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 Post subject: Comet Panstarrs C2017 T2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:54 am 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Spotted the comet, last night. It is has just passed Mirfak en route to the Sword Handle Double Cluster, although it is several degrees from the star. However, I saw no more than a small, very faint fuzz through the 14 inch Dobbie, hardly what you’d call a spectacle. More like a faint galaxy. No detail or tail was visible, but then it was early in the evening (6.30-7.00), later cloud having been predicted.

We can only look forward to this brightening in the new year. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations, becoming a binocular comet.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:28 am 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Spotted it again at around one o'clock this morning. No change - still barely visible.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:18 am 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Turned the telescope onto the comet again last night, and to my surprise it had noticeably brightened. The coma now appeared larger and non-circular, and a bright centre was clearly visible even at 66x.

I increased magnification to 110x and discerned a fanning out either side of the coma of about 45 degrees, two tails, ion and gas? At this magnification, I was also getting hints of fragmentation at the centre; increasing the magnification to 200x showed two bright condensations, a sight confirmed at still higher magnifications.

At last, this comet is a rewarding sight, and well placed (apart from being in the Dobson’s Hole!) just beyond the attractive orange/blue double star Eta Persei.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:30 am 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Grabbed an opportunity to observe at 5a.m., this morning, the first time for about a week, to find the comet now nicely positioned alongside (to the north) the Sword Handle Double Cluster NGC869/884.

It is now within one degree of the cluster, easy to find and a nice sight in the 14" Dob at 66x. I’m still getting a fan-out shape, though it was less clear than previously, being low down in the sky.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:23 pm 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Had another peep at the comet last night during a half hour window in the gloom.

I know that there was a bit of a moon (it was around 7 p.m.) making the comet a little fainter, but I was surprised how much less detail I could now see. The telescope had just been collimated and the seeing was good and crisp - I was able to examine the Orion Trapezium at up to 330x without too much drop in quality, despite its low altitude and the jet stream being right over us.

Perhaps the change in detail level was due to an angular change between us and the comet.... :idea:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:02 am 
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Observed the comet again last night. A better view this time, despite the half moon.

It has now passed the Sword handle Double Cluster and is slightly further out, about one degree from it. It was a nice sight last night because it was just next to an attractive little trapezium of stars.

Once again, I saw the fanning and evidence of a short tail behind the coma. No sign of any central condensation until I boosted the magnification to 200x, whereupon a condensation kept appearing and disappearing, due to the conditions. I was unable to see any further detail because at 275x image quality had dropped.

Although the sky appeared beautifully clear and crisp, magnification showed turbulence; stars would bloat at 275, then come into sharp focus, then bloat again. I assume this is due to the jet stream.

I am finding this comet interesting. Faint it may be, but given magnification it rewards... :D


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:11 am 
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Took another look at the comet, yesterday evening, best in the 14 inch Dob at 275x. It is now a good two degrees beyond the Sword handle Double Cluster, nearing Cassiopeia. Still a nice sight, though small. And this time, it was nicely framed by an attractive little triangular asterism.

There was a hint of a longer tail, last night. Perhaps because of its slight brightening.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:12 am 
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Heavens Above was reporting a brightening of the comet to magnitude 8.5 yesterday, so I decided to have another look, despite the half moon.

This certainly is a decently bright comet, now. There it was, easily visible in the moonlight. I have no changes to report from my previous observation; the fan-out was clearly visible and the condensation was nice and crisp.

A nice comet. :)

I also looked for C2019 Y4 Atlas, currently favourably positioned in Ursa Major, but had no success, probably due to the moonlight. One to look for in the future.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:36 am 
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Location: Lancashire
Comet ATLAS is currently at mag.11, after brightening a hundred fold. It might turn out to be a daylight comet. See today's www.spaceweather.com .

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