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Friday, July 17, 2015


Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS visible in the Evening Twilight

Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars and telescopes low in the evening twilight. It is currently below and to the left of Jupiter. Tommorow night, on the 18th, it is to the left of and  close to the crescent Moon, which will be a good sign post to comet. Start looking from around half an hour after sunset.

During the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies but will rapidly fade. A spotters chart can be found at the end of this article at Universe Today http://www.universetoday.com/121401/three-tailed-comet-q1-panstarrs-lights-up-southern-skies/#more-121401


Could you see it on the 18th or did the low dark cloud get in the way ?
The sunset looked nice under that black cloud and the moon rode over the top but I could not see the comet.
I couldn't see it with my naked eye on the 18th July 2015 from the top of Mt Dandenong, but it was visible in photos taken with a 105mm lens with exposures of around 2-3 seconds (f5.6 - ISO 800).

Beautiful view in the evening with the trio of the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus.
yes, the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus was awesome. The reflection of the moons of Jupiter made it look elongated. Awesome view when no other stars were yet visible. The area immediately below the moon, was covered in dark, thick, black cloud in Adelaide and I could not see C/2014 Q1 Panstarrs. Tonight might be better but I think the comet will be closer to the moon and be harder to see.
I was using my 250 mm lens with 1 sec exposure, ISO 1600 so I did not get any star trails. I really should get my scope out but it is not setup :)

Fantastic you could all see it, it was perfectly clear while I was in the car, soon as we stopped the cloud came over and wiped everything out. Tonight the Moon will be near Venus, well away fro the comet.
Excellent Ian, I was waiting for you to chime in as we are both in Adelaide and whilst I have followed your blog, have not commented before. I am only learning to look at the sky and your advice is awesome.

Sunset looks to be after 5:20 PM and the moon will be gone about 7:30 PM. I don't have a great view in the Western sky but I should have enough.

What time do you feel we should be able to see the Comet ?
I have a 250 mm lens on my camera and a 800 mm on standby. With a doubler, I can get 1600 mm but that is way to much for this :)

Finally, I have seen it. Well, the camera did and then I looked at the camera :)

Great! Clouded out still :-(
I went out again last night. I was able to capture it again but the tails are disappearing. It would look good in a scope but my camera was barely able to make it out.

I tried to get the best shot I could (given the short time frame between leaving work and the comet no longer being visible).

So I went down to the old Pt Wakefield Road salt pans, down past Globe Derby, looking out over the "nothingness" down there. Gave up about 7:30 pm.

Have you had a chance to see it yet Ian ? No cloud last night !
Sadly, no. I was flying back from Perth when it was clear :-(

Of course, now the sky is completely clouded out,
Well, I guess my terrible photos are all you have to go by :(
I suspect the comet will be even harder to see tonight.

I was tempted to setup my scope but with all my good intentions after buying it, I still don't quite know how to set it up correctly. I fear it would be in vain.

I have a Ha modified Canon DSLR that I should be using and that might get a better image but last night was a last minute dash and i did not grab it :)
G'Day Michael, with the Moon out, set up your scope on the Moon first. The hardest part of scope set-up is aligning the finder scope with the moon scope, and doing this with the Moon first takes a lot of hassle out of it. Also, start observing with the lowest power eyepiece to centre the object, then move up in power.

PS if you are wondering why your other comments had not showed up, on old posts Blogger gets me to approve them before releasing them, while on newer posts they go straight through.
Thanks Ian. I really just need to partner up with someone whom knows what they are doing. Someone with time :)

I have access to a great location with great sky at Pt Parham, looking out over the ocean. (House on the esplanade). I have access to power and tried setting up the EQ mount a few times but I have stumbled through it. It is a Bintel BT200 f/5 HEQ5 Pro with GOTO with a tracking camera (and 80mm scope) and Modified DSLR for ha on the eyepiece. It is a monster to setup and get aligned. That is my problem aligning. I have a laptop attached but after building the scope, balancing it, pointing everything to the same location (Finder scope etc) I fire up the alignment but can't seem to get it right. Back at home in Adelaide, I have terrible sky so my visits to my perfect place, are far and few between,

Still, I am managing to do ok with my camera for the moment.

Here is last nights c/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS - stacked.

With the other posts, yes, I understand. It was more about adding some images and content for people to look at. Especially as I have some cool solar photos from the Coronado PST and now, I can double stack it. No point taking the photos if people can't see them :)

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