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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...
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)."
By Some Dude With A Mak- Cass
so the other night i was setting up my scope, and i saw the weirdest thing in the northeastern sky. it was a fast- moving, flashing(?) object about 3- 4 degrees above the horizon. it went from the northeast to the southeast in about 3 seconds, then vanished out of sight. i didn't get a picture, my camera was still in its bag and i didn't even think of taking a pic until it was gone. now, i know this sounds like a ufo, but i don't know. i doubt it is, although i hope it was. i have seen things like this before quite a few times, but none of them at night. if it really is a ufo, id put it at a 2 on the hynek scale, for those of you who know what that is. if not, google it. its interesting. aside from the unlikely prospect of a ufo, what could it be, realistically speaking??
I went to my dark site last night for a little stargazing with a buddy and the hopes to see my first comet through a telescope (or binoculars!). I had a few other things on my list, namely M81 and M82 and the Blue Snowball Nebula. I headed out armed with my telescope, 3 new EPs, a new nebula filter, a new 2" dielectric diagonal, and high hopes.
We arrived and got set up, and for the first time since I've owned it my Celestron GPS unit was not working. It was powered up, but it just didn't seem to be connecting to the telescope as the scope kept asking me to program in the time and coordinates. I hadn't brought an alternative GPS, as I have not had this issue in the past, and so I was not able to set up my scope for GoTo or for tracking. I spend quite a lot of time messing with it, but to no avail.
By the time I got to observing I had already messed around with the equipment for a long while and time was getting short. I took a long look at the Ring Nebula and Andromeda, then went on to look for the comet (C/2017 ASAS/SN). Supposedly it is possible to see through binoculars, but I was having trouble spotting it with either scope or binos. I know I was in the right part of the sky, but I suspect it was just dim and my newbie eyes had trouble finding it. It is supposed to be magnitude 12 or so right now, and being new as I am to astronomy I don't know exactly how that looks in the sky. Anyway, by the time I gave up on the comet, it was cold and I was ready to pack up. No new observations for me.
I think the comet is supposed to be most easily observable on 10/18, and I will probably try to get out again and search for it. I also have all these new gadgets I need to get the feel for. I really want to make some good use of this new nebula filter soon. Thanks for reading and clear skies!