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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5718024 - 03/07/13 10:02 AM

How high in the sky will it get? I live in NJ and haven't seen a comet since Hale-Bopp in 1997. I am really looking forward to trying to see this one and ISON later this year.

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Ben B
member


Reged: 02/03/13

Loc: GA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5718044 - 03/07/13 10:13 AM

I was perplexed by the tail direction as well, as the finder chart images I've seen on Sky and Telescope's website (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/185665152.html) show the tail should be facing southwest as you said. These images have been rotated and cropped (but not mirrored) from what was originally captured on the camera, and I have a few more that didn't bring out enough detail to bother posting. I'll look over all of them again and see if I can process them in some useful way to highlight the object's movement over time.

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PrestonE
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/29/05

Loc: San Miguel de Allende,Mexico
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5718101 - 03/07/13 10:41 AM

Hi Ben, That looks exactly like what I saw on March 4ht at 6:50pm as far as size...a bit lower, but it is pointed in the wrong direction...I think your image got flipped...

Visually it was pointed the opposite direction toward the sun.

Wish I had thought to take a pic with my point and shoot.

The weather here Monday evening we very clear due to the northern that had passed through over the weekend with freezing weather...but it cleared out all the clouds and haze.

Best Regards,

Preston

Edited by PrestonE (03/07/13 11:27 AM)


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Mike B.
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/24/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: aa6ww]
      #5718245 - 03/07/13 11:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I tried last night (3/5/13) with a pair of Celestron 15x70 binoculars, but I was unable to spot it. (I'm at 30 degrees N. Latitude.) There was too much murk and clouds on the horizon. I will try again tonight with the bino's, since it is much clearer today. Plus, I have an old CG3 mount w/clockdrive and my camera mounted on it that I plan on using to take some images. I might get lucky.




Good luck Mike. I found a clear open view to the west on the way home from work last night at an abandoned road that dead ends into an open field. I can see the california coast mountains heading toward the bay area maybe 60 miles away. Im carrying my 20x80 binos with me every evening now in hopes to catch an early glimpse and this weekend plan to set up my 180mm F/6 APM scope out there with my 41 pan and 2" swan band filter. Its show time!

...Ralph




Ralph, I struck out again (on Wed, Mar 6th, 2013.).

The sub-tropical jet stream moved in and was pushing lots of high altitude clouds from the west-southwest, exactly where the comet would have been. It was clear for most of that day, too. Oh, well...

I have one more clear evening before it clouds up for some rain forecast for this weekend. It is supposed to be clear again on March 12th, just in time to catch Comet Panstarrs and the moon low in the west. Hopefully, I'll see it then if I don't get to see it tonight.


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Ben B
member


Reged: 02/03/13

Loc: GA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Mike B.]
      #5718289 - 03/07/13 12:00 PM

Given that the tail directions in my picture looks wrong and I cannot find any conclusive evidence to refute that, count me out as someone who has seen the comet. While I very well may have seen it in binoculars, I cannot be sure. I'll try again tonight.

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PrestonE
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/29/05

Loc: San Miguel de Allende,Mexico
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5718421 - 03/07/13 01:14 PM

Hi Ben,

Tony Flanders with Sky & Telescope just replied to an email that I sent to him this morning with your pictures attached.

He is thinking that it is a con trail as between the two pictures the clouds moved a great deal and also the imaged item.

Take a look at the dim white structure on the hill side and the relation of the imaged item in the two pictures...it has moved TOO much against the background to be the comet.

This may explain some things...hopefully tonight we all have clear skys!!!!!!!!!!

Very Best Regards,

Preston


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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5718424 - 03/07/13 01:16 PM

Yes, Ben, after initially looking at the two images earlier my first impression was that they were of very distance aircraft con trails seen in greatly foreshortened perspective, especially given the observing circumstances you had reported (detected very shortly after sunset, but so obvious that the object could be easily photographed, with a simple camera, inferring a magnitude probably as or even brighter than Venus).

Actually, I've see these sorts of "comets" from time to time around sunset too since I'm located ~75 miles north of the metro airports in a good spot for viewing flight paths of departing planes headed west at an extreme distance.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (03/07/13 01:18 PM)


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Ben B
member


Reged: 02/03/13

Loc: GA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5718456 - 03/07/13 01:39 PM

I appreciate all the feedback, and in the future will definitely post my pictures up for comments before jumping to conclusions. So far the forecast for tonight is clear so I'll get another chance but I had too many issues with the location from last night that I'll try my luck on top of a parking deck instead.

I'll be back out with binoculars and with my 80mm refractor and DSLR already setup just in case the opportunity presents itself for a conclusive image.


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Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
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Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5718468 - 03/07/13 01:45 PM

Dear C/2011 L4,

Please have a Comet Holmes-style outburst sometime in the near future.

Sincerely,
Everyone Reading This



(hey, one can always hope for the ol' 15-magnitude bump in brightness)

Clear Skies,
Phil


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aa6ww
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Phillip Creed]
      #5718560 - 03/07/13 02:29 PM

Quote:

Dear C/2011 L4,

Please have a Comet Holmes-style outburst sometime in the near future.

Sincerely,
Everyone Reading This



(hey, one can always hope for the ol' 15-magnitude bump in brightness)

Clear Skies,
Phil




Man, wasn't comet holmes incredible!

...Ralph


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Tonk
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/19/04

Loc: Leeds, UK, 54N
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: aa6ww]
      #5718634 - 03/07/13 03:08 PM

Quote:

swan band filter. Its show time!




Given that Pan-STARRS is predominantly a dustly comet I'd doubt the SWAN band filter will help much at all.

Now comet Lemmon (still in southern skies) is a comet that would benefit - its has a large green coma - perfect!


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PrestonE
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/29/05

Loc: San Miguel de Allende,Mexico
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Tonk]
      #5719278 - 03/07/13 08:26 PM

Broken clouds to the west...just packed it in...no recovery of the comet...

Our weather forecast for the coming week is bad...thus, it will only be with very good luck that we see it again.

Best Regards,

Preston


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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: PrestonE]
      #5719301 - 03/07/13 08:36 PM

Amazingly, despite a forecast of "fog," we had mostly clear skies this afternoon into sunset, with just some small, thin bands of clouds to the west. However, the sky was not as transparent as I would have hoped that direction.

I started a couple minutes before sunset, and took about 40 frames of still pictures over the next 25 or 30 minutes. In between shots, I scanned the area where the comet should have been, memorizing it's distance away from the sun, and elevation above it.

Alas, it was to no avail; there was nothing to be seen of the comet. I even went back to the still frames and played with the brightness and contrast, zooming in on the area it should have been. No trace of it, visually or photographically. I'm hoping for clear skies tomorrow, but then I'm in for rain for several days, at least.


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Ben B
member


Reged: 02/03/13

Loc: GA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: magic612]
      #5719314 - 03/07/13 08:44 PM

So I had nice clear skies again tonight but the haze in the western direction for the first 1-3 degrees above the horizon was substantial. Despite this, I'm hopeful that I may have captured the comet about 20 minutes after sunset just about 2-3 degrees above the horizon.

I first found what I believe to be the comet in binoculars with the help of a compass and a laptop w/ Stellarium up to monitor the current location of the comet. I then slewed my scope to it with the DSLR attached and captured the following video at 5x LiveView: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGT-oL8b3mA

The object I believe is the comet is barely visible starting in the lower right quadrant of the video and moving upwards as time goes on. "Up" in the video is shown by the partial cellular tower in the top left corner of the video. The tail is pointing the right way and the object definitely had a slightly different apparent motion than the stars since during the video my mount was tracking the stars.

In the video I believe if you look closely you can see the nucleus and two tails. I'm fairly certain this is not a contrail - I almost got fooled by one of those earlier tonight but through the telescope the movement of the plane was obvious as was the swirling of its exhaust gases.

Feedback is welcome.


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Ben B
member


Reged: 02/03/13

Loc: GA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5719337 - 03/07/13 08:54 PM Attachment (57 downloads)

Here's a single image taken out of that video with a tiny bit of processing to dial down the red background and try to bring out the object's detail.

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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Ben B]
      #5719356 - 03/07/13 09:00 PM

No joy tonight on this comet. As entropy would have it there were clouds very low on the horizon in the southwest, exactly where I needed to look. I scanned the area for a half-hour with 10x50 binos from about 5 minutes post sunset on, but no definites, maybes or possibles. Forecast for next 2 or 3 days for southern Oklahoma not promising but I will look catch as catch can. Hope somebody has better luck.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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AlaskaIsCold
member


Reged: 11/16/11

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5719737 - 03/08/13 12:48 AM

Still clouded in here at Anchorage, Alaska.

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eros312
super member
*****

Reged: 02/14/09

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: AlaskaIsCold]
      #5719767 - 03/08/13 01:28 AM

Still no joy here in Tampa. Crystal clear skies.

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pogrzex
member


Reged: 01/25/13

Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: eros312]
      #5719796 - 03/08/13 02:27 AM

Bad weather also here in Europe....

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Tonk
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/19/04

Loc: Leeds, UK, 54N
Re: Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) [Re: pogrzex]
      #5719840 - 03/08/13 04:11 AM

The BBC has woken up to this event. Poor marks for a headline that the comet will be 'lighting sky', and zero marks for the star chart graphics with the comet tail in the totally wrong direction. Lots of points to Terry Lovejoy who got his picture in the piece.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21701641

UPDATE - they get some points back after redoing the graphic and a) scaling down the size of the tail and b) pointing it in the right direction


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