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souls33k3r

Observing Comet 46P

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Yes Stephan you have made some very positive posts over the past few years so well done on the 500th. Seasons greetings to you as well.

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I spotted 46P last night in the 15x70mm Bins, didn't get chance to get a scope on to her though.. I did grab a quick widefield single frame with the DSLR which showed it, but it was at 17mm on a crop sensor so very wide and very small.  Hoping to get a nice framing with the portrait with the "sisters" over the weekend..

that's my 4th comet, which feels like a bit of an achievement.. well to me anyway!

Happy viewing!

Ta

Fozzie

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I managed a couple of sessions with my 20x80s on Sunday and Monday evenings. Couldn't miss 46P. Big, bright and quite possibly greenish (though I'm prepared to admit to a certain amount of imagination on that). Couldn't make it out naked eye, but the bins picked it up with no issue.

Kev

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Had a good session with 46P last night, despite freezing my extremities! It is definitely naked eye from Wiltshire, though a very faint fuzz blob that needs averted vision to spot and you have to know what you are looking for, but it is definitely there. I took some photographs (though the results are pretty pants as conditions were very hazy, if not cloudy) and have put together some analysis:

46P-21-41to23-28-06.thumb.jpg.178ea88142d0083b6c91b951ae683dbd.jpg

 

I also did a couple of sketches of 46P through the 10" refractor at the Marlborough College Blackett Observatory, an hour apart:

Comet46P-Sketch_7374.thumb.JPG.1b56c1408c3f5b236b2cbd9dacedfd65.JPG

 

My calculations from the sketches gave 0.18º in an hour, compared to the photographic evidence giving 0.17º in an hour. I did the sketch calculations way before the photographic processing and am very happy with my estimation!

During all of this I was also spotting Geminid meteors with the gathered group of around a dozen people. The meteors didn't disappoint with a zhr of about 25 registered between 20:00 and 22:00. That seemed to be increasing around 23:30 when I finally went home, totally frozen! A few bright meteors spotted in the -2 to -3 mag zone, but no real rip-snorting fireballs!

I now have my fingers crossed for clear skies on Sunday evening when 46P makes a close pass to the Pleiades - a definite photo opportunity.

 

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Excellent, and very interesting analysis Gavin. Nice one!

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3 minutes ago, Stu said:

Excellent, and very interesting analysis Gavin. Nice one!

Ditto from me....

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Very nice Gav, thanks for all those calculations, I can quote them when folk ask me about 46P and sound like I know what I'm talking about :grin:

Dave

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I finally observed the comet last night (Thursday 13th) using my WO FLT 98 and imaged it with the Esprit 150ED. I had to update my Cartes du Ciel to V4 to get the latest ephemerides and then, to my disappointment, they appeared to be inaccurate so I had to do a bit of searching to finally image it but I got it in the end :thumbsup:. It is pretty faint though to my eyes but at least I've seen it!

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My cameras clicking away and I’ve just been looking at the comet with my 8x42s. I couldn’t see it the other night with these but I’m shocked at how obvious and large it is tonight. A completely different view to the one I had with my 10” dob. With that it looked like a small fuzzy galaxy but in the bins it looks look a very large hazy cloud. I can’t see the nucleus but it’s a great view nevertheless. I think I prefer the binocular view :) 

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Fabulous view in my bird watching 10x25s atm and super easy to locate, pleiades at one edge and the comet on the other. Just about seeing it with naked eye aversion, very subtle though.

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Yes the odd glimpse naked eye to, like a small cloud -  and the conditions are not that great.

 

andrew

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There was a brief break in the clouds right before I went to bed last night, around 1 am. Got 46P easily with the 10x50s, going down and left from the Pleiades. It was bigger than I was expecting in the bins. I last saw it a week ago in the dob. I took some sky reading with the freshly updated iPhone DarkSkyMeter app. 19.27 at the zenith and 18.97 in the direction of the comet. I couldn’t send it naked eye under those conditions but I also wasn’t dark adapted.  

P.S. Congratulations on your 500th post, Stephen, @Nyctimene. I particularly enjoy your observing reports. Always great reads whether you’re out within the big dob or the little 130P :) 

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I think the rain yesterday must have improved the transparency, because even with a brighter moon, it was a direct vision object in the 10x50's at about 11pm. It looked larger than before, but I still think I'm only seeing the core, not the faint surrounding halo. Much better view though, so am pleased. Very easy to find too.

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Looked out just before retiring last night and the clear sky took me by surprise after pouring down all day so got out the 11X70 bin's for a quick look, looked about the same as last time maybe a bit brighter or maybe because it's higher up and escaping the S.London murk.

Dave

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Passing around 4 degrees SE of Pleiades tonight and 'only' 12 million km from earth... :D both should make enjoyable targets for the binoculars. 

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As it is roughly opposite the sun at the moment its tails run pretty much directly away from us which is why it appears as a more or less symmetrical circular object.

 

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Last night around 8:30 the clouds that had us covered finally pushed South, finally giving me a chance to look for 46P.

I couldn't see it naked eye, the moon causing too much interference. So I set up my camera to do some 10 sec exposures at 55mm. Sure enough, there it was, though still faint.

Knowing where to look I could find it with the 8 inch dob.

Hope tonight is a little better, but the moon will still be an issue.

 

_MG_3994-comet 46P 55mm labeled.jpg

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I finally managed to find time last night to track Comet 46P down. I tried last week and failed but last night was easy in 10 X 50s thank to its proximity to the Pleiades. 

I could detect a slight brightening towards the very centre but like Stu I think that I was only really seeing the core.

Glad to have got this one finally.

Ade

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The difference in the view last night compared to when I tried to see it with my 8x42s on the Wednesday is very obvious in these two subs, both 30 seconds ISO400 135mm as processed by the camera. The second was taken about 1:30am this morning after the rain and all the street lights were out.

IMG_1733a.thumb.JPG.29b7e48b26010439ca9f8eb56a8353c6.JPG

IMG_2101a.thumb.JPG.54adef4376c6555790aff0997ca491eb.JPG

 

Edited by Scooot
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I am away from Home at the moment staying at a dark site in Somerset. After the rain cleared yesterday we had clear skies. At about midnight I looked for the Comet without any optical device. Happy to say I saw the Comet with the naked eye. To be certain I checked the location this morning on Stellarium. I so wish I had my binos with me.

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Well miraculously the cloud and rain has passed and I've seen it with little binos easily and am now imaging it too ?   I think I'll get the scope out for a bit of visual delight - or maybe just the bigger binos...

Hope others are managing some perigee goodness!

Helen

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Yes it's nice from here at the moment too.

Just using 7x35 bins and the 70mm TV Ranger but the comet and other stuff showing well. Transparency has just dipped a bit - hope it picks up again soon. Interesting how easily the comet goes from relatively easy to see to rather vague with just a small change in transparency.

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Been waiting for clouds to clear but still looks a way off on the satellite images.

Dave

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