was on March 27, 1996 when comet Hyakutake was very near Polaris with a tail extending through the bowl of the Big Dipper into Coma Berenices and beyond.

Hale-Bopp was spectacular in its own way. While Hyakutake was all elegance and grace, Hale-Bopp dominated the night sky. It was visible in moderate aperture more than 18 months before reaching perihelion. For several months in early 1997, Hale-Bopp was an ever-present companion. It was so impressive as to inspire me to dabble in prime focus imaging through my old 10-inch Starfinder. I recall going to Albertson's for a loaf of bread and some eggs, walking through the parking lot back to my car, and glancing casually up to see Hale-Bopp silently blazing away. It was just always there and seeing it night after night became rather mundane.

Oh well, comet ISON may put on a spectacular show...or maybe she won't. Eventually, another brilliant comet will grace the northern night sky and a new generation of comet observers will be inspired.

Bill in Flag






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