Comet Pannstars

Here's the place for any sights you wish to remark on

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mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs [C/2011L4]. 20th April 2013. Early Morning.
020-0217BST, sky very clear and comet observed from the window using 80mm zoom Jessops scope and 102mmf5 x20. The comet seemed to have a double "nucleus". Later at 0324BST movement proved that one was a star of similar brightness, and more so later. By 0400BST , the tailed comet was visible in hand-held 10x30 Bushnell roof-prism monocular not far from being between alpha and beta Cass. [obs # 22]

Notes: The comet is now easy to find with the pattern of the "W" an excellent guide and I imagine even evening observations should now be a possiblity again although better at greater altitude pre-dawn. Surprisingly few local observers seem to have seen this comet if the local astronomy group meeting this week is anything to go by. It does not seem to be that faint either, the sighting with 10x30 mono proves that. However a quick scan with binoculars expecting "a Hale-Bopp" might mislead some. Still perhaps I am just a bit obsessed with comets! regards maf.
Tony Markham
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by Tony Markham »

After a 12 day cloudy spell, I managed to see the comet again yesterday morning and this morning. Today the comet was almost exactly on a line joining alpha & beta Cas. The comet can still be easily found by sweeping the relevant area of sky using 11x80 binoculars, but is somewhat less prominent than it was early in the month. Early in the month, the immediate impression on locating the comet was of a long thin fuzzy blob (the "fanning" of the tail needing closer study) ; now the immediate impression is of a slightly elongated fuzzy blob.

Rather lucky with the timing of this morning's observation. Observed the comet at 0240UT (0340BST) , but by 0245UT cloud had spread across the north eastern sky.
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Clear skies here again this morning 21st April but initially (at 0200BST) lots of moonlight from the gibbous Moon in the west and the best views were after the Moon had set behind Southwick Hill at about 0320BST. Initially used 80mm zoom Jessops spotting scope but 10x40 Mirador binoculars showed the comet. Later used the Minox MD50W on a tripod and the Comet (head + fuzzy tail) and beta (Caph) fitted within x16 fov of this. At 0330BST used 10x30 roofprism monocular which included both alpha and beta Cass with the comet about 2/3rds of the way along a line from apha to beta. Even the small 10x30 showed the fuzzy head and tail although best views with this were by averted vision. All this observations were made through the bedroom window. [Obs #23] maf.
[NB. Attempted to locate the comet the previous evening from the park with handheld Minox 50mm with possible but uncertain success - taking a larger scope and tripod to the park in the evening is not "ideal" - doing so in the pre-dawn is a much "calmer" experience- and the comet is not visible from the back garden at present in the evening due to some very tall conifer trees to the north. Really only a "maybe" at best and not included in my "count". However soon, as the comet crawls up the sky nearer to Polaris, although fainter, is should be suitably placed for 102mm f5 from the garden.] maf
coldfieldboundary
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by coldfieldboundary »

He's definitely leaving us now, now telescope again to still find him fainter, waited for the full moon just not rising, it stays a rather small coma and bright core, but the tail isn't obvious any longer, only a sweep in oval shape could be glimpsed, estimated 7.6.
Thanks to the clear cold nights...
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs (C/2011 L4): After a week without sight of the comet, the clear sky after sunset last night (29th Apr) goaded me to go outside into the garden with 60mm zoom Piccolo spotting scope on a tripod at 2215BST before bed. Having plotted the comet's position on Uranometria was successfully located but vwas much faded, appearing as a faintish fuzzy ball with perhaps a smudge of a short tail near a triangle of 7th-8th masg stars to the left of a distinct asrerism of stars overlapping CED 214 (this was not seen). THen replaced 60mm with 80mm Jessops zoom spotting scope for a better view showing a brighter centre. Then swung the scope round to compare the comet with M53. The globular cluster in Com Ber appeared perhaps a bit brighter and "sharper" than the comet and somewhat easier to see (at 2245BST). [Obs #24)
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs (C/2011L4); 30th Apr 2013; 2200BST, sky not quite 100% clear (some strips of cirrus) but the field star-asterism above Caph easily located and the comet as a fuzzy (smudged) patch in 60mm PIccolo zoom scope, to the left of this asterism which resembled a small, upright, distortd "Plough", with an arc of very faint stars off to the left (some too faint for Uranometria) to the comet. At 2215BST, replaced the 60mm on the tripod with Minox 50mm, and the comet was visible in that esp. if zoomed up somewhat. Followed till 2230BST. [Almost on the border between Cassiopeia and Cepheus.] (Obs # 25). maf.
Tony Markham
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by Tony Markham »

After losing it around Full Moon, I've seen PanSTARRS on each of the last 3 mornings using 11x80 binoculars. Getting fainter now - more of a fuzzy blob than having an obvious tail. Was at the limit of visibility in 10x50B this morning - in which the stellar limiting magnitude was approx 9.0.
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs (C/2011L4); Wednesday. 2200-2230BST. V clear sky so went into the back garden with tripod, first with 60mm zoom Piccolo scope and then replaced with Mino MD50W zoom. Located "upright crooked plough" asterism and comet, now in Cepheus. Appeared as small fuzzy "ball" wih perhaps centre brighter. Attempted to locate in hand-held 10x40 Mirador binoculars....and succeeded, although already seen in mounted spottingscopes helped to confirm identification. At 2250BST, while looking out the window prior to retiring, managed to locate it again with Minox MD50W rested against open window frame. [Obs#26] maf.
nigeljoslin
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by nigeljoslin »

Continuing the story......at 3 a.m. this morning, at the end of a great session (superb sky - M51's spiral arms were to die for!), Panstarrs is of course now well above Cassiopeia, by Cepheus. That means it's above the shed.....within reach of my 14 inch Dob, at last....yes!

What an end to a great deep sky session! Panstarrs is still bright and on my lowest magnification of 60x, the eyepiece yielding a true field of view of about 0.85 of a degree, the tail spanned about 2/3 of the field of view, curving nicely to the right and widening considerably at its furthest visible extent. Lovely view.
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs (C/2011L4)
[Obs#27) 2nd May 2013: 2215-223BST; Although the sky was clear, transpatency was not so good so used 80mm Jessops spottingscope on tripod from back gard. Soon located the comet some way above the "crooked plough" asterism, as a small fuzzy "ball", just above NGC 7822 (not seen) and near four 7th mag stars making a "mini-waterjar" asterism. The indistict comet was also seen in 60mm Piccolo scope.
[Obs#28] 3rd May 2013:0335BST. Awoke to find tranparency improved so went in the garden with Minox Md50W on tripod and soon located the comet as a fuzzy star, now close to a star of the "mini-waterjar" asterism...had comsiderably moved since last evening. maf
Last edited by mike a feist on Sat May 04, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
coldfieldboundary
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by coldfieldboundary »

...searched again. Stays a bright core and small coma. The tail still is just noticed as straight, but an effort is needed. Estimate of 8.0. Always a superb catch there in Cassiopeia.
Thanks to the clear cold nights...
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs (C/2011L4):
Friday 3rd May 2013. 2220BST. Using 60mm zoom Piccolo scope from back garden, found the comet again, in Cepheus to th left of a near group of three stars, as an indistinct fuzzy "ball", down below Polaris. [Obs #29]
Saturday 4th May 2013. 0230BST. The comet was easier (same instrument etc) to see being higher up, It was paired with a star perhaps of similar brightness, the comet being close below it. {Obs #30] maf
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

5th May C/2011C4: 0140-0200BST. Sky partly clear. To garden with 60mm Piccolo zoom to find comet as an obvious fuzzy patch in field of faint stars. Returning to bed, managed to see in with Minox 50mm handheld. [Obs# 31]
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Sunday 5th May 2220-2235BST: Used 60mm zoom spotting scope to locate the comet as an obvious fuzzy patch on top of a star....or a pair of stars. Then used 80mm zoom spotting scope to try to acertain whether it was a pair of stars or star+"nucleus" of comet but was unable to tell. Time will tell! [obs #32] maf
mike a feist
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Re: Comet Pannstars

Post by mike a feist »

Comet Panstarrs [C/2011L4].
6th Monday, 2220-2235BST. Using Minox 50mm zoom scope on light tripod from garden and comet seen as a fuzzy spot between a 7th mag star (comet to the right of this) and a close pair of 9th mag stars (comet to the left of these [Obs #33]
7th Tuesday,0215BST. using Minox zoom as before. Much movement of fuzzy spot comet- now almost above the 7th maf star. Obs#34]. regards maf
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