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mikeDnight

Thomas Bopp

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The sad news this morning was that Thomas Bopp, the co discoverer of comet Hale Bopp, has passed away age 68. His comet was so spectacular that it will be emblazoned in our minds and hearts for ever!

5a8d6f43baaeb_2018-02-2113_11_24.png.63656607d4e83d70b5396806d93ae61a.png

 

2018-02-16 18.12.46.jpg

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Well posted. He will be immortalized by his comet, at least. It was insanely magnificient.

Olly

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I remember flying back from 3 weeks in Jakarta and seeing it in the sky, sadly I didn'thave so much time to take up astronomy again back then, it was a fine naked eye sight, best I have ever seen in my 62 years here.

 

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It was certainly up there with the best and was of great scientific importance. (Personally my #1 from an observational point of view would be comet West.)

Potentially his name will still be remembered on its return in the 44th century! Quite a legacy.

 

Edited by Demonperformer
Correct return date
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I met him in the summer of 1997 when he gave a lecture hosted by Patrick Moore about his discovery. Really nice chap and what a comet! It was not just the size and brightness in the sky but it's longevity as well.

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Oh, sad news.

It was a lovely comet.

I remember going up the Wenallt Mountain in the north of Cardiff and a very nice gentleman letting us see the comet through his telescope, fabulous!

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So sad, at 68 years old as well. It was Hale-Bopp that kindled my love back into astronomy.

Steve

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What a legacy to leave behind. The most spectacular comet i have ever seen. It seemed to hang in the sky for weeks with 2 very visible diffent tails. Naked eye object.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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It was the 5th January he died, just if anyone is confused. They were two magnificent sights, Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake, quite amazing that they showed up in such a short time-frame.

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A sight never to be forgotten  Hale Bopp.
Member of Border Astronomical Society produced a little booklet entitled
'Hale Bopp Over Cumbria', which contained many Images of that splendid visitor to our skies.

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Thanks for the sad news. Our  little grand daughter is called Hayley and our son has always called her Hayley Bopp after the comet so I must tell him the news

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When I was a boy, Halley's Comet was the comet to talk about. It seems that now Hale-Bopp has a greater claim to fame. Probably the comet that was seen by more human eyes than any other comet so far.

It outperformed any other comet in my viewing life by an order of magnitude.

Some claim to fame!

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Sad news on Tom Bopp-RIP.   He gave us a great comet that I saw on a couple of early mornings from the comfort of my pillow!  Even got a lo-res spectrum of HB and lucky to serve as BAA pres  during the passages of both HB and Hyakutake - a great comet duo :-)

Nytecam

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On 21/02/2018 at 13:11, mikeDnight said:

The sad news this morning was that Thomas Bopp, the co discoverer of comet Hale Bopp, has passed away age 68. His comet was so spectacular that it will be emblazoned in our minds and hearts for ever!

5a8d6f43baaeb_2018-02-2113_11_24.png.63656607d4e83d70b5396806d93ae61a.png

 

2018-02-16 18.12.46.jpg

Firstly, that's sad news Mike, 68 is no age these days, is it? But his name as co-discoverer of such a  fabulous comet is guaranteed in perpetuity ☺. 

I remember looking at the comet through my then 4" Polarex Unitron F15 refractor. To be honest, it had such a narrow fov and using old 0.965' EPs that I much preferred the view through my 10x50 bins!

Secondly, ref your observing report, my only remark would be..."Wot, no Tak??" 😁

Dave

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3 hours ago, F15Rules said:

Firstly, that's sad news Mike, 68 is no age these days, is it? But his name as co-discoverer of such a  fabulous comet is guaranteed in perpetuity ☺. 

I remember looking at the comet through my then 4" Polarex Unitron F15 refractor. To be honest, it had such a narrow fov and using old 0.965' EPs that I much preferred the view through my 10x50 bins!

Secondly, ref your observing report, my only remark would be..."Wot, no Tak??" 😁

Dave

Sadly Dave, I hadn't been introduced to apo's at that time and had not long before sold my 102mm F13 Vixen achromat. All I had at my disposal was a rather poor 4.5" Schmidt Cassegrain and a pair of 10X50 bin's. As you said, the 10X50's were "preferable," as the tail seemed to go on forever! So there I was, faced with the best comet of the century, and no worthwhile telescope! 

You had a 4" Polarex!!?? Wow!! I've spent many happy as a young man, lusting and drooling over photo's of the Unitron (Polarex) refractors. Even now I think my knees would give way if I stumbled upon one. I've always wanted a Unitron with weight driven clock drive. Photographs of gentleman astronomers at the eyepiece of their 4"F15 refractors probably had a deep affect on my psyche! Perhaps that's why I'm so happy with just a 4" refractor! Or perhaps I'm just nuts!! :icon_geek:

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A recent member joined with just such a Polarex telescope and shared lots of pictures of it.

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9 hours ago, happy-kat said:

A recent member joined with just such a Polarex telescope and shared lots of pictures of it.

Have you a link to that post, Happy Kat?

Thanks!

Dave

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Mike,

I too owned an F13 Vixen (Pulsar model), 102mm on an altaz mount: I bought it on ebay and I think I paid £150 for it, with the mount. It was a great looking scope, but the only Vixen I've owned which didn't have a great lens: I got it tested by Es Reid, who rated it as "only" 1/4 wave, but said that the aberrations were towards the lens edges, and that masking it down to 90mm would improve it.

I duly did that, and it became an almost F15 90mm. Es was right, the performance was much better at that aperture, but I didn't keep it and sold it on with full disclosure to someon who wanted it more as a showpiece for his lounge!

Regarding the Polarex/Unitron 4" F15, there is a story which I have shared before, so apologies if you've already seen it, but it recalls a painfully stupid decision I made at a time when family and money needs overruled what I would now call common sense. Read on:...

"Some of you know I once had (and it hurts to recall this....) a Polarex Unitron 4" folded F15 refractor, back in the early 90s. My late father died in 1988, and left me some money which he specifically wanted me to use to buy a decent telescope.  At the time I was a sales rep, travelling all over the place, and I came across a shop in Liverpool called Scope City - anyone remember it? I was in Liverpool for work and just saw the shop as I drove out of Liverpool for home: in the window was what looked like a 6" SCT or Mak on a beautiful wooden tripod and mount. I went in and asked about it. 

I was told it was bankrupt stock (it was probably around the time that Unitron started to wind down their scope sales, around 1990 I think). It came with two hefty wooden crates for storage and was priced at £500, which was a goodly sum then. My late father had left me some money specifically telling me to buy a "nice scope", so I took the plunge and bought it. I knew nothing then of Unitron or Polarex, no internet remember, but I'd heard that Unitron scopes were a good US make. And I knew a beautifully engineered mount when I saw one. (No clock drive though, just very smooth slo motions).

Anyway, I always preferred fracs to be with long tubes, and this one was very short due to the folded light path inside the tube, hence the appearance of an SCT or Mak. At the time it seemed a good idea to have the tube re-made into a traditional long tube (I now know it was incredibly stupid :eek:  :eek:  :eek: , as probably less than 20 of these folded Unitrons were sold, maybe much less, I have never seen another one, only a couple of 3" versions). So I called Orion Optics who were in Crewe then, and they made a long tube for me at F15, and even put Unitron Decals on the tube for me (although it was actually branded Polarex). The scope was a good performer, but at the time my children were very young, money was short, time to observe was even shorter, and I sold it to pay for a carpet we badly needed for the house! It went for £400 (the tube mods cost me £150), and the guy who bought it almost ran out of the house with it...it had a unihex eyepiece holder, 5 0.965" eps (nice ones) and a "large" 40mm 1.25" barrel Erfle I think it was. 

I recently came across the only two pictures I have of the scope, and they are not great, as two of my kids were posing in front of it - but at least it proves I did actually have the scope.

I still have the smaller of the two crates it came in, I keep accessories etc in it, and I am ashamed to say that although Orion Optics returned the original short tube and rings etc to me I threw them away long ago, before I knew better. I understand that the scope in it's original set up and tube would now be worth between £3k and £4k, so rare was it. You live and learn! :mad:  :mad:  :Envy:  :Envy: .."

If only, if only (repeat to self, repeat to self..:grin:).

I've often wondered about that scope and where it is now. The mount was an engineering work of art, the only mount I've ever owned since to match it or beat it is my current Takahashi EM2, which itself dates from the late 1990s.

The first 4 pics below are the Vixen Pulsar 102mm F13, the first one on its altaz mount.

The last two are of the Polarex Unitron 4" F15..

Dave

Pulsar 1.JPG

Pulsar1 (1).jpg

Pulsar1 (2).jpg

Pulsar1 (3).jpg

IMG_20140330_194444517.jpg

IMG_20140330_194529593.jpg

Edited by F15Rules
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10 hours ago, F15Rules said:

Have you a link to that post, Happy Kat?

Thanks!

Dave

link here

That's quite some story you have there.

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21 hours ago, F15Rules said:

....

Regarding the Polarex/Unitron 4" F15, there is a story which I have shared before, so apologies if you've already seen it, but it recalls a painfully stupid decision I made at a time when family and money needs overruled what I would now call common sense. Read on:...

"Some of you know I once had (and it hurts to recall this....) a Polarex Unitron 4" folded F15 refractor, back in the early 90s....

I still have the smaller of the two crates it came in, I keep accessories etc in it, and I am ashamed to say that although Orion Optics returned the original short tube and rings etc to me I threw them away long ago, before I knew better. I understand that the scope in it's original set up and tube would now be worth between £3k and £4k, so rare was it. You live and learn! :mad:  :mad:  :Envy:  :Envy: .."

 

Dave

 

 

 

That's a great story however badly you feel about it now. The scars of a life lived are what make us who we are.

Lets just hope that the old scope is recognised for what it is and being lovingly used to view the night sky.  If it isn't, well, yeah, you cocked up big style! :):)

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1 hour ago, Paul M said:

Lets just hope that the old scope is recognised for what it is and being lovingly used to view the night sky.  If it isn't, well, yeah, you cocked up big style! :):)

Amen to that!

I did actually put up an Ad on UKABS a few years ago in an attempt to try to find the buyer. No joy with that, although a chap who viewed the scope first and then dithered over a decision whether to buy or not did get in touch, and told me he had regretted not buying it ever since then..

Dave

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