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#1 Edward E

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 01:44 PM

:rant:

I don't know what others think but I'm already tired of the Comet ISON silliness. For a faint comet with little hope that it will blossom into something, it sure has captured a lot of attention. From "for pay" Comet ISON viewing with David Levy, constant media blurbs to Comet ISON photo contest with Sky&Tel it all is too much. Comet Hale Bopp or Comet Hyakutake did not generate nearly as much "hoopla" as ISON has even though the others were far brighter and easily viewable over a long period of time. If we are going to tout a "viewable" comet this fall-winter then it should be Comet Encke; its far brighter, has an interesting past and puts on a nice display each time around. I say, forget Comet ISON unless it blooms into something worth noting. OK, rant OFF. :rainbow:

#2 brianb11213

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 02:02 PM

+1

#3 OMA

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

You forgot, or don't have, the people that think it's the end of the world and want you to take a look "with that big telescope you have"... ya know, just to see... something odd... I guess?

/sigh

#4 Tom and Beth

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:54 PM

Yeah, I "grok" you on the hype. But as far as comets go it IS brighter than the average Comet, and worth getting up early for a peak. That time in the morning we're unlikely to run into many people.

* I was so tempted to write "Brighter than the average Bear, Boo Boo" above

#5 Stargaz18

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:01 PM

So how many of you have actually seen comet Ison??

#6 Edward E

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:08 PM

Yeah, I "grok" you on the hype. But as far as comets go it IS brighter than the average Comet, and worth getting up early for a peak. That time in the morning we're unlikely to run into many people.

* I was so tempted to write "Brighter than the average Bear, Boo Boo" above


:funny:

#7 Edward E

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:10 PM

I have not been able to spot Comet ISON yet I'm planning on giving it another go this weekend.

#8 rdandrea

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:44 PM

I don't know what others think but I'm already tired of the Comet ISON silliness.


Comets can't be "silly." They're inanimate objects. The fact that they're unpredictable is what makes them so special. So get real, quit expecting them to act like some TV show that resolves itself in 30 minutes, and enjoy the show when and if it happens.

#9 BlueGrass

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:56 PM

Silliness (hype) is in the media ... value of ISON, Encke and Linear is helping to push telescopes sales, attract more people to outreach events, spark more interest in astronomy in general. Glad they don't happen that often! ... 'Comet? So? ... anything new to see?'.... :grin:

#10 kfiscus

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:55 PM

Saw it twice. VERY underwhelming so far.

#11 brianb11213

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 02:23 AM

Silliness (hype) is in the media ... value of ISON, Encke and Linear is helping to push telescopes sales, attract more people to outreach events, spark more interest in astronomy in general. Glad they don't happen that often! ... 'Comet? So? ... anything new to see?'.... :grin:

Yes, it's SO destructive to the hobby as a whole when what is hyped up to be really, really special turns out to be such a disappointment. Like a hydrogen bomb firework turning out to be a penny banger.

The people who get suckered in to buying a beginners scope by the hype never learn to use the thing properly & go away disappointed, angry & never buy any other astro kit ever again. The keen don't need "gee whiz" events to get interested or maintain their interest.

#12 bleep

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:51 AM

The only place I see anything about Ison is on astronomy forums and websites and astronomy magazines. I haven't heard or seen it on TV or radio. My friends and coworkers don't even know what an Ison is. I don't know where you're all seeing the hype besides in the places where its supposed to be.

#13 rnc39560

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

Hale Bopp was indeed a sight! In south MS on our property you could see it CLEARLY naked eye. So much so my older sis said she would be glad when it was gone because she thought it looked unnatural. Lol!

#14 Edward E

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:07 AM

I don't know what others think but I'm already tired of the Comet ISON silliness.


Comets can't be "silly." They're inanimate objects. The fact that they're unpredictable is what makes them so special. So get real, quit expecting them to act like some TV show that resolves itself in 30 minutes, and enjoy the show when and if it happens.


You are correct a comet cannot be "silly" and I do not go around anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. It's the unnecessary attention to Comet ISON that is silly. The odds that anyone will be able to see this comet with just ones eyes is very small so there should not be any hype around this one. Just look back to last winter and comet PANSTARRs, I enjoyed taking photos of it and while I was out many non-astronomy types came out and tried to view it but could not find it. I would show it to them on the Cameras screen and in the small telescope and they would exclaim "that's it!? I came out for that!?" It was a big disappointment in their eyes. That is not what we want. We need people to have a realistic expectation of what a comet will look like. I enjoy observing comets, even the little ones that attract zero attention. I have no expectations what a comet will do; I just enjoy watching what may come.

#15 labmand

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 12:33 PM

"anthropomorphizing" :question: may need to do a quicky look up on that one. Relax, I'm thinking about selling a couple
scopes, a little comet hype always helps :grin:

#16 rdandrea

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:12 PM

It's the unnecessary attention to Comet ISON that is silly.


Whose unnecessary attention would that be? Yours? Certainly not mine. In 50+ years of observing, I've learned that comets will be what they will be. Relax and see what happens. It will either be good or great. Even telescopic comets are good, so anything better than that is great.

#17 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:00 AM

As far as comets go it IS brighter than the average Comet, and worth getting up early for a peek.


So far, ISON is not remarkable at all -- an entirely typical, faint telescopic comet.

What makes ISON special is the fact that it's going to pass extremely close to the Sun -- something quite rare for a comet of its intrinsic brightness. That means that it has a small but not negligible chance of putting on a truly impressive display after it passes the Sun on Thanksgiving.

Early on, there was also hope that it would look impressive leading up to Thanksgiving, but that's pretty much ruled out now.

#18 nicknacknock

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:09 AM

A few months ago I started researching scopes to get a Dob. Said dob is arriving next week, but the funny thing was how vendors were stating that I had to get a telescope to enjoy the comet of the century and all. As if the night sky is not full of wonders...

I didn't order the dob for that reason, my 80mm APO refractor is more than capable to assist if ISON decides to meet everybody's expectations as stated over the course of the last few months, but much ado about nothing it seems - although I would looooove to be pleasantly surprised....

#19 FirstSight

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:43 AM

:rant:

I don't know what others think but I'm already tired of the Comet ISON silliness. For a faint comet with little hope that it will blossom into something, it sure has captured a lot of attention. From "for pay" Comet ISON viewing with David Levy, constant media blurbs to Comet ISON photo contest with Sky&Tel it all is too much. Comet Hale Bopp or Comet Hyakutake did not generate nearly as much "hoopla" as ISON has even though the others were far brighter and easily viewable over a long period of time. If we are going to tout a "viewable" comet this fall-winter then it should be Comet Encke; its far brighter, has an interesting past and puts on a nice display each time around. I say, forget Comet ISON unless it blooms into something worth noting. OK, rant OFF. :rainbow:


The potentially overblown hoopla over comet Ison is nothing compared to the two classic episodes of overblown comet hoopla, both of which I vividly remember (including the letdowns):
1) Comet Kohoutek in 1973 (closest analogy to Ison if Ison turns out to enormously underperform early hopeful expectations);
2) Halley's return in 1986 (because its passage was at much farther distance and less favorable altitude for North American observers than its vivid 1910 apparition).

#20 Gary Z

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:01 AM

I can appreciate the sentiment that the hype around ISON is rather silly. But for many, including myself, we were not able to get into astronomy until more recently. The first comet I ever actually saw was PANSTARRS. The fact that several folks out there are taking the time to find it for themselves and share (You Tube), is encouraging. This event will help many new comers to celestial events that comets are unpredictable, but worth the find in a telescope.

#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:22 AM

I can appreciate the sentiment that the hype around ISON is rather silly. But for many, including myself, we were not able to get into astronomy until more recently. The first comet I ever actually saw was PANSTARRS. The fact that several folks out there are taking the time to find it for themselves and share (You Tube), is encouraging. This event will help many new comers to celestial events that comets are unpredictable, but worth the find in a telescope.


I have come to accept the Hoopla over comets as pretty standard, hoopla over meteor showers as pretty standard, hoopla over eclipses as pretty standard.. I am OK with it, I have just come to expect it as part of the deal and think anything that gets people out under the night sky looking or just thinking about the night sky, that's a plus in my book, it raises awareness. Compared to reality TV, it's something real.

The stuff that is interesting to me, it's out there all the time but I don't see it in the general press. They don't hype the fact that Zeta Bootes is optimally positioned for split in the early evening or that the seeing will be excellent tonight or that there will be a double shadow transit or that Omega Centauri is visible from San Diego in the early evening..

Jon

#22 lintonius

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:46 AM

I can appreciate the sentiment that the hype around ISON is rather silly. But for many, including myself, we were not able to get into astronomy until more recently. The first comet I ever actually saw was PANSTARRS. The fact that several folks out there are taking the time to find it for themselves and share (You Tube), is encouraging. This event will help many new comers to celestial events that comets are unpredictable, but worth the find in a telescope.


I have come to accept the Hoopla over comets as pretty standard, hoopla over meteor showers as pretty standard, hoopla over eclipses as pretty standard.. I am OK with it, I have just come to expect it as part of the deal and think anything that gets people out under the night sky looking or just thinking about the night sky, that's a plus in my book, it raises awareness. Compared to reality TV, it's something real.

The stuff that is interesting to me, it's out there all the time but I don't see it in the general press. They don't hype the fact that Zeta Bootes is optimally positioned for split in the early evening or that the seeing will be excellent tonight or that there will be a double shadow transit or that Omega Centauri is visible from San Diego in the early evening..

Jon


Yeah Jon, I'm often asked at public star parties, "Why are we all out here tonight? Is there something special in the sky?" I say "Why, yes, there's always something special. Every night!" Of course, I'll then follow up with some "for example...", but good grief...
Linton

#23 lintonius

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:52 AM



I have come to accept the Hoopla over comets as pretty standard, hoopla over meteor showers as pretty standard, hoopla over eclipses as pretty standard.. I am OK with it, I have just come to expect it as part of the deal and think anything that gets people out under the night sky looking or just thinking about the night sky, that's a plus in my book, it raises awareness. Compared to reality TV, it's something real.

The stuff that is interesting to me, it's out there all the time but I don't see it in the general press. They don't hype the fact that Zeta Bootes is optimally positioned for split in the early evening or that the seeing will be excellent tonight or that there will be a double shadow transit or that Omega Centauri is visible from San Diego in the early evening..

Jon


Yeah Jon, I'm often asked at public star parties, "Why are we all out here tonight? Is there something special in the sky?" I say "Why, yes, there's always something special. Every night!" Of course, I'll then follow up with some "for example...", but good grief...
Linton


'scuse me, while I kiss the sky. :bow:

#24 Edward E

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:02 AM

A few months ago I started researching scopes to get a Dob. Said dob is arriving next week, but the funny thing was how vendors were stating that I had to get a telescope to enjoy the comet of the century and all. As if the night sky is not full of wonders...

I didn't order the dob for that reason, my 80mm APO refractor is more than capable to assist if ISON decides to meet everybody's expectations as stated over the course of the last few months, but much ado about nothing it seems - although I would looooove to be pleasantly surprised....


The irony of using Comets, in this case Comet ISON, to sale telescopes it that if it did become "the comet the century" one would not need to buy a telescope to see it. Now I am preaching to the choir. :grin:

I'm not against media coverage of astronomical events, when there is actually something to be seen. It does generate interest in astronomy and new observers to the hobby. It would be nice to have a grand spectacle of a comet to show the public this December but I doubt that Comet ISON will be that spectacle; it will due well to survive it's close brush with the Sun.

#25 MEE

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:33 PM

People who are not interested in astronomy in general generally like to be visually impressed when something astronomical is announced to them (usually via a non astronomical source such as the press). Some might retain their interest even if the celestial event is disappointing, but most won't. Some may express disappointment ("We went out for this???") while others may play nice ("Thank you for the view. That was really neat!") but may decide not to view other "special" astronomical events in the future because of their disappointment.

I, too, am disappointed in how some sources (both astronomical and non-astronomical) have portrayed Comet ISON ("Comet of the Century!", etc.) and I worry that will continue up to the time the comet is best seen.

On the other hand, how is the general press supposed to handle something like this? Sure, they can take a "wait and see" attitude and announce the comet on their newscasts and websites only if the comet is doing very well. But, it's always nice to have time to prepare for something like this-- to plan where to go, etc. If you heard about a bright comet in the sky on a Tuesday, but you couldn't go to a dark sky until Saturday, then by Saturday it might have faded. If you knew about it a few weeks or months before, you might have rearranged your schedule for it.

So, what is the press (or websites that appeal to the general public) supposed to do?

1. announce the comet ONLY if it has been currently proven to be bright and impressive (and run the risk that people might miss it because it was announced too late) or

2. announce the comet weeks or months in advance and say that it MIGHT be bright (members of the media will not likely go for this)







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