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Unknownastron
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Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Special Ed]
      #5723974 - 03/10/13 02:00 PM

Jay, I must say I am on the fence regarding your "Panstarrs photo". It does look like a foreshortened contrail more than a comet as I can's see any brightening of a nucleus. However, it is overall the approximate size and brightness I expect for this comet. It also seems to have moved exactly as the comet would, just over 2-degrees in 9 minutes. I can not honestly say I thik it is or is not the comet. If clear tonight, I would go back to the exact spot with the exact rig and see what you can get.
It was absoloutely bad form to unfriend you and claim a falshood, as the worst you may have done is photograph something that looked a lot like the comet but was not. Anyone who has bgeen observing the sky for years will have a few erroneous observations under their belt. Even if it was not the comet you are the gentlemen and the astronomer here.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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RenoNV
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Reged: 12/01/10

Loc: South South Reno
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Special Ed]
      #5724001 - 03/10/13 02:11 PM

A group of four from Jack C Davis Observatory spotted 2011 L4 last night at Lake Tahoe, and a lot of the guesses above are wrong. First, the comet definitely had a bright nucleus. Second, your Starry Nights predictions are inaccurate, update the orbital parameters with JPL Horizons values and be sure that your altitude, latitude and longitude are GPS accurate. Third, it was rather visible in binoculars and larger telescopes would have been swamped (until the point that L4 set) by the sky brightness. Fourth, Mars was never visible (maybe hints of it), despite being brighter simply because the sky was too bright. Fortunately, the most eagle eyed member of the group refused to quit and Rick spotted the comet as we were packing up about 18:30 via his U-boat binos. It was never naked eye visible, and there were ALOT of contrails in the sky - which were getting blown all over.

Stay until dark! Don't give up, keep checking the horizon.

I watched the comet set behind the mountains on the western side of Tahoe thru 10x50s. No pictures, I didn't have enough faith to drag the extra weight along. Just 4 sets of binocular powered eyes, looking about an hour prior to perihelion. Several flashes were noted, but due to the Air Mass, we could not tell what the actual source for the flashes might have been. We used C2A for info, since it is easy to update the ephemeris, it plots trajectories and you can tune the field star brightness.


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Richard Low
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: RenoNV]
      #5724019 - 03/10/13 02:30 PM

The sky was terrible after the heavy downpour, so it was quite fortunate that Jiahao and I, together with the guys from NTU, managed to observe Comet Panstarrs on 10 Mar 2013 from about 7:30pm to 7:45pm (UT 11:30-11:45) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

It was observed with the "Yellow Sub" 6 inch f/8 apo at about 30x with 40XW and the 10 inch dob.

I managed to capture a shot using EOS 6D with 400mm f/5.6, 1/8 sec, iso3200.



This cropped but otherwise unedited photo reflects quite closely what we saw in the 6" at 30x.


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Jay
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Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Southern California
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Richard Low]
      #5724043 - 03/10/13 02:42 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

I love this hobby!!!!

My shots are either waaay too high or waaay too low to be viable. Incredible variance.

Okay, this little 14 year old friendless Facebook girl is gunna stir the pot with another dead horse COMTRAIL image.

A good conversation everybody! Thank you!

Jay

Edited by Jay (03/10/13 02:48 PM)


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the1andonlyfinn
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Reged: 07/17/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Jay]
      #5724052 - 03/10/13 02:47 PM

Hoping to spot it here in SoCal tonight. I might just use my dob to sweep the horizon after sunset while the wife scans with binoculars. Took us some time to find an observing spot but looks like Palmdale Road runs due west/east with no mountains or hills for miles in either direction. Here's hoping!

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OleCuss
member


Reged: 11/22/10

Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: the1andonlyfinn]
      #5724183 - 03/10/13 04:14 PM

Jay:

I believe that you are posting straight and true. I've no doubt that your image is undoctored and that the phenomenon was present. I'm casting no doubts on your virtue or intellect.

But I don't think that was the comet. To me it looks to be too high in the sky for PanSTARRs at this time and I really don't see the coma.

I'd not fret about your reputation, I'd just try to be out there again tonight and take another shot at things. I'll be looking forward to your future product!


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: the1andonlyfinn]
      #5724217 - 03/10/13 04:28 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

My friend Kau and I spotted Panstarrs L4 last night (March 9th) from our "Havenly" Hideaway in Boulevard, California, we're about 5-6 miles from the US-Mexico border on the eastern slope of the Laguna mountains at about 3700 feet. It's a blue zone, the skies were very clear, right to the horizon which is about 3 degree elevation.

We had two scopes setup, my NP-101 and my ST-80 which is fitted with a 2 inch focuser, I was using the 31mm Nagler for a 6.0 degreee TFoV at 13x. I was focusing on the distant horizon which consists of brush and about a mile away. I was using Sky Safari Pro for altitude and azimuth data with a digital level to set the altitude, guessing on the azimuth.

I picked it up at less than 3 degrees above the horizon with the ST-80. It first looked like a star at in a fast Newtonian, quite bright but with a small tail. I was much smaller than we had expected but it was clearly a comet and in the few remaining moments (probably about 10 minutes before it set) we are able to locate it in the NP-101 and see the structure more clearly at about 34x as well as 10 x 50 binoculars.

It reminded me very much of watching Comet Holmes several years ago as it set across the desert.

Don't give up.

Jon


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Octans
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Reged: 08/13/09

Loc: Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: OleCuss]
      #5724252 - 03/10/13 04:40 PM

Quote:

I really don't see the coma.




I think what he's trying to point out with that last image is that the "line" that looks like the tail is the coma -- just blurred because of Earth's rotation and the too-long 20 second exposure. With the comet being near the celestial equator, that "line" should be about 20 seconds of RA = about 5 arcminutes in length. At that scale, the comet seems to be a reasonable height above the horizon.

Edited by Octans (03/10/13 04:45 PM)


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aa6ww
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Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5724257 - 03/10/13 04:44 PM

Quote:

My friend Kau and I spotted Panstarrs L4 last night (March 9th) from our "Havenly" Hideaway in Boulevard, California, we're about 5-6 miles from the US-Mexico border on the eastern slope of the Laguna mountains at about 3700 feet. It's a blue zone, the skies were very clear, right to the horizon which is about 3 degree elevation.

We had two scopes setup, my NP-101 and my ST-80 which is fitted with a 2 inch focuser, I was using the 31mm Nagler for a 6.0 degreee TFoV at 13x. I was focusing on the distant horizon which consists of brush and about a mile away. I was using Sky Safari Pro for altitude and azimuth data with a digital level to set the altitude, guessing on the azimuth.

I picked it up at less than 3 degrees above the horizon with the ST-80. It first looked like a star at in a fast Newtonian, quite bright but with a small tail. I was much smaller than we had expected but it was clearly a comet and in the few remaining moments (probably about 10 minutes before it set) we are able to locate it in the NP-101 and see the structure more clearly at about 34x as well as 10 x 50 binoculars.

It reminded me very much of watching Comet Holmes several years ago as it set across the desert.

Don't give up.

Jon




This is awesome Jon, you posted almost exactly the same thing I saw with about the same description and about the same remaining time before it slipped below the horizon.
Very cool and congratulations. More tonight, definitely!!

...Ralph


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Jay
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Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Southern California
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Octans]
      #5724337 - 03/10/13 05:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I really don't see the coma.




I think what he's trying to point out with that last image is that the "line" that looks like the tail is the coma -- just blurred because of Earth's rotation and the too-long 20 second exposure. With the comet being near the celestial equator, that "line" should be about 20 seconds of RA = about 5 arcminutes in length. At that scale, the comet seems to be a reasonable height above the horizon.




Thank you, yes! I see the drift direction, its length, the fact that it is the only such "cloud" anywhere in any of my images, headed very near the predicted path, or at least arguably in the general direction, of comet PanSTARRs... and of course, all the while, moving against a West to East jet stream, remarkably, toward the same horizon the sun sank behind.

Uncanny to me but I suppose stranger things have happened.

Jay


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Tonk
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Reged: 08/19/04

Loc: Leeds, UK, 54N
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Jay]
      #5724368 - 03/10/13 05:37 PM

Quote:

I likewise wish you good fortune in your trek, Tonk.




Just back from my trip. Drove through blizzards there and back, but the destination up on the approach road to Kingsdale was clear skies to 1 degree above the sea horizon looking direct out to Barrow-in-Furness at sunset. That last degree was a band of clouds out over Northern Ireland

I can report that at 54N on the 10th March Pan-STARRS wasn't bright enough or high enough to break through atmospheric extinction over the Irish Sea. According to my data I had the following

18:04 - sun set at azimuth 265 - comet at azimuth 252
18:25 - sun alt -4 degrees - comet alt 5 degrees - azimuth 257
18:43 - sun alt -7 degrees - comet alt 2.5 degrees - azimuth 262
18:59 - comet set at azimuth 265

I was hoping to get a glimpse between 18:25 - 18:43 - no luck


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JMW
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Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Jay]
      #5724373 - 03/10/13 05:40 PM

We had several scopes set up looking for the comet in the twilight. We were trying to observe Mar to get a position fix but couldn't see it in the bright twilight. My wife was the first to spot the comet in our TEC 140. A minute later it was observed in a C5 scope. We had about 8 people set it in one scope or the other. We had only about a 5-7 minute window after twilight faded enough before the comet dropped behind the low western mountains. A couple of us could detect a bit of the coma around the brighter center. We were fortunate to have wonder clear steady skies last night and had a fun time observing until we gave up do to the cold. Had a good time observing Saturn before we packed it in. Looking forward to Saturn getting higher earlier in the evening.

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Jay
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Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Southern California
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: JMW]
      #5724528 - 03/10/13 07:11 PM

Hi all,

I had some interest in seeing my files so a sampling of Nikon RAW NEF images are now posted. You will need Photoshop CS5.5 or better to open them. They are large files -- 7360 4912 pixels:

http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2503.NEF.zip
http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2503.psd.zip
http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2600.NEF.zip
http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2604.NEF.zip *Used for inverted COMTRAIL
http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2606.NEF.zip
http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2611.NEF.zip
http://www.admason.com/Astronomy/DSC_2613.NEF.zip *Used for the Pleiades

Thanks!

Jay


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drbyyz
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Reged: 11/04/12

Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: Jay]
      #5724678 - 03/10/13 08:16 PM

Saw it in my 15x70s at roughly 8pm from outside charleston, sc. Light clouds on the horizon but a bit of the tail was visible, less than half a degree long by my poor estimating skills. It was roughly 5 degrees above the horizon and I would bet naked eye if not for the clouds.

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peteryan
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Reged: 05/17/07

Loc: SE Alabama
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: drbyyz]
      #5724741 - 03/10/13 08:52 PM

I caught it this evening at 7:14 CDT here is SE Alabama. I had almost given up when I saw it in 7X50 binos; not visible to naked eye. Very hazy,smoky, dusty on horizon when it finally revealed itself. Bright nucleus. curved, fan shaped tail maybe half a degree spread. After about ten min, was lost in obscuration. As a total noob I was enchanted!
Pete


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Ben B
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Reged: 02/03/13

Loc: GA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: peteryan]
      #5724785 - 03/10/13 09:27 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

I believe I finally caught it tonight at 8:29 EDT in western Georgia. It was perhaps 4 degrees above the horizon when I first caught it in binoculars and managed to barely get a picture of it before dropping below the clouds. There was definitely a fuzzy coma visible through binoculars with just a hint of a tail, probably due to how low it was when I caught it.

Attached is a picture - it's quite a wide field, but in the very center of the image you can barely see the fuzzy coma right above the line of dark clouds.


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peteryan
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Reged: 05/17/07

Loc: SE Alabama
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5724842 - 03/10/13 10:27 PM

Good job Ben! Couldn't get an image from my location.
What camera/lens/exposure?
Pete


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: peteryan]
      #5724887 - 03/10/13 10:53 PM

I saw it tonight before it set behind the western canyon wall at 1951 MDT. I saw it easily with 7x35 binos, but not with the naked eye. The head was quite visible, but the fanned tail was very faint, extending maybe 0.5-1 degree. More would be visible in a darker sky.

Shane in gray-zone NM

Edited by hottr6 (03/10/13 11:37 PM)


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Edward E
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: droid]
      #5724939 - 03/10/13 11:30 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

A winter storm cleared out the skies Saturday and the sunset tonight was picture perfect so the comet hunt was on. I spotted the comet @ 02:10 UT ~ 6 degrees above the Tucson Mts. with a 9X50 spotter scope. I was never able to see the comet with just my eyes. I was able to get a few good photos of the comet as it set behind the Mts. Here is one made @ 02:17 UT with a Canon Power Shot SX220i set @ 400 iso, f5.6, 1.7X zoom, 2 second exposure:

Edited by Edward E (03/11/13 01:40 AM)


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BillFerris
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Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: hottr6]
      #5724955 - 03/10/13 11:40 PM

Enjoyed observing Comet PanSTARRS for about 20 minutes, tonight. Here are a couple of images.






Both images are crops from the same 4288 x 2848 original, which was taken at 7:15 PM MST about a half-mile from my home in Flagstaff, Arizona. The original was taken with a Nikon D90, 300mm (effective focal length, 450mm) f/5.6, ISO 200, 2.5 second exposure. - Bill in Flag


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