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What did you see last night in your binoculars? (Part 3)

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#26 Mike G.

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 12:23 PM

Last night was finally clear so loaded up the APM’s, the 11x70’s, the C8 on the CG4 and headed over to my friends house who has a much better view of the SE than I do. He was already set up with his 10” dob and had some 10x50’s and 7x35’s already out. Got set up, realized I had forgotten my dewshield for the C8 and dialed everything in, starting the APMs out with the 22mm LVWs. 46p was easily located in the clear, 19F sky and we went to work putting all our equipment to the test. 46p was even easily found with the 7x35’s which was a surprise for me. Best view however (as commented by both our wives) was with the APMs at 25x. Lots of other objects  were seen, too many to try to type out on the phone. We stayed out for 2 hours then packed it up. Success!!


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#27 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 03:52 PM

I was at the Naylor Observatory on Friday night and logged Comet 46P/Wirtanen, Cr 65, Cr 69, Cr 70, Mel 20, Mel 25, M31, M34, M35, M36, M37, M41, M42, M44, M45, NGC 1981, NGC 2244, and NGC 7789 using 15x70s.  


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#28 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 03:57 PM

The skies cleared late last night. It was bitterly cold. Nevertheless, I attempted Comet 46P/Wirtanen from the red-zone skies of my home but by then it was quite low in altitude and I was unable to see it.  However, the transparency was rather good and I was able to log M50 and M67, along with Cr 65, Cr 69, Cr 70, Mel 20, Mel 25, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M41, M42, M44, M45, M47, M48, NGC 1981, and NGC 2244 using my 15x70s. 


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#29 DeWynter

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 11:23 PM

Last Saturday was our club observation night. Started as a very cloudy evening but after about an hour after sunset the skies cleared and we ended up with a very productive night. Unfortunately the view of the main guest of the month, 46P/Wirtanen, wasn't that good due to light pollution. Yet I was able to observe all usual suspects plus many more:

 

  • Pleiades (M 45,Mel 22)
  • Hyades (C 41,Mel 25)
  • 46P/Wirtanen
  • Orion Nebula (M 42) (with UHC filter)
  • Cr 140
  • Cr 69
  • Cr 70
  • M 41,NGC 2287
  • NGC 2808
  • Omicron Velorum cluster (IC 2391,C 85)
  • NGC 2516,C 96
  • Eta Carinae Nebula (with UHC filter)
  • Gem Cluster (NGC 3293)
  • NGC 3532,C 91
  • Pearl Cluster (NGC 3766,C 97)
  • Christmas Tree Cluster (NGC 2264)
  • NGC 2244,C 50
  • Running Chicken Nebula (with UHC filter)
  • Southern Pleiades (IC 2602,C 102)

 

Dark skies are the key! I observed the comet on 1/12 from a very dark site (grey zone, pitch black, very far from any light pollution) and I was able to find it quite easily in less than a minute - big, contrast fuzzy ball. Next week, on 8/12, I observed it from a relatively darkish site in just outside of the city (green zone) and it was extremely difficult to find it. It was very-very faint. And I spent good 15 mins trying to locate it. 

 

UHC filter on the binos certainly helps a lot. Previously I wasn't able to see Running Chicken Nebula from the city, but with UHC it was quite easy to find it. It was still faint due to light pollution, but visible.

 

Also used WO ZS 61 with 8-24 zoom to see:

  • MarsNeptune next to each other 
  • Split Trapezium
  • Split Gamma Velorum

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#30 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 02:19 AM

I went to the Naylor Observatory again on Monday night.  While there, I observed Comet 46P/Wirtanen with 8x42 and 15x70 binoculars.  I also saw it through an 80mm Orion ST80 refractor and a 12.5" Cave Astrola Newtonian.  Other binocular targets included Mars, Cr 65, Cr 69, Cr 70, Mel 20, Mel 25, M31, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M41, M42, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 1981, NGC 2244, and NGC 7789. 

 

Before I left for the observatory and after I returned to my red-zone home, I tried unsuccessfully to log 46P.  I also looked at many of the DSOs that I saw at the observatory and added M44, M47, and M67 to the list.


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#31 Corcaroli78

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 04:40 AM

Hi all,

 

Last night the weather improved significantly in Denmark. I prepared all equipment for a long session from the balcony.  With the Carl Zeiss 10x50 I started looking for the 46P comet and gotcha!! it was easily found.  A nice view of this fuzzy wanderer. I will follow it tonight to see how it evolves.

 

After the 46P, i moved to Mars and Neptune.  I missed the encounter, so for me it was just to see the change in their position of the sky.

 

As the sky was still very good, I went to the Auriga clusters which were brighter due to the uncommon transparency. I ended the session with a view of M42 through all binoculars (10x40B, 10x50W and 15x70)

 

Back inside at 9:30 pm. the advantage of winter...

 

Its nice to have clear skies again.... 

 

Clear bino-viewed- skies to all!!


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#32 alberto76

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:26 AM

I enjoyed four consecutive nights of rural dark skies (and no Internet access), so I went to 46P/Wirtanen (it was nicely placed the first night, surrounding red giant Eta Eridani) and faint objects like M33. This is the first time I enjoy my 8x42 in such a good location.

M33 was quite bright, you notice it right here, even not knowing where is it. I'm almost sure to have seen North America Nebula, and maybe a bit of California Nebula. Or it was just my imagination... No traces of Veil Nebula, but I found NGC 6940 in that area. By the way, Deneb surroundings and Cassiopeia-Cepheus looked full of stars, quite overwhelming compared with the 15x70 view.

Besides that, the usual Fall-Winter collection: all of M31-39, Pleiades & Hyades, Alpha Persei Cluster and Double Cluster. NGC 253 was too low in altitude to get a clear view. M2 looked bright but small, like a defocused star.

Finally, for variable star folks, Mira (Omicron Ceti) and Chi Cygni are near their maxima, and can be seen with the naked eye (especially Mira).


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#33 Slartibartfast

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 12:39 PM

Got a quick binocular session in last night to get an update on 46P/Wirtanen.  It has moved quite a bit higher in the sky up near Menkar in Cetus since the last time I looked on, I think it was 12/6.  I think I didn't have to use averted vision through the binos tonight to see it, so it seems to be brightening.  I tried for a naked-eye glimpse and nothing doing (my skies are borderline bortle 6/7, so I didn't expect to).  I swung the binoculars over to take a look at M35 in Gemini.  I've given up on seeing 38P/Stephan-Oterma, so I didn't try.  frown.gif   I wimped out last night due to the cold and packed it in after only about 30 minutes.  I didn't check the temp, but there was frost everywhere! 


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#34 Dutch Countryman

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 02:03 PM

With all the comet chasing, I just want to remind everyone that this is a great time to view the Auriga clusters since they are at or near zenith, depending on time of night.   The big three--M36, M37 and M38--are effortless in binoculars now.  Last night, I also caught NGC 1907, close to M38.


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#35 dd61999

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 04:56 PM

Anyone have a sketch of what comet 46p looks like through binoculars 



#36 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:09 PM

To make more interested. Human psychology is a long thread becomes "Boring" and sometime, some one just want to read quickly some thread here and there then trying to read some end topic.

 

I am just trying to make this thread more manageable as possible smile.gif

More manageable for who? Now when I check "My Content" it does Not Give updates on most current post in this thread, it gives a double dose of your 'Baby Pictures', and requires me to navigate to see if there are any current posts in this thread.


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#37 gs2offroad

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:21 PM

Spotted comet 46P with 10x50 Nikons. Surprised me how big it is! Took in the Hyades, Pleiades and Auriga while I was at it.
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#38 duck2k

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 11:30 PM

I was out with my 15x70’s, and I too have joined the bandwagon of spotting 46P Wirtanen. Also just swept around Taurus, and Orion (get my M42 fix), before heading back into the house.

 

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#39 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 12:05 AM

I observed Comet 46P/Wirtanen on Tuesday evening while the Moon was low but still above the horizon using 15x70s and the 12.5" Cave Astrola Newtonian (30mm Bresser 70 degree eyepiece producing 69x) at the Naylor Observatory.  The sky was quite transparent early on and I thought that I just might have been able to see the comet without optical aid.

I also viewed Cr 65, Cr 69, Cr 70, Mel 25, M42, M45, and NGC 1981 with the 15x70s.  I would have done a lot more bino-observing but clouds filled the sky earlier than I had expected.


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#40 J A VOLK

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 12:38 AM

(Tuesday 9pm PST) Large oblong fuzz ball in Canon 10x42 IS, 12 miles NE of downtown LA, impressive given the light pollution, transparency good considering....

Edited by J A VOLK, 12 December 2018 - 12:58 AM.

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#41 Slartibartfast

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:03 AM

I got out tonight with the 25x100s plus I setup the big guns - the Lightbridge 16.  Since I had been observing 46P/Wirtanen over the course of a few nights, I knew right where to find it in the binos, but I had trouble with the LB16.  So, I used the binos to plot a star hopping route from Menkar to 96 Kap1 Ceti to 97 Kap2 Ceti to HD21018 to the comet, which was nestled near HD21440 and just north of HD21243.  Then, I followed the route with the LB16 and found it.  The transparency was not too good, so, the view in the LB16 just looked like bigger, brighter view compared to the binos, but the background was washed out.  In the LB16, it was viewable with direct vision with a bright-ish small nucleus fading smoothly to a grayish/whitish background.  I detected no lopsidedness which would indicate a tail probably due to the light pollution and bad transparency taking its toll on any fine details.  Still, it was a good night comparing the views.  Weather-wise, it looks like this is the last clear night for a while, possibly until mid next week, so, I'm glad I got out!

 

Anyone have a sketch of what comet 46p looks like through binoculars 

I did make a sketch, but it is a view through the Lightbridge 16.  It is over in the sketching forum: https://www.cloudyni...anen/?p=9003968

 

FWIW, If you use your imagination, and cut down on the brightness and extent of the halo, the sketch kind of shows what I see through the binoculars.


Edited by Slartibartfast, 12 December 2018 - 02:04 AM.

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#42 goodricke1

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:12 AM

Having the Stellarium mobile app on my phone has revolutionized my binocular viewing. Now I know exactly what I'm looking at and it's a pleasure scanning around for new objects. Although the mag limit is only around 9.2 on the app and I see a lot fainter than that in my 20 x 80s; in fact in perfect skies last night I set a new minimum record of mag 11.34, which I later ID'd as TYC 1212-51-1 in Aries.

 

I was concentrating on the spectacular fields in Puppis and Monoceros; so bagged M46, M47, NGCs 2414, 2423, 2374, 2396, 2353, 2343, 2335, Caroline's cluster, M50, the Cone Nebula and on up through Gemini to the always spectacular M35 with nearby NGC 2158. Also the impressive NGC 1647 in Taurus, how did Messier miss that?

 

This is a truly jaw-dropping slice of sky, and rivals the more famous Summer sights in Sgr, Sco and Scutum imo.


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#43 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:01 AM

I observed Comet 46P/Wirtanen on Tuesday evening while the Moon was low but still above the horizon using 15x70s and the 12.5" Cave Astrola Newtonian (30mm Bresser 70 degree eyepiece producing 69x) at the Naylor Observatory.  The sky was quite transparent early on and I thought that I just might have been able to see the comet without optical aid.

I also viewed Cr 65, Cr 69, Cr 70, Mel 25, M42, M45, and NGC 1981 with the 15x70s.  I would have done a lot more bino-observing but clouds filled the sky earlier than I had expected.

waytogo.gif

 

Last night, I took my normal first quarter moon nap and got up just after moon set.  The skies were clear and pretty dark, 21.2-21.3.  46P was high in the sky and immediately visible naked eye.  Throughout the night, it was easily seen, it has been a while since there's been a naked eye comet.  k

 

 

Very often when I see the header for this thread, I think to myself, what did I see last night... Clouds.  But last night it was clear and I spent a fair amount of time with my 15x70 Resolux's, they're a refreshing change of pace from the 22 inch. It's nice to just lay there with the binos in a zero gravity chair and spend 15-30 minutes before doing the ladder thing again.

 

Some of the things I observed:  M1, CR65, the other double cluster (NGC-1807-1817), the Auriga Messiers plus 1907.  M35 and M2174.  M81, M82, M51, M101.   M108 and M97, the first time I had ever seen them in binos.  M78, M79 and the usual suspects in Orion and Canis Major.  NGC2301 and the Rosette Nebula, the Hyades and NGC1647.  The triangular pattern in the Hyades has always captivated me, it seems like it's a pattern on a piece of Mayan art.  

 

I have been enjoying the Rosolux 15x70's hand held.  They have become my binoculars of choice, they are long and heavy but that makes it possible to hold them steady.  The 4.4 degree field is easily seen, well illuminated and reasonably sharp, the prisms are big enough and there's plenty of eye relief, a big plus for me.  I don't wear glasses but have deep set eyes.  

 

Jon


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#44 Illinois

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 08:45 PM

Anyone have a sketch of what comet 46p looks like through binoculars 

Here’s what I saw two days ago! 

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#45 Astroman007

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:07 PM

Here’s what I saw two days ago! 

 

download-icon.png

undecided.gif



#46 kappa-draconis

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 10:55 PM

The Whale and Wirtanen

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time: 10 minutes, 9:20-9:30PM EST (2:20-02:30AM UTC)
Light pollution: Bortle 8
Clear Sky Chart: 70%, NA, NA (cloud cover, transparency, seeing [9PM hour])
Clear Outside: 98%, red (total cloud cover, sky acceptability rating)
Moon: Waxing Crescent [had basically already set]
Instrument 1: Bushnell 10x50 WA binoculars

 

Tonight I had my first confirmed viewing of Menkar (Alpha Ceti) in Cetus using Instrument 1. Note that this was my first study of any object in Cetus. As the second-brightest star in the constellation, it is a red giant with a spectral type of M1.5 IIIa. It's described in SIMBAD as a long period variable candidate. The star has a distinctive orange hue and is joined by its B-type companion 93 Cet, both of which are southeast of the boundary with Taurus. 

 

I attempted tonight to find comet 46P/Wirtanen with the same instrument, which turned out to be a bit of a challenge. At 9:20pm the comet could be found around t Tau, near the border with Cetus. The star field used to confirm that I was looking in the right region of the sky was distinguished by a figure that roughly resembled a right-angle triangle composed of the stars Omicron Tau, Ksi Tau, s Tau, and f Tau (on the hypotenuse, more or less), with t Tau forming the right angle at the base. Unfortunately, I could barely make out t Tau under these sky conditions, which permitted some viewing but also seemed faintly cloudy. I could see an extremely faint green glow near t Tau. In this limited sense only, tonight I observed a comet for the first time.

 

Better sky conditions with less light pollution will help make future observations of the object more successful. Today the comet passes closest to the Sun. On December 16 it will pass closest to the Earth (at a geocentric distance of 0.0775 AU), and is expected to then achieve an apparent magnitude of 3-4; however, a waxing gibbous moon for much of the early evening will complicate observations. On the 16th it will be in the area of the Pleiades in Taurus. For easy reference, the following information was compiled from Wikipedia and the JPL Small-Body Database:

 

46P/Wirtanen is a small short-period comet with a current orbital period of 5.4 years. 46P/Wirtanen was discovered photographically on January 17, 1948, by the American astronomer Carl A. Wirtanen. It has an aphelion of 5.13 AU, a perihelion of 1.05 AU, and a diameter of 1.2 kilometers.


Edited by kappa-draconis, 13 December 2018 - 05:04 AM.

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#47 Astroman007

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 12:24 AM

^ Nice report, Jon! Detailed, well-written.


Edited by Astroman007, 13 December 2018 - 12:24 AM.

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#48 duck2k

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 01:58 AM

Someone posted on this forum about leaving a pair of binos nearby on a table (or whatever), try going outside only once.  It won’t happen.  That is what has happened to me.  I keep my 10x50’s on a table near my patio door.  And I have been outside in my grav chair more than once a night.

 

I have been tracking 46P Wirtanen tonight.  I get a kick out of seeing a fuzzy greenish/blue object hurtling almost (not there yet) between Pleiades and Hyades.  I will be back at it tomorrow night - with the APM’s (100’s likely).  I also brought out my 15x70’s to join the party as well.

 

Enjoyed Cr 65, Cr 69, M42, all the clusters within Orion (NGC 1981, et al), Sigma Orionis, M78, M41/46/47/50.  I can never steer clear of M35/36/37/38, and M44.

 

tomorrow will be the larger optics (visibility permitting)

 

Clear Skies All!smile.gif

 

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Edited by duck2k, 13 December 2018 - 09:50 AM.

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#49 Corcaroli78

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 07:05 AM

Someone posted on this forum about leaving a pair of binos nearby on a table (or whatever), try going outside only once.  It won’t happen.  That is what has happened to me.  I keep my 25x50’s on a table near my patio door.  And I have been outside in my grav chair more than once a night.

 

Hi duck2k,

 

Interesting suggestion.. . as I recently moved to an apartment with better views, I have a bino for each main window facing west, east and north. I keep a small bino at the entrance of the house and one near the door to the balcony. Besides that, i have a bino at the office which is near an open -non obstructed area.

 

Maybe this is overkill...grin.gif

 

Carlos


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#50 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 06:49 PM

Hi duck2k,

 

Interesting suggestion.. . as I recently moved to an apartment with better views, I have a bino for each main window facing west, east and north. I keep a small bino at the entrance of the house and one near the door to the balcony. Besides that, i have a bino at the office which is near an open -non obstructed area.

 

Maybe this is overkill...grin.gif

 

Carlos

I've heard of gun fanatics that have guns stashed all around their house for quick access, - but for "Emergency Stargazing", - you take the prize. lol.gif


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