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Marvin Jenkins

Old Comet picture archive.

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Many of you may already know about this but I have just stumbled across this on the British Astronomical Society web site, britastro.org.

I have always been in awe of past astronomers that did astrophotography in the film era and even more mad, glass plate, Mr Hubble!

One of the main headings on the home page is about a large archive of images that are being digitised from our past and I have to say they are astounding.

Please have a look as this seems to be a treasure box of delights and at a minimum we owe it to the people that came before us. Perhaps there are some observers on here that may have known some of the earlier imagers?

Marvin

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Don’t want to beat an empty drum but thought I would attach these pictures. Well before the time of everyone having tracking. And I am yet to see better images despite the advances in technology! If you feel you have done better then post and compare, taking into consideration they were using 35mm film and the delay in seeing the results.

CEED9741-ABCB-41E5-94D0-6F451ECF7163.jpeg

D15977F7-01EB-47A9-AFCA-2DBDAFEDE0D0.jpeg

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Thanks Paul M 

When was the last time you saw a comet that size over your house? So many on the archive, are we in a comet glut?

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I remember the latter part of the film era and I sometime smile to myself when I see the great people of SGL kicking themselves over an esoteric detail in what is actually a brilliant image. 

I wasted some film on trying to image back in the day. I did get some photos of the Moon and some usable slides of Hale-Bopp but that's it.  So the images above are wonderful reminders of what was. 

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7 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

When was the last time you saw a comet that size over your house? So many on the archive, are we in a comet glut?

There were some great comets before my time but perhaps some of their greatness lay in the non light polluted skies of yesteryear? To be fair though I have seen quite a good few naked eye comets but not so many recently.

I can't remember either the names or when, but there were a couple of sungrazer comets that were delightful sights at sunset, late 80's or 90's. Maybe in a less busy society more people would have seen them?

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Going to attach a couple more from the archive, couldn’t say how strongly this should be looked at, and all credit to the team that put it together.

740B1791-E9D4-41B8-AB52-58CC8F27B56E.jpeg

74DA8E99-E968-4095-A0D4-D2D489B41592.jpeg

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Makes me wonder what shots like these would like now in the digital era. I have two comets in two years 46P Wirtinenen and Africano. Both of which in my 130 newt were distant fuzzies.

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Just now, Marvin Jenkins said:

Makes me wonder what shots like these would like now in the digital era. I have two comets in two years 46P Wirtinenen and Africano. Both of which in my 130 newt were distant fuzzies.

I honestly don't know how many comets I've spotted but a fair few were just fuzzy dots in the eyepiece.

Halley's last return was an anti climax.

As a boy I'd read about a few future events that I looked forward to for many year. 3 were of epic importance in my mind.

In "wow" order:

The 1999 Total Solar eclipse. Even though I went to Bulgaria to see it. Brilliant.

The 1999 Leonid meteor shower peak. I went to bed too soon. Missed some brilliant bolides in the pre-dawn but woke to see persistent trails still hanging the dawn sky. 

The 1986 apparition of Halley's comet. Ok, it wasn't forecast to be brilliant and it wasn't. But my childhood imagination had invested much excitement in that distant future event! I picked it out a couple of times in my scope. Just a fuzzy. I was more angry at myself than the comet for my unfounded excitement!!

 

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For me I love your imput. I have always wanted to persue astronomy, and have kept an eye on the news, but not on astronomy for real. Now I know, and I am wishing for cosmic invaders invaders.

Marv

 

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Paul,

I'm sitting in the study looking at an image I took of Comet Halley in March 1986.

From Australia it was pretty spectacular - we had many visiting amateurs from the US, an exciting time.

 

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I observed Comet Halley from the UK in 1986 and it was rather dull and insignificant even with a 6 inch scope.

 

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7 hours ago, John said:

I observed Comet Halley from the UK in 1986 and it was rather dull and insignificant even with a 6 inch scope.

 

Sadly it was the same in an 8” scope.

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IIRC, Halley was well on it's way outbound after perihelion by the time it climbed into northern skies.

I remember looking for and failing to find Comet West in the mid 70's. It was even being mentioned on TV news, which is the only reason I knew of it. I failed miserably, most likely on account of not knowing where to look and what I was looking for and had no one to show me. My first and probably my greatest comet fail!

 

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