Telescopic view of PANSTARRS

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Telescopic view of PANSTARRS

Post  Harry Hamill on Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:16 am

29th March. 7.30pm. Very clear evening. Moon 17 days, Libra, not yet risen.
Quickly picked up PANSTARRS close to π Andromedae using 10 x 50 binoculars from a position just outside Gretton.
Set up the 6" reflector and and located the comet. Excellent view at 25x. The cometary nucleus appears as a small disk. Beautiful bright tail pointing straight down in the inverted view. Nicely set off by the nearby stars π Andromedae and HD 122 visible in the same field. The tail looked very slightly curved, I could not distinguish a second tail. It seemed to me that the head was very faintly yellowish.
I changed the eyepiece to get 75 x magnification. Still a clear, bright image in spite of the comet's low altitude, around 15 degrees. Very little atmospheric shimmer.
I observed for about an hour. The movement of the comet against the nearby stars was evident by this time. The sky was pretty well dark by 8.30pm but though the comet is given as mag 4.0 by SkySafari I could not pick it out with the naked eye.
A very enjoyable night's viewing.

Last edited by Harry Hamill on Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Addition)

Harry Hamill

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