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DreamWeaver
sage


Reged: 12/30/08

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: labmand]
      #5731506 - 03/14/13 01:18 AM

I was able to see it naked eye from SE Tucson this evening! I found it first with 10x50 binoculars and after that I had no problem finding it naked eye. Went outside three separate times and was able to see it each time! The movers delivered our household belongings yesterday so none of my scopes are unpacked yet. Was quite happy to find my binoculars this morning! I think I'm going to like these desert sky's!!!

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geoshare
journeyman


Reged: 03/13/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: labmand]
      #5731510 - 03/14/13 01:22 AM Attachment (50 downloads)

Sedona Arizona skies clear again on the 13th. A bit too much separation for the moon tonight. C2011 L4 was naked eye visible tonight and seemingly brighter than last night.
7:41 pm
Nikon D3X ISO 800, 4 sec @f4


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geoshare
journeyman


Reged: 03/13/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: DreamWeaver]
      #5731511 - 03/14/13 01:24 AM

Dan....both are nice I like #1

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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) new [Re: geoshare]
      #5731538 - 03/14/13 01:51 AM

very nice reports and pictures. Iam still waiting on a cloud break. Tommarrow (thursday) is finally saposed to be clear!

I cant wait


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: MessiToM]
      #5731549 - 03/14/13 02:11 AM

I was at a location with an excellent western horizon on Tuesday evening but had no luck detecting Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) through a rather small break in an otherwise overcast sky. There was no chance at all of seeing it the previous two days, due to the weather.

My sister's birthday was on Wednesday. After having dinner at her and her husband's house, I drove about a mile to a spot with a good western horizon. I wasn't too optimistic about seeing the comet but there were some large holes in the clouds to the west and eventually I could see the young crescent Moon. I scanned downwards to the right with Celestron Ultima 10x50s and, lo and behold, about one-third of the distance between the horizon and the Moon I caught sight of a fuzzy star-like point of light. As the sky grew darker, I could make out the small tail of Comet PanSTARRS. My Burgess 15x70s produced a much better view. The coma was rather bright but I could not see the comet with my unaided eyes.

A line of low clouds obscured the comet so I called my wife to let her know that I'd been successful. I also called one of my observing buddies who lives about an hour to the north and was told that the sky was completely cloudy there.

After a few minutes the comet emerged from the clouds. It played peek-a-boo once again as more clouds crossed its path a bit later. Eventually it disappeared into the haze.

I was able to observe Comet PanSTARRS off and on until about 8:20 p.m. EST. I saw the comet for a total of about 25 minutes. When I got back to the party, I had a piece of cake and some ice cream to celebrate.

I probably wouldn't have been able to see the comet at all had I not gone southward for my sister's birthday party.

Dave Mitsky


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eros312
super member
*****

Reged: 02/14/09

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5731581 - 03/14/13 02:58 AM

I finally saw it naked eye from Tampa this evening, about 8:15PM local time. A front blew through the area earlier in the day and the skies were crystal clear. With averted vision I could make out a tail about 1 degree long. Naked eye comets are rare so get out there and try to spot it.

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Lew Chilton
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/20/05

Loc: SoCal
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5731589 - 03/14/13 03:05 AM Attachment (37 downloads)

I took this image with my Canon DSLR and a zoom lens last night on the 12th of March. The moon made it easy to find, even thru the muck and mire!

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Carol L

*****

Reged: 07/05/04

Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Lew Chilton]
      #5731611 - 03/14/13 03:35 AM

Great observations and images, everyone!

My western horizon stayed clear last night, and i was able to get my first look at the comet. At 7:40 it was half way between the horizon and the Crescent Moon, and was very easy to see using the 11x70 binoculars. By about 7:50 or so, i was able to detect it naked-eye using averted vision, including the tail - it looked like a small white slash pointing towards the Moon. By 7:55 i could see the stellar-looking nucleus with direct vision, but still needed averted vision to see the tail. Viewing was finished at 8:05 when the comet sunk behind the pine trees.

I sure wish we could have seen this one in a totally dark sky - what a little cutie!
(Oops, forgot to mention - i'm at 45.5°N.)


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RolandosCY
super member


Reged: 01/02/09

Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: eros312]
      #5731613 - 03/14/13 03:36 AM Attachment (34 downloads)

Well... I have been trying for more than a week now to get a glimpse of this comet. It sort of became an obsession! Everyday, between 5.30pm and 6.45pm normal life came to a halt, yet I had nothing to show for all the effort. I loaded and unloaded camera stuff, my Tak FS102, my eyepiece bag, my 22x60, 15x70, and 10x50 binos in and out of the car 8 times and no comet! Of course, it was not entirely the comet's fault? We have been plagued by layers of high and medium altitude clouds associated with a storm over the central Mediterranean for days. This same storm has been pushing Sahara sand in the atmosphere as well, so as if the high clouds were not enough, we've got dust and haze in the atmosphere as well.

Yesterday, Wednesday March 13th started with only few high clouds but with a thick haze layer that reduced visibility to a mile or less. During the day the haze moved off, allowing me to see mountaintops 30 miles to the west for the first time since last week, but a new area of high clouds started rolling in from the west. By 5pm most of the sky was covered in the high clouds, except for some holes low in the west. I started driving like crazy, trying to extrapolate the comet's position in relation to the main western hole, the setting sun, and the occasional glimpses of the crescent moon. Checked for the comet from six different locations spanning 10 miles north- south, no avail. At 18.15 local time I decided that I again lost my chance, so I started driving back to my home. As I was passing outside Larnaca Airport (the island's major airport) I suddenly saw the crescent moon hanging over and slightly to the left of the center of the barely visible cloud hole below. I stopped at the first suitable spot (a bus stop bay) risking a fine, grabbed my 15x70 binos and I jumped out. My view towards the west was over the large salt lake situated next to the airport.

The hole was not entirely clear; there were thin cirrus striations. Initially I could not making anything in the hole. But suddenly, from beneath an anvil shaped cloud protrusion, a bright fuzzy star emerged - and this star had a tail, somewhat off the vertical to the left. I couldn't believe it! I WAS SEEING PANSTARRS! In between people hauling suitcases I screamed "Never give up! Never give up!!!".

The comet was already near the bottom part of the hole, showing on and off as it passed behind the clouds. I could see the much brighter head even when it was behind the cirrus, but the tail would not make it. Finally, it passed majestically between some striations, showing a tail that extended for maybe 20 arc-minutes, and which did show some structure. I barely had time for a sketch, before it sank behind the clouds. The sighting was made when the comet was maybe 2 to 3 degrees above the horizon.

Needless to say, I did not have the time to set up either a telescope or camera gear. The forecast remains similar for today and tomorrow, hopefully by Saturday I will have my first real good sighting of this "hide-and-seek" comet!


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Jeremy Perez
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/12/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: RolandosCY]
      #5731620 - 03/14/13 04:32 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

I'm really enjoying all the compositions with the comet, crescent-earthshine-moon and various foregrounds! And excellent sketch, Rolandos.

In the two nights since I last viewed the comet, it's elevation has risen enough to pull it further out of the twilight glare. And it looks GREAT! The view got better and better as twilight deepened. The tail seemed to nearly double in length since I last viewed it—approaching what I estimate to be nearly a degree long. This time, I also noticed a graceful curve to the tail. The short, fainter extension on the south side was more obvious than last time, and I also detected hints of a fainter, straight streamer along the curved, northern edge of the tail. I think the ion tail is too faint to see, so I wonder if this is some extra definition in the dust tail. The comet was also easily visible naked eye, and this time the tail gave the naked-eye view a slightly smeared shape.

My daughter came with me and we switched back and forth between binoculars and the telescope while I shot photos and sketched. The lot on McMillan Mesa was loaded with people and their binoculars, cameras and a couple other scopes. We shared the view with a couple other folks parked nearby before the comet finally set, a warm copper brush stroke diving into the trees. I watched the tail gradually fade away for another minute and a half afterward. We finished by having a look at M42, Jupiter, the Pleiades, a few constellations, and of course the stunning crescent moon, lit by Earthshine.

Larger images here: http://www.perezmedia.net/beltofvenus/archives/001553.html

Telescopic/Binocular sketch showing structure in the coma and tail


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Jeremy Perez
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/12/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Jeremy Perez]
      #5731622 - 03/14/13 04:34 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

Photo of PanSTARRS setting over McMillan Mesa, Flagstaff.

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aa6ww
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: RolandosCY]
      #5731629 - 03/14/13 04:49 AM

Quote:

Well... I have been trying for more than a week now to get a glimpse of this comet. It sort of became an obsession! Everyday, between 5.30pm and 6.45pm normal life came to a halt, yet I had nothing to show for all the effort. I loaded and unloaded camera stuff, my Tak FS102, my eyepiece bag, my 22x60, 15x70, and 10x50 binos in and out of the car 8 times and no comet! Of course, it was not entirely the comet's fault? We have been plagued by layers of high and medium altitude clouds associated with a storm over the central Mediterranean for days. This same storm has been pushing Sahara sand in the atmosphere as well, so as if the high clouds were not enough, we've got dust and haze in the atmosphere as well.

Yesterday, Wednesday March 13th started with only few high clouds but with a thick haze layer that reduced visibility to a mile or less. During the day the haze moved off, allowing me to see mountaintops 30 miles to the west for the first time since last week, but a new area of high clouds started rolling in from the west. By 5pm most of the sky was covered in the high clouds, except for some holes low in the west. I started driving like crazy, trying to extrapolate the comet's position in relation to the main western hole, the setting sun, and the occasional glimpses of the crescent moon. Checked for the comet from six different locations spanning 10 miles north- south, no avail. At 18.15 local time I decided that I again lost my chance, so I started driving back to my home. As I was passing outside Larnaca Airport (the island's major airport) I suddenly saw the crescent moon hanging over and slightly to the left of the center of the barely visible cloud hole below. I stopped at the first suitable spot (a bus stop bay) risking a fine, grabbed my 15x70 binos and I jumped out. My view towards the west was over the large salt lake situated next to the airport.

The hole was not entirely clear; there were thin cirrus striations. Initially I could not making anything in the hole. But suddenly, from beneath an anvil shaped cloud protrusion, a bright fuzzy star emerged - and this star had a tail, somewhat off the vertical to the left. I couldn't believe it! I WAS SEEING PANSTARRS! In between people hauling suitcases I screamed "Never give up! Never give up!!!".

The comet was already near the bottom part of the hole, showing on and off as it passed behind the clouds. I could see the much brighter head even when it was behind the cirrus, but the tail would not make it. Finally, it passed majestically between some striations, showing a tail that extended for maybe 20 arc-minutes, and which did show some structure. I barely had time for a sketch, before it sank behind the clouds. The sighting was made when the comet was maybe 2 to 3 degrees above the horizon.

Needless to say, I did not have the time to set up either a telescope or camera gear. The forecast remains similar for today and tomorrow, hopefully by Saturday I will have my first real good sighting of this "hide-and-seek" comet!




Stories like this are better than 100 pictures of the same object! I like sketches also, great story, congratulations!
It should look great in the Fs-102 also!

...Ralph


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Special Ed
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/03

Loc: Greenbrier Co., WV 38N, 80W
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: aa6ww]
      #5731693 - 03/14/13 07:03 AM

So many fine images and drawings! Plus I am really enjoying reading these accounts of people's observation experience.

I have to single out the sketchers because that is what I mainly do, too.

Rolando--nice rendering--I like the strips of clouds. Glad you hung in there--they say perserverance furthers.

Jeremy--your drawing and observation are topnotch. I like your description of the comet setting like a warm copper brushstroke.

Quote:

...I probably wouldn't have been able to see the comet at all had I not gone southward for my sister's birthday party.

Dave Mitsky




Dave, congratulations on seeing the comet at last. Good thing you didn't come this far southward--it was snowing here last night (still is).


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BSJ
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Grand Isle, VT
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Special Ed]
      #5731734 - 03/14/13 07:52 AM

Saw it last night, Wednesday 13th, with my 10x50 binos.

I could also see it naked eye with averted vision. There were clouds to use as reference points so I knew exactly where to look. And I used “finger binoculars” to block out as much extraneous sky glow as possible.

It must be nice for you southern guys. The sky was still pretty bright when it got really low. The pics of it with a dark sky make me envious!


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hypergolic
super member


Reged: 11/27/07

Loc: Home
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: BSJ]
      #5731741 - 03/14/13 08:01 AM

Here is my best shot of the comet from last night at Ft. McAllister GA, using a 200mm telephoto and a Canon T2i.

http://flic.kr/p/e373ko

I really need to get a remote shutter cable for my camera.

PHILIP NEIDLINGER KA4KOE
RICHMOND HILL, GA


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Doug Michel
sage


Reged: 09/18/11

Loc: Lincoln, NE
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: hypergolic]
      #5731822 - 03/14/13 09:13 AM

I was all set to finally get a view of the comet last night after giving up far too soon Tuesday when it would have been higher and allow me more time to find it, but alas, right where the comet was supposted to be was the start of a bank of low clouds on the western horizion. At least my son got to see M42 and the moon a while before I packet it up.

I saw an article that says the comet will be gaining altitude each night now so it will be up longer but of course the moon will be getting brighter.


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Doug Michel]
      #5731840 - 03/14/13 09:23 AM

It's very cool how many of your pictures are so similar to mine.

I started looking - and shooting pictures - as early as 7:05 pm, despite that "30 minutes past sunset" would not occur until 7:24 for me. I didn't see the comet - nor did I capture it in photos! - until 9 minutes later. I took a total of 140 photos, with varying focal length lenses from 50mm to 200mm. I figure I got about 6 really good photos - and remember, I took probably 30 or 40 of these before the comet ever showed up in the frame, between 7:05 and 7:33.

I never did see the comet visually. Granted, I had a blindingly bright "always on / spray everywhere" wall light behind me at the school where I set up. But even when I went around the corner to try to adapt a little better, still nothing. Several others in the Chicago area cited the same experience - no visual view, but binocular / telescopic / photographic were all good.

Anyway, here's some of the best of what I got:



Above: Wide view, with Moon. Comet is faint, just below dead center. Taken around 7:45 pm.



Above: Medium view shot. Taken around 7:50 pm.



Above: Probably my best, and one of the latest shots. Taken at 7:55 pm with a 200mm lens, I couldn't see the cloud, comet, or tree when I took this. Very dark, but the exposure time picked everything up nicely.


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Tonk
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/19/04

Loc: Leeds, UK, 54N
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Special Ed]
      #5731841 - 03/14/13 09:23 AM

Quote:

Blue Ridge Mountains




.. and you didn't frame it with the Lonesome Pine ?


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arellanon
member


Reged: 12/12/06

Loc: Alta y Baja California
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Tonk]
      #5731860 - 03/14/13 09:38 AM

I have shot some good pics from Ridgecrest, CA. I finally found it on Tuesday when it was close to the Moon. Yesterday I drove to an empty lot about a mile and a half from where I live to enjoy darker neighborhoods; I captured more cool shots and noticed the comet easily observed with no optical aid. The weather has been beautiful here in the desert and has been a real sport to us astronomers in hunt of PanSTARRS. I will be in Los Angeles this weekend so I will try shooting pictures with my 100-400 lens from the beach. I will share pictures tomorrow after shooting.



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Darren Drake
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: arellanon]
      #5731899 - 03/14/13 10:03 AM

In Chicagoland I had no trouble seeing it with 10X40 binocs and a 4 1/2 inch Starblast. Naked eye was tough but I did see it from a school parking lot.

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