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I had clear skies tonight so I thought I would give it a go. The Moon was of course a problem, but better than it will be for the next week... I used my now usual setup of a side by side mounting of an ST80 and Skymax 102. After quite a lot of sweeping about with a low power eyepiece I found it! Barely visible in the the white background of the ST80 (5mm exit pupil, city skies) but quite clear at 2mm exit pupil in the Mak. Looked like a galaxy with no real core. My partner couldn't make it out though. We lost it at one point but managed to find it again - double the fun!

Also had a look at the Moon; the ray systems were very prominent tonight.

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55 minutes ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Glad you found it. No luck here in the north: just wall-to-wall clouds

Ditto.. and frustrating!. Clear mornings here (sunrise), cludy afternoons and evenings. Been like it for weeks :(

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Some stars showing here despite the awful weather during the day. Poor transparency though. Hard work just to find comet 46P with 11x70 binoculars somewhere between the Pleiades and Iota Aurigae. Bright moon not far away is not helping either. Still, it's a further sighting logged.

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Yes, the Moon is in a bad position tonight, and brighter than last night. Fortunately thick cloud spares me the hopeless task... My phone says I won't have a clear spell until after Christmas ?

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Weirdly, as I can hide the moon behind my house and look up between my house and my neighbour's house it was the most obvious I have seen it last night.

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2 hours ago, Moonshane said:

Weirdly, as I can hide the moon behind my house and look up between my house and my neighbour's house it was the most obvious I have seen it last night.

Same here. The moon was behind a thick hedge and the gap in the cloud  very clear and the right part of sky. With 46p now being higher in the sky it makes a huge difference where I live.

Edited by bish

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9 hours ago, Ags said:

Yes, the Moon is in a bad position tonight, and brighter than last night. Fortunately thick cloud spares me the hopeless task... My phone says I won't have a clear spell until after Christmas ?

Sorry to here that.. however stay positive, it may surprise you with a small window of clear or semi cloud sky?. I'm still the same here (Rain & cloud).

Rob

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Very pleased to say that I got 46p last night. I managed to get out in the early evening before the moon came up, and it was reasonably easy to find at the top of Auriga. It didn't appear wonderfully bright in the scope but obvious enough with direct vision at 38x. I had a go with my 10x42s and was very surprised that it stood out fairly well as a faint smudge in them. I then went and tried my 15x70s for comparisons sake, but by this time the moon was coming up and it started to get washed out. First comet I've seen for nearly two years!

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Nice report Spike - I had a very quick look through my 10x42s late last night (after carols in the local church) and 46P was showing nicely despite the bright moon down in Gemini.  Not as distinct as it was last week, not sure if that was due to moonlight or the fact the comet is receding.  

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As @Ludd said I observed it again under bright Moon light conditions, while not as easy with 15x70's as it was, it was still clearly visible.

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Much less apparent than last week but after insisting and waiting for the retina to become more sensitive in the dark it emerged from the humid and illuminated sky. At first, no luck with the 16x70 despite the remarkable proximity of Capella that made star-hopping doubtless. Wirtanen forms an isosceles triangle with it and Beta Aurigae that points north, unmistakable, so why don't I see it?

Let's try with the azimut-mounted 80mm semi-apo that always sits next to the window, maybe stability will help? This time around I don't have to dress in layers and go down to the driveway, I can stay home and view through the window. Stars are not as tight as usual but the cold puts me off today. At only 14x their deformation is not a concern, I just want to see that comet for the challenge now, it has evaded me so I want to hunt even more.

I had estimated its location from memory but I go sit at the computer for a more precise look at Sky&Telescope's map. The star-hopping gods are with me again, it travels at its slow pace close to a brightish field star, omicron Aurigae. Unmistakable, so why don't I see it? I am becoming sure it has dimmed since last week. So I tune my eyes to dimmer stuff while I scan that area again.

And there it is, finally, very faint and devoid of the central brightening that I expected from previous views. Another set of convenient stars make a landmark that I memorize before switching to the 16x70, hoping twin eyes sighting will be more intense. And it is, also, the air seems to have dried up a bit since I started so contrast is not that challenging anymore.

Probing my laziness for a while, I ask myself "Should I drag the 300 dob close to the window?". Laziness lost the debate so I did, and there was no regret for the little effort. The dob's 50mm finder pulled the star-hopping stars out of the remaining murk, and voilà! Wirtanen with nucleus and all! Doubling the power didn't improve the view, so I returned to the basic 24mm/82° eyepiece, but alternating between unfiltered and Astronomik's UHC-E filtered view, the nucleus looked pointier and better detached from the urban sky. The halo became smaller but less shapeless.

After a stroll through the large Messier open clusters in Auriga and Gemini I returned the oversized "boiler" to its corner. It had promoted the comet from just detectable and featureless to obvious and detailed. Good job, dob!

Edited by Ben the Ignorant

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