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Forecast was promising so I legged it up to Hyde Common to see if I could bag Comet 45P. I took the Lunt 16x70 and the Amazon basics {aka Ravelli) tripod and joystick head. There were various "tests" on the way:

* I knew that I would have no chance with the comet unless I could easily see Neptune. By 17:15 it was easy with direct vision at the centre of an equilateral triangle that had Mars and a couple of 7th mag stars at the apexes (apices?).

*Deneb Algiedi (delta Cap) needed to be naked eye visible or I would have no chance with the comet. By 17:25 I could see it.

Sky Safari indicated that 45P was shining at mag +7.2 near the 3rd apex of an equilateral triangle made with theta Cap and a 6th mag star. There is a mag +7.3 star just near theta Cap. At 17:25 I could se it (averted vision), but not the comet. By 17:30 ,I suspected the comet, but could not be sure. 5 minutes later, it was apparent with AV, and by 17:45 with DV (only 7° above the horizon).

When it was at the limit of AV, it appeared to be in one of two positions - it soon became apparent that one of these was a mag +7.5 star (just above the comet). I'm notoriously rubbish at estimating magnitudes, but I thought the  comet was a tad fainter than the star. Mag +7.7 perhaps?

15 minutes later it was getting really tricky in the horizon murk, so I fled home to a warming whisky mac.

Worth the effort! If you have a decent SW horizon, give it a go.

 

Edited by BinocularSky
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Nice report Steve, i had a similar experience between 5.30 ish and about 5.55 when i lost it. The surrounding stars certainly show up sooner than the comet, then a mist/haze blob appears when the sky background contrast improves.  

 

 

andrew

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48 minutes ago, BinocularSky said:

Worth the effort! If you have a decent SW horizon, give it a go.

Nice report Steve, I just wish any horizon was visible from my garden!
I need to drive  out to reach any decent  vantage point  for  low angled views towards the horizon?
Plus the persistent weather here is not helping either, keeping the scope under wraps!
Often, I can  only admire the results that  other folk achieve, but hey! I'm happy, having just printed out the latest Binocular Sky Newsletter.
I 'm thinking the binoculars may get more use this season from the `dark pitch`  behind the house?

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Mistimed my walk up to the hillfort, so tried from the approaching farm track with my 15x70s (can handhold easier than the 20x80s - not carting the big tripod up there), but still not picking the comet up..

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12 hours ago, bejay1957 said:

Mistimed my walk up to the hillfort, so tried from the approaching farm track with my 15x70s (can handhold easier than the 20x80s - not carting the big tripod up there), but still not picking the comet up..

I didn't try, but I'm pretty sure that I'd not have been able to see it if I hadn't mounted the bino, it was that near the limit of visibility.

Edited by BinocularSky
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