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I was out  in the observatory last night with my SW 120ED on the Ercole mount.  No Moon available, but you can't have everything I suppose 🌝

The transparency was very variable, but I did have some nice views of the globular M3 and then swept up M81/M82.  This coincided with some good transparency and had some very pleasing views of the duo.  I then recalled reading somewhere that the great comet 'pretender' C/2019 Y4 Atlas had been somewhere in the vicinity recently.  I checked on Sky Safari 6 Pro on my phone to find out is was not very far away at all, in the vicinity of m4.8 Rho Ursa Majoris - only about 6 - 7 degrees away.

I star-hopped across to the area (24mm hyperion giving approx. 36 and a 2 degree field) and spotted a small nebulous patch in the field as soon as I got the scope onto it, and confirmed it's identity using nearby 9 to 10th mag stars.  I also observed it with the 17.5 Morpheus and also a x2 Ultima eyepiece with this eyepiece.  The extra contrast helped, and ti me it looked rather irregular - bearing in mind that the transparency was poor at times as thin cloud passed through the vicinity. It was difficult to tell, but I would think the mag was somewhere between the 8th and 9th magnitude.

Not spectacular, but I was very happy to make my first observation of a comet that is likely to be remembered for some time to come - either because it does become a bright comet ( or even a  Great Comet?! ) or it is engulfed by the Sun before reaching its full potential.  Either way, I'm looking forward to the ride!

And yes, it is at it's best in the Northern hemisphere :headbang2:  👍  ☄️



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Posted (edited)

Thanks Paul, interesting report

I had a quick try with my 10” dob... I *think* I saw it by hopping from u aura Maj, h Ursa Maj then to a little isosceles triangle that ‘points’ right to it. Desperately ain’t in the 2” 40mm EP. Not any better in other EPs. 

No AC power to the EQ6 at the mo. I used to have 12v solution now moving to AC (AC to 12v cig lighter supposed to be coming from amazon tomorrow but not sure if it will come since the announcement in the U.K. tonight).

hey ho might try again in a week or two unless C/2019 Y4 decides to outburst.

Anyone else have anime more luck?

Edited by Vega
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Vega, there is an isosceles triangle that very nearly pointed to it last night at the time I was observing:  made up of Sigma 1 UMa, Sigma 2 UMa and Rho UMa.   The mag of these stars in the same order are 5.1. 4.8 and 4.8.    Regards,   Paul.

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