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JeremyS

Comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Padusakova

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Since the comet is passing so close to earth, it may be bright but large and diffuse.   Similar to what comet 252P/LINEAR was last April.  It should be interesting to see how it pans out

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I have just seen Comet Honda.  Around 5.45 for about 10 min. before it went behind some trees ! In the 4" refractor, it was not too easy, it was getting quite murky near the horizon.  This was at 38x and 50x with averted vision and direct -  it might be visible in 15x70 and worth a look.

 

andrew

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I also saw the comet last night using a 102mm  refractor, using magnifications of 25x, 50x, and 75x.    It looked different than what I was expecting.   I was looking for something that looked like a unresolved glob, but it had a bright central condensation, almost stellar.  I might have missed it except my chart eyepiece FOV showed 3 stars in a line pointing to it's position next to a another star.   Easier to tell I was in right place.   The coma was not round but oval.  I couldn't tell if it had a tail as it was too near the horizon and I didn't have any other EP's with me.   It kind of reminded my of M77  in poor conditions.     This is worth a look, plus there is  Venus, Mars (with Neptune)  and Uranus not to far away.

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Last night after a couple of unsuccessful nights prior managed to get an image in a 30 second exposure using a 50mm lens and my camera. Nothing spectacular though and my tracking was off but may iron out the kinks and scale the lens up.

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Clear horizon is the most important - it's not really dark before it sets. Hope you get a view.

 

andrew

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Saw the comet again this evening, it became obscured from view just before 6 pm.  It was noticeable brighter than on the 28 dec. perhaps around 7 mag. but the sky is not really dark to get a good view. Not much more than a fuzzy blob, in the 4" at 38x  I had a quick look in 10x50s but had no joy.

 

andrew

Edited by andrew63
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8 hours ago, andrew63 said:

Clear horizon is the most important - it's not really dark before it sets. Hope you get a view.

 

andrew

Not quite, drove to the dark site, but the road was closed due to ice so couldn't get up there.

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I just about bagged it last night in my 15x70s. Fortunately the view I have to the horizon in that direction is about the best I can manage anywhere, though trees and houses still come into play. It was very faint but undeniably there. I had to check S&T to make sure there wasn't a star where I thought it was, despite it being a bit fuzzy, and a later look on Stellarium confirmed it was indeed 45P. I thought this might be the last chance I'd get to see it as the moon's waxing and the comet will start to fade rapidly soon, but it looks like I may be able to have another go at it on Wednesday. If so I'll see what the 10" can do!

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100% cloud cover tonight, so with increasing moonlight got a feeling I've lost the chance to see this comet

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1 hour ago, bejay1957 said:

100% cloud cover tonight, so with increasing moonlight got a feeling I've lost the chance to see this comet

Supposed to be quite clear tomorrow, hopefully not too late

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I managed to get it again last night, this time in my 10". It wasn't easy to find in twilight as I can't see any stars to navigate from in that part of the sky, so with the help of Stellarium I had to point the scope in the rough area and try to find Delta Capricornus directly through the eyepiece, as it was still too light to see anything in the finder, and then work my way down through a neighbour's roof to Theta. As it got darker it started to emerge just below Theta, very faint at first but it got bolder as the sky darkened and eventually was an easy spot with direct vision. Not brilliantly obvious even so, but certainly much more clear than the view I got in the 15x70s the other night. On the one hand I've been very lucky that it's been in the only part of the sky where I can look almost to the horizon, but it is a shame it's where it is as it only becomes dark enough to see it for a few small minutes before it's gone. A bit higher in the sky and we'd all be laughing.

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Is it too late for me to see this comet?  I was planning to set up my telescope later this week, Thursday through the weekend, to get some images of Venus.  Then I discovered this comet.  Unfortunately, at my usual location right in my front yard, I have tall trees to the West.  But for the chance to spot this comet I will take my SN-6" to another location.

Also, is the comet going to be visible again later in the month, but in the morning before sunrise instead of early evening just after sunset?

Hopefully I'll have a chance to image this comet as well, I've never even attempted spotting or shooting a comet before.  But I'll be using my Sony A7RII via prime focus with either a 2x or 5x Barlow T-Mount.

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It's now getting too low in the evening sky but will reappear in February and be visible more or less all night. Difficult to tell if it will get any brighter though, as it's intrinsically a faint comet.

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4 hours ago, goodricke1 said:

It's now getting too low in the evening sky but will reappear in February and be visible more or less all night. Difficult to tell if it will get any brighter though, as it's intrinsically a faint comet.

I figured that was going to be the case, based on people's descriptions of their viewings.  That sucks, but at least it will be coming back around next month.  I'll have to make sure to keep up with its progress this time to not miss my opportunity, if there is one.  Even if I had been aware of it prior to now, we've had such bad weather the past week and a half that I wouldn't have been able to observe it.  I really hope that in February both the comet and the weather cooperate to allow me to capture an image of it.  I've never seen a comet through my telescope, so I'm really looking forward to seeing it and sharing it with my fiancée.

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