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C/2017 T2 PANSTARRS Jan 2 (visual)

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#1 balticsensor

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:28 AM

My recent observation of the comet in a 120mm refractor (Bortle 5 sky):

2.png

My biggest revelation was the importance of the eyepiece. In my 30mm Moonfish (as visualized, but worse) I could barely make it out, I thought that perhaps it's a very faint star coming in and out of visibility that's playing a psychological trick. However, in my 18mm Baader classic ortho the comet showed up definitively. Contrast works. I couldn't confirm any improvement in using a UHC filter, but neither any degradation - stars dimmed strongly, the comet not so much, but all in all, the filter didn't improve it's definition. Perhaps it was simply too near the visual detection threshold.


Edited by balticsensor, 03 January 2020 - 02:32 AM.

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#2 aa6ww

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:50 AM

I saw it last night for the second time, both times using my C8 HD with an alt-az mount. Its difficult to locate manually but panning back and forth with an Alt Az mount with patients helps. I always watch for comets so I know what to expect at the eyepiece for mag 9+ comets. I saw a dim fuzzy coma, and no detectable tail. Its positions well in the sky for observing.  SMQ reading of 18.59 for my back yard observing so my skies are brighter then yours. My visuals seem brighter then yours. I was using my 31 Nagler at 67x which was plenty to see it. Next time I'll try my swan comet filter. I've read it brings out the coma easier.

It should be fun to watch as it gets closer. This is the fun part about comet watching. Catch them when they are just detectable with a telescope and watch it get brighter from week to week. This is much more fun then just watching it at its closest approach.

 

....Ralph


Edited by aa6ww, 03 January 2020 - 06:01 AM.

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#3 balticsensor

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 06:28 AM

Interesting points, Ralph. The faintest comet I observed was near mag 11 with a 90mm refractor under superb skies a few years ago. I too know what to expect, and the challenge is very exciting. Never been able to observe a comet week-to-week. But I'm hoping to get more methodical in the near future.

Patrick


Edited by balticsensor, 03 January 2020 - 06:45 AM.


#4 sanbai

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 09:15 AM

Last week I could see it in my c8edge, with go-to and Skysafary/Skyportal using 13mm and 11mm eyepieces (I was testing the TV Apollo 11). It was the second time. It was a fuzzy point in my polluted urban sky. Not popping at a very first glance, but it was clearly there after few seconds and definitively not a star.

There previous week I also saw it. Probably the eyepiece was a 22mm or a 17mm (most used ones that night).

Santiago

#5 Bill Barlow

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 01:45 PM

Probably need to wait 7-10 days until the moon doesn’t affect this comet.


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#6 sanbai

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:03 PM

According to Skysafari, this comet is going to be brighter than magnitude 10 for approximately half year in the northern hemisphere. The estimated magnitude now is around 9.8. Given that I could see it, it is probably that magnitude or brighter. The perihelion is in May, let's see what happens. We have time to observe it smile.gif



#7 Special Ed

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 06:20 PM

Patrick,

 

Your sketch is a very good rendering of this comet's appearance--it looks much like my view on Dec. 25th with my 120mm refractor at 30x, i.e., *very* hard to detect.  I think larger apertures and much higher magnifications have an advantage if you want to see any detail in C/2017 T2 (as people above with 8" scopes report).  I got this view with my C14 at 244x on Nov. 26th, for instance.

 

So far, reports indicate no advantage with a SWAN filter--but that could change.


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#8 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 11:59 AM

My recent observation of the comet in a 120mm refractor (Bortle 5 sky):

attachicon.gif2.png

My biggest revelation was the importance of the eyepiece. In my 30mm Moonfish (as visualized, but worse) I could barely make it out, I thought that perhaps it's a very faint star coming in and out of visibility that's playing a psychological trick. However, in my 18mm Baader classic ortho the comet showed up definitively. Contrast works. I couldn't confirm any improvement in using a UHC filter, but neither any degradation - stars dimmed strongly, the comet not so much, but all in all, the filter didn't improve it's definition. Perhaps it was simply too near the visual detection threshold.

Excellent sketch and observing report, thanks for sharing.


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#9 Augustus

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 11:30 PM

I saw it tonight. Elongation/tail was kinda visible to me with my C8, I used my 18mm UWA and 13mm Nagler.



#10 balticsensor

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 05:32 PM

Interestingly, I found that I had attempted to see this comet on 3rd of December last year, and failed. Will be fun to keep tabs on it further on!


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#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 06:16 PM

My recent observation of the comet in a 120mm refractor (Bortle 5 sky):

attachicon.gif2.png

My biggest revelation was the importance of the eyepiece. In my 30mm Moonfish (as visualized, but worse) I could barely make it out, I thought that perhaps it's a very faint star coming in and out of visibility that's playing a psychological trick. However, in my 18mm Baader classic ortho the comet showed up definitively. Contrast works. I couldn't confirm any improvement in using a UHC filter, but neither any degradation - stars dimmed strongly, the comet not so much, but all in all, the filter didn't improve it's definition. Perhaps it was simply too near the visual detection threshold.

A Swan band filter will enhance a comet's gas (ion) tail.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the only one effective on comets. 

https://www.astrosho...er-1-25-/p,6750

 

A comet filter is a useful tool to help you see more detail in the ion tails of comets and fine detail and structure such as jets in the coma. These filters can also reveal the coma of very faint comets that are otherwise difficult to see. They do not help reveal much detail in the dust tails of comets, however, since these structures shine from reflected white light from the Sun.

 

https://agenaastro.c...ers.html#comets


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