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Monday, March 21, 2016


My First Visual Observation of Comet 252P (21 March)

Comet 252P as seen in 10x50 binocuars. Sketched at 5:05 am ACSDT, 21 March 2016, suburban Largs Bay, Adelaide.

I finally saw the comet myself this morning (21 March) at 5:00 am in 10x50 binoculars from suburban Adelaide.

I could not see it with the unaided eye. In binoculars it was very dim to my eyes but definitely there.

I had fairly good guide stars this time, as opposed to the previous morning when I tried and could not see it.    I had familiarised myself with the guide stars in the evening. However, the location of the comet low to the horizon, and the sky glow from the Moon combined to make the comet invisible in the evening

By morning the comet was well above the horizon, and the Moon was sufficently low it did not interfere much. I could clearly see the Milky Way (although it was dim), and the comet pooed right out at me (although it over lapped a brightish star). Tried to estimate magnitude but there were no suitable reference starts close by.

Toning once more there are no clear guide stars in the vicinity to help me locate the comet. Sigh.

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