Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

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Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby AndyG » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:43 pm

Has anyone had a chance to observe comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova yet?

This evening after dusk I fired up the mobile comet observatory and sought out the perfect location to line up the comet in a gap between the trees. It was not bright enough to show up in the 50mm finderscope, so it took some scanning around with a low power EP (50x) to find it. I was able to find it eventually and get a good view. No sign of a tail for me, but the head was nice and fuzzy and comet-like.

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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Bruce D » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:14 pm

The fabled MCO rides again! Good effort Andy!
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Apollo XX » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:04 pm

Man, I give you credit Andy. I'd heard about this but written it off in my mind due to its low position and the general crappiness of the sky in that direction for me. Now that you've conquered it I have no choice. It's a quest now. Now where did I put that garden wagon? :lol:
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Pete » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:33 pm

Thanks for the heads-up Andy. I've a great comet viewing location at the end of Acre Avenue (just across the street viewing SW and west across 100 Acre Cove). Zero horizon helps when it's only 17° high. Our next forecast for a clear night is New Years day - Jan 1. Sunset's at 16:25 and I'm hoping to have a giant binocular setup by 17:00 on the crest overlooking the cove.

For some reason or other comets work really well in a binocular. Noticeably better than thru a larger aperture telescope for some reason. Traditionally I love viewing comets with a 15X70 but may haul a mount for the 25X100 or 28X110 down there depending upon energy level.

Anyone like to join me? I'll be posting on the observing invitation section.

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Look to the sky for New Year's Eve Comet next to the Moon

Postby CometLightning » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:44 pm

I just found this article this morning about Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova which will be right next to the Moon on New Years Eve.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /95952054/

http://phys.org/news/2016-11-comet-45ph ... ember.html
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No joy in viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Pete » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:11 pm

Setup the 28X110 binoc down over the cove and was blocked by some trees. Drove over to Walker Farm and setup before the 40-hour old rim of the moon disappeared below the low horizon. 45P is centered between Luna and Venus and a touch below. Easy locators. Transparent sky. But damned if I could spot it. Kudos to Andy. This one's a toughie. Won't attempt it on Sunday as originally planned.

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Re: Look to the sky for New Year's Eve Comet next to the Moo

Postby AndyG » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:08 pm

CometLightning wrote:I just found this article this morning about Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova which will be right next to the Moon on New Years Eve.


Hello CometLightning, thanks for the links and welcome to the ASSNE bulletin board!
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Stargrrl » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:32 am

Since he didn't sign his post (*reminder*) and you all may be wondering who it is - Comet Lightning FYI is Daniel B.

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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Apollo XX » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:03 am

Here's a nice article about seeing comet 45/P Honda, and it includes a map for Feb/Mar mornings; http://cosmicpursuits.com/1403/a-guide- ... jdusakova/
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby NGC7000 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:28 am

Thanks for posting, Mike. I especially liked the Inspiring story about Honda himself.

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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Dan Chieppa » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:50 pm

Tonight would be a good time to try and locate Comet 45P in Hercules but guess what? It will cloud over and drop another 1-3 inches of snow by morning. You can always count on NE weather to mess with night sky opportunities. The comet is about mag 7 so you'll need binos or a small telescope if the weather didn't mess up the viewing.
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Apollo XX » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:48 pm

I got out last night and put a gargantuan effort into seeing comet 45P only to walk away with the prize for trying really hard. Armed with the latest info and maps from an S&T article written by Bob King http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... ess-skies/ I strutted out to the street with my binos in hand and ready to conquer. The starfield was easy enough to navigate, and the charts I consulted even showed the comet sitting in a chair-like asterism of stars a little way above Beta Coma. Try as I may though, I couldn't claim to be seeing anything.

In and out of the house I strode, consulting charts and the latest info on the SkyLive website https://theskylive.com/planetarium?obj=45p Things were much harder than they should have been. The star patterns were very clear and I was 99.9% sure I was looking in exactly the right place, and the latest reports indicated that 45P was still hanging in there as a 10x50 binocular object, yet I couldn't pull it out of the sky. Back and forth I went, map and binos in hand and finding places to hide from the neighborhood lights, all to no avail.

Eventually I considered grabbing the 20x80s for a go at it handheld, then I reconsidered said to myself "just go get a scope". Surely that would resolve this. So out came a scope and back at it I went, carefully hopping my way through the stars to the area of interest. Nothing. More map consulting; maybe I wasn't scanning a wide enough area? Was I absolutely certain about the starfield? Did I have the date right? Was it perhaps the next day in universal time? On and on it went, in, out, put scope away, drag it back out.

Eventually I had to pack it in. All told the efforts had spanned a little over two hours and it was now past midnight. My goose was cooked and I had no comet to show for it. In the end I think I was done in by poor transparency in that part of the sky - I just never had a dark background no matter what I looked through. And 45P is fading. The SkyLive ephemeris has it between mag 10 and 11 now, and most visual reports have it nearing mag 9. I'll take another shot later during the week and break out the 12.5 if I have to. I really want to see this before it's gone.
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby AndyG » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:28 pm

Mike, Too bad it did not work out, that's some dedication!
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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Pete » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:03 pm

Thanks for sharing, Mike. It's as important to know what doesn't work as what does. And coming up empty is all part of the game. How many years have I been chasing Sirius B? Since 2000 perhaps?

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Re: Viewing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Postby Apollo XX » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:45 pm

Got out again last night and finally saw 45P - I think. Again, the starfield is easy enough to navigate and getting in the general vicinity is a snap. The problem with working behind Leo in a dark sky with a good sized scope is that the place is rife with galaxies. I was looking through my old Meade 12.5" Starfinder, so plenty of them were showing up. I did find what I believe to be 45P, but also in the FOV were at least two other fuzzies. I attempted to apply the old tried and true method of looking for movement, but 45P is going pretty slowly (right now about .15* in an hour) and I'm pretty sure the brighter of the three fuzzies I had in the eyepiece did move some over the course of a couple of hours. There weren't a lot of stars to reference off of, so I was guessing at the shape of a triangulation pattern to judge movement. The true proof in the pudding will be when I go back there tomorrow night and see if what I was looking at is actually gone. If not it's back to the drawing board. One thing I'm sure of - 45P is visually quite dim. There is absolutely nothing in either 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars when trained on the area, and any fuzzy things in the eyepiece that I saw last night were magnitude 10 and dimmer.
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