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Just got back from the Starpad. :o

The comet's not too spectacular as far as things go, but this baby is huge.. nearly as big as the ET/Owl cluster. It was half-way between Phi Cassiopeiae (one of ET's eyes) and Theta/Mu Cassiopeiae tonight, and was easily seen through my 11x70's as a large, diffuse glow. Through the 16" LightBridge, a small bright core was very evident, and seemed to be tucked into the southwest portion of the comet's glow. I'd be surprised if this one makes it to naked-eye status but it's still worth a look. :) (Sketch will be posted asap.)

Wow - that size sounds impressive! I havn't looked at it for about 3 weeks, so I think I'm likely to see a difference tonight when I get back onto it :headbang:

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I still can't find it! a thin mist has just rolled in too so my chances tonight are getting slimmer as the night passes!

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Just been out with the bins again. No joy. I'll tell you what: when you go out comet-hunting with a low-powered device you really understand why Messier kept spotting so many star clusters. Tonight's "OOH THERE IT IS! oh no, it's just a cluster" was brought to you courtesy of NGC457.

On the other hand, anybody else see that meteor at 1922 UT? It originated right between Delta Cas and NGC457 and shot southwards. I was looking right at that spot with my bins when it happened. Amazing sight.

Edited by Breakintheclouds

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I think I picked it up in my 8" Dob. Averted gaze showed a bright core, even in my light-polluted skies. I could be wrong though, it was very faint!

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Just spent an hour trying to get 103P in my 12" in high dew conditions (97% humidity!!). By the time I had located it my secondary was completely dewed up.

Elongated diffuse patch of light with a slight central brightening seen. Not much difference in form detected since the last time I viewed it 3 weeks ago. Of course, my view tonight was very much hampered by the dew.

That said, I did a quick comparison with M31, M32 and M110. It was close to M110 magnitude, slightly less bright than it I would say. Approx mag 8.5-9(ish) I'd go with tonight :o. Nowhere near being naked eye (HA quoting 5.5 !!)

Time to call it a night already :)

Edited by DarkerSky

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maybe this explains why I have not caught up with it yet - I have not been able to find M110 yet either!

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According to the most recent update from Nightskyhunter.com, the comet is now on the limits of naked eye visibility from a good dark site!!!

According to info on the website:

his transparency is typically 8/10 on a moonless night,

he can regularly see magnitude 7.0 stars,

and he can eyeball M31 under a Full Moon.

Definitely not your typical 'good dark site'.. sure wish my sky was that good. :o

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I'm outside right now - where is it?? Heavens above says it's currently at RA 1:53.8 (J2000), 56.49 but that can't be right since I've checked every star I can see in the area against Stellarium! How far away from the prediction should I expect to see this thing?

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I'm outside right now - where is it?? Heavens above says it's currently at RA 1:53.8 (J2000), 56.49 but that can't be right since I've checked every star I can see in the area against Stellarium! How far away from the prediction should I expect to see this thing?

What scope are you using to find it? It's not particularly bright.

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I'm using a Skywatcher Explorer 130P (f5), and I can see stars to a magnitude of about 10-11 where I am (bit of a strain though!)

What am I looking for? After seeing so many pictures I'm kinda expecting to see a green glow and a bright point!

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I've found this one tonight after a few frustrating attempts. With my 4" refractor and 13mm Ethos eyepiece the comet looked much fainter than the Heavens Above website predicted but it's position was pretty much where the finder chart on that site suggested. Heavens Above was predicting mag 5.3 but to me it looked more like mag 8 or 9 even. It was a rather faint elongated patch of light, slightly brighter in it's central area, with a number of stars shining through it - for reference I looked at the mag 8.9 galaxy M110 in Andromeda and I felt the comet looked rather similar, perhaps a touch brighter.

Maybe the Heavens Above brightness is an integrated figure ?. Not the most spectacular comet I've observed by a long way but nice to find it all the same :)

Additional: I've got the comet in the FoV of my 6" mak-newtoninan now. Looks a bit more comet-like with the increase in aperture - more condensed towards the centre - not an easy object to spot though. Lovely night here tonight, the M31, M32 and M110 group of galaxies are quite spectacular with my 31mm Nagler and the 6" F/5.9 mak-newt :o

Edited by John

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It's looking good on screen with the TMB/Atik 314L combo

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It's looking good on screen with the TMB/Atik 314L combo

Sounds great Nick - please post some of the results when you can :(

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Ah well at least it was good to know that I was looking in the right place! I think the extreme amount of light pollution where I live (central London) may have knocked out any glow...since the whole sky glows anyway!

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I feel your pain. I lived in W london for 14 years, and saw Mars/The Moon/Saturn/Jupiter and Hale Bopp.. huge B&Q near our house with floodlights on all night

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Here's my results from last night

103P Hartley 2 Oct 6th 2010

TMB105 F6.2/EQ6 mount

Autoguided by PHD Guide/ST102/DSI-C

21:00 to 23:00UT

HA/OIII/SII/CLS filters

Atik 314L Camera

Processed with a 16.5 degree rotational gradient on the tail, and no contrast enhancements

Layered with Coma and nucleus images (median combined) with starfield (SD combined) in Maxim DL and Photoshop CS5

The bottom image is flipped vertical axis, from IRIS. Using a Dalpha of -2.0 it's showing a distinct (tear drop) kink in the tail, one other observer in Italy has also seen this in his images processed in Astroart

post-14410-133877490038_thumb.jpg

post-14410-133877490045_thumb.jpg

post-14410-133877490049_thumb.jpg

Edited by NickH

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That's a really nice result Nick. I had my first glimpse last night from a dark site and we found it easy enough but were a little underwhelmed at first. But the skies improved and so did the comet. In a widefield context i thought it looked quite nice.

Edited by russ

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You are producing some superb images Nick.

I was looking where it should have been last night with 6" and only modest light pollution. I think I saw it, which probably tells you how obvious it is - not very. That comet hunter chap mentioned above must have stupidly dark skies to see it naked eye.

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Naked eye.....not a chance! We were under good skies last night and while it was easy enough to find in a scope or large bins, it wasn't exactly bright. Very nice to see it though. I suppose the best time to nail it will be it's flypast of the Double Cluster.

Edited by russ

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Oh Nick what a picture! I'm really glad someone put up a picture from the same time I was looking. Seems I was straining my eyes at exactly the right place. Well at least I know what I'm looking for now :(

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What a nice picture, Nick.

I saw it first time yesterday, first with 15X70 bins and then found it in the 6" telescope. It is a very faint patch of lights that I can't even make out the shape, but I know it must be the comet as no DSO around there. The double clusters were in the same FOV of the bins.

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Finally got to see it last night with my local observing group; don't think I would have found it on my own as a couple of nights ago I spent 45 mins with 15 x 80's in my garden and couldn't find it.

First saw it in a friend's 12" dob ......still not impressive, then found it in my 4" refractor ...just ...but most surprisingly was able to find it in my 10 x 50 binos BUT only because I used averted vision and had the star field in mind from the low power view through the 4". I wouldn't have even bothered with binos except that a far more experienced photographer/observer suggested that it's large angular size might make it visible in binos.

This was all from a pretty dark site with a limiting magnitude of at least 5.5. I don't believe I could possibly see it with binoculars from a site brighter than this.

Overall, much, much dimmer than I had anticipated from the magnitudes given on the web, but of course it's quite large and very diffuse, hence the discrepancy between the magnitudes given and what I was expecting to see.

I just hope it brightens soon!

John

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