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C/2017 S3 PANSTARRS is in outburst

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#26 astrocy

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:01 PM

I got up around 3:30 am this morning of July 17th to look for C/2017 S3 (PANSTARRS). This was my second attempt, as I tried again a previous night and it was cloudy. I wasn't expecting an easy object and I decided to use 20x80 binoculars, but by star hopping from alpha Cam to beta Cam and then to 4 Cam, I immediately found it, about 30 degrees above the northeast horizon. The comet was in the same field of view and to my surprise, it was visible with direct vision with no difficulty. At first, I had to double check its exact position and to make sure I was looking at the comet and not at some bright deep sky object! It looked like a small globular cluster with a very slightly elongated shape with a north west to south east direction and no obvious tail. I estimated its brightness around +8 magnitude, but it think it could have been a little brighter. I could not detect any indication of breaking up and if this is indeed a dying comet, as some of the above replies suggest, it is currently well worth observing. And if what I saw is the result of a second outburst, I suggest everyone interested, to rush out and see it the soonest!


Edited by astrocy, 17 July 2018 - 08:42 AM.

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#27 Mike Lynch

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 01:37 PM

Second outburst, indeed! Check the Sky & Telescope website and headline "PANSTARRS comet, rocked by outburst, goes green."



#28 Special Ed

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 02:08 PM

Here's a link to the S&T article:

 

 https://www.skyandte...nocular-bright/



#29 starcanoe

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 03:02 PM

Tut tut.....

 

Such comets do not get that bright....



#30 astrocy

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 08:29 PM

The comet was obvious in 20x60 binoculars around 4:00 am this morning of July 18th. I noticed no significant change in its appearance compared to the previous night, but it moved and was found situated roughly between 4 Cam and 5 Cam.


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#31 Tom Laskowski

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 07:14 AM

I was able to easily see it this morning using my 15x70 handheld binoculars from my backyard about 4:15 am. It was only 30 degrees or so above the horizon toward my most light-polluted part of the sky yet still easy to pick out. I wish I had been at my "dark" site.



#32 Raymond Ramlow

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:03 PM

I imaged this comet last night with iTelescope T14. The total magnitude was 7.5 (with a 10' coma) and the ion tail extended out of the frame (>91').


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#33 Aquarellia

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 01:21 PM

I imaged this comet last night with iTelescope T14. The total magnitude was 7.5 (with a 10' coma) and the ion tail extended out of the frame (>91').

Could we see this image?



#34 einarin

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 02:52 PM

I imaged it too last night in our remote observatory in Spain.

Tail seemed to be really extented.



#35 Raymond Ramlow

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 03:26 PM

Could we see this image?

FOV 115'x97,' 300 s, V filter

stretched to show the tail

2017_S3_-_Copy.jpg


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#36 BrooksObs

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 04:40 PM

Brother Ray, that's a classic photo of an "apple on a stick" comet. Nice job.

 

BrooksObs



#37 andrew hampton

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 07:34 PM

I had my first view of C/2017 S3 just before midnight July 18. In my  4" at 19x low down in the north, close to 5 Cam. It's become a nice comet to observe.

 

andrew


Edited by andrew hampton, 18 July 2018 - 07:38 PM.


#38 astrocy

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 08:56 PM

I found the comet again this morning of July 19th around 3:45 am using 10x50 binoculars below 5 Cam. An 80mm f/5 refractor with 20x and 40x magnifications provided more detailed views of its coma. Magnitude seemed steady. Comet was situated near two 10th magnitude stars.



#39 Aquarellia

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 10:24 PM

Superb photo Raymond.  I often prefer the black and white views, this one is perfect!

Michel



#40 Mike Lynch

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 04:14 AM

About 4:30 a.m. EDT, I found PanSTARRS with 11 x 70 binoculars pretty easily in a rural area of Central Kentucky. Simply a greyish fuzzy spot in Camelopardalis.

 

Couldn't find it from my light-polluted backyard, hence a drive of about 15 minutes to find darker skies.


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#41 johnpd

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 06:29 AM

Easily visible in 16x70 binoculars from southern Arizona under fairly dark skies with the humidity at about 80%.

 

JohnD


Edited by johnpd, 19 July 2018 - 06:31 AM.


#42 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:14 PM

I observed Comet C/2017 S3 (PanSTARRS) early this morning through a friend's 22" SDM Dob, its finder scope, and my 12x50s.  I supplied the coordinates and the SDM slewed right to the proper spot.  Fortunately, the comet was just above the trees to the east.  I thought I could see a hint of color in the coma through the 22".  A tail was not visible.

 

Dave Mitsky


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#43 Special Ed

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:17 PM

I got my first look at C/2017 S3 this morning.  I haven't been able to see it before now because it didn't come up high enough soon enough to make it above the mountain to my NE before moonrise or astronomical twilight.

 

I found it near 4 and 5 Cam with my 12x36 image stabilized binoculars--pretty big and bright fuzzball.  I didn't get a chance to put the scope on it because it was right where the sky brightens first at the onset of astronomical twilight.  I was hoping to use my SWAN band filter.  I made the magnitude estimate using a nearby star.

 

C/2017 S3 (PanSTARRS)  2018 07 19.35 UT  m1= ~7.0  DC= 2/  Dia= 5'  12x36 IS B   Alt: 29*


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#44 BrooksObs

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 04:08 PM

I got my first look at C/2017 S3 this morning.  I haven't been able to see it before now because it didn't come up high enough soon enough to make it above the mountain to my NE before moonrise or astronomical twilight.

 

I found it near 4 and 5 Cam with my 12x36 image stabilized binoculars--pretty big and bright fuzzball.  I didn't get a chance to put the scope on it because it was right where the sky brightens first at the onset of astronomical twilight.  I was hoping to use my SWAN band filter.  I made the magnitude estimate using a nearby star.

 

C/2017 S3 (PanSTARRS)  2018 07 19.35 UT  m1= ~7.0  DC= 2/  Dia= 5'  12x36 IS B   Alt: 29*

 

If indeed of 7th magnitude this morning, about 7.5 the previous day and the mid 8's a day or two earlier yet, then the comet is likely not undergoing the classic sort of outburst it displayed a couple of weeks ago where a single release of material occurred, expanding and dissipating with the passage of time. Rather, we seem to be witnessing an on-going event, the coma being continuously replenished by the steady introduction of new volumes of gases from the comet's nucleus. Alternately, the nucleus may have disrupted into multiple secondary nucleii dramatically increasing the available surface area for the sublimation of its ices. If the latter case, we should shortly begin to see evidence of this in the images taken for astrometric purposes.

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 19 July 2018 - 04:08 PM.

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#45 Aquarellia

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 03:53 AM

Here my contribution from a very dark sky:

 

c2017s320180720_l.jpg

 

C/2017 S3 (PanSTARRS)  2018/07/20 2:00 UT  m1= 7.2-7.5  DC= 3  Dia= 14'  16x125  Alt: 28°

I had to look long and very carefuly to detect the very tin tail, the SWAN filter helps.

I tryed to look at the NEOWISE comet too (2018 N1) but it looks that this comet is very faint, maybe +11 and CD 1 ?

 

Michel


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#46 Special Ed

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 06:28 AM

Very nice, Michel!  Good catch on that tail.


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#47 canukLX90

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 10:47 AM

Good observation Michel with a keen eye for faint detail.  With a clear sky predicted for tonight I'll be up for an early morning imaging session.

 

PJ

 


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#48 BrooksObs

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 07:47 AM

I am awaiting with considerable interest any reports on this comet's latest observations. Late last evening I received in quick succession two messages from very reliable European observers that this comet had abruptly declined from its recent peak brightness of about +7.1 down to the mid 8's in just a mere 24 hours! Exactly how this would even be physically possible under the circumstance of an ongoing photometric outburst stumps me. Declines from such events are normally characterized by a continued expansion of the coma accompanied by a progressive but slow decline in surface brightness, not an abrupt fading. A complete loss of any ion tail tail, even in deep images, is likewise reported! Anyone with visual or imaging data from last night/this morning, especially if you had seen the comet at any time in the past 72 hours and not yet reported, please do.

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 21 July 2018 - 07:48 AM.


#49 einarin

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 12:19 PM

I was imaging last night but was too tired to wait until it would have been high enough for imaging.



#50 canukLX90

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 08:59 PM

With only 3 hours of sleep, 4 AM till 7AM this morning, I am running on fumes but I wanted to image the comet again as reports were stating it was fading and had lost the tail.  At around 2:45 AM local time the comet was clear of viewing obstructions and about 25 deg. above the horizon.  I took a series of  60 second L filter shots, no guiding, and then a series of 180 second L filter shots guiding on the comet.  The comet had a faint tail, very much reduced in intensity and length as seen the last couple of days and the comet itself reduced in brightness.  I will be posting some processed images later this evening as soon as I can open my eyes wide enough to find the coffee pot and work the computer software magic.

 

PJ

 




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