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During February I have made three attempts to observe C/2010 U3 Boattini. The first attempt was a fail. The second attempt left me with two possible outcomes but I had a feeling for the "small fuzzy blob" that I had found but could not re-find!
Finally, I confirmed my sighting last night and I was very satisfied when I did
I use Sky Safari to control my push-to dobsonian and I am not convinced that the location in the app is spot-on. This comet has been a challenge to get into the field of view which is not usally the case with comets & Sky Safari?
Either way, if you are looking for this comet then I can confirm "IT IS THERE"!
My observation notes from 13 Feb 2018
C/2010 U3 (Boattini) – I set about searching for the mag 15 comet. I centered up the push-to with the ethos13 (x150) inserted and then moved to ethos10 (x200). I could not find the comet for definite. There were two possible glimpses (1) I did spot a small fuzzy blob near a patch of stars but failed to re-find it (it did not tally with the Sky Safari location but it was close) (2) I thought I saw a tail cutting through the fov (this was the same experience that I had on Sunday when searching for the same object) but the scale of the tail seemed too long and wide to be true. I will keep trying but could probably do with some better conditions.
My observation notes 20 Feb 2018
C/2010 U3 Boattini – I can finally say that I have seen this comet! I managed to confirm the sighting from last week, it had only moved a slight amount and I confirmed this morning that it is very slow moving comet. In the E10 it was a faint small fuzzy patch below a small group of stars (which I recognized from last week). In the E8 (x250) it was an improved fuzzy patch (but still hard work) and finally in the E6 (x348) I got glimpses of a “dot” core but it was very hard to focus as this was too much magnification for the conditions. Still, I am pleased to have finally tied it down!
Here is the expected path for C/2010 U3 Boattini...
Managed to observe comet C/2016 N6 Panstarrs this morning in the 20” dob.
In the ethos13 (x150) it was small and faint but pretty easy to spot.
It improved in the ethos10 (x200) where a small dot core could be picked out surrounded by a circular dust patch. Again it was pretty small.
Conditions we’re not good enough to go deeper with more magnification.
I observed comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS) tonight using the 20" dob. I located it using sky safari 5 and was using ethos13 eyepiece (x150). The comet was pretty faint but easy to spot.
Switching to ethos8 (x250) it was a fuzzy blob. no core was directly seen. A tail appeared!
Switching to ethos10 (x200) the view remained a fuzzy blob with a tail.
Probably the ethos8 was the best view. The comet was easier to find than comet Heinze (which I observed on 28th December) probably due to it being more compact.
My first target this morning at around 2am was comet C/2017 T1 Heinze. The comet was easily located using sky safari 5 and the Nexus push-to system on my 20" dob.
My notes say
"With the Ethos10 (x200) in the scope, I nudged over to where it should be. Nudged around a bit more… Here it is! The comet appears as a small bright patch around a bright dot central core. There is a lot of faint dust coming off covering a large area making it a fairly faint object overall to see. The dust circle was up to about half the Ethos FOV @x200. There was a possible tail heading east (but this may have been a background or atmospheric distraction – need to see an image to confirm)."
Got tired of the mess of cables and loose devices I had to always put together and dismantle after each astrophotography session so I figured I'd do something about it. This tray will sit nicely under the tripod and provide a hub for everything including Fused Power, Raspberry Pi, USB Hub, GPS, Dew Heaters, Long Range WiFi etc...
First version will be really crude as I need to have this working in less than a week as I'm going on a holiday taking my astro gear with me.