Saturday, Jan 2, 6am, Comet Catalina

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Apollo XX
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Re: Saturday, Jan 2, 6am, Comet Catalina

Unread post by Apollo XX »

Got out there myself as well this morning. 5am, very clear but last quarter moon lingering about 30* away. Comet Catalina easy pickings in 10x50 binos, a clear fuzzy patch a few degrees NW of Arcturus. In the 4.5" scope it became a more clear fuzzy patch, and in the 12.5 it came to life. Viewed at many different magnifications, with the best seeming to be about 100x in the 12.5. Wiggling the scope a little confirmed the ability to see bits of the tail system. I likened the view to looking at the Andromeda Galaxy from a city location - definite core, definite fuzz, and some arms if you know right where to look.

The seeing was horrible, but it was nice to see Jupiter again. The GRS was on the final stretch of an earth-facing transit, and Europa snuck out of occultation as well. Last year's alignment with the orbital plane of Jupiter's moons is over, and their positioning is no longer just in straight line. Being aligned with them for awhile was fun, what with the ability to see occultations and eclipses and whatnot, but I've always enjoyed the random order that we normally see. Especially Callisto - he's a like a sugared-up kid - "hey, get down form there, get back here, get back in line you little brat!"

To prepare for the impending onslaught of daylight, I steered the scope to the moon. It's interesting to see all the shadows of the terminator going in the "other" direction. The Straight Wall was prominently positioned, and Clavious was well placed for exploring.

By 6:15 my feet were starting to get cold. I guess winter really is going to come this year.
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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Pete
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Re: Saturday, Jan 2, 6am, Comet Catalina

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Thanks for the feedback Bill, Mike. I was just checking out Catalina's easy to locate position just 2° N of Arcturus with the thought of heading out myself tomorrow AM. Every comet should have such a guide star.

Pete
Pete P.
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WCGucfa
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Re: Saturday, Jan 2, 6am, Comet Catalina

Unread post by WCGucfa »

Hey guys,

I too got what is my third observation of Catalina this a.m. It continues to be amazing in the 25x100 Celestron binoculars!
Still mourning over it being overcast for the close 30" pass of the comet by Arcturus Friday!

If you already haven't done so, check out the incredible image taken by an observer on Spaceweather.com. It shows both tails and the
blazing star in the same field.

I managed to get my "proof" image through the 6" Antares of Catalina. For the uninitiated, my proof images are 30 to 60 second shots of the comets I've seen.

Still unable to post pictures. Guess I'll have to start sketching! :cry:

Happy New Year, everyone!

Bill G.
Comets:40, Best Meteor shwr: Leonids '01, Best Aurora:Oct. '03.
Total.Sol.Eclipse,7/10/72 from Nova Scotia.Annular Sol. Eclipse '94,
Trans.of Venus 2004&2012.,ShoeLevy crash into Jupiter '94.
4/25/66 fireball-9 mag.,SN2011fe,N2012aw,DelphN2013.
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Pete
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Sunday, Jan 3, 4am, Comet Catalina

Unread post by Pete »

Out of bed and out on the back deck at 04:00 to catch C/2013 US10 Catalina. A line of cloud moving in from the SW was just reaching Arcturus as I dropped the Celestron Skymaster 15X70 onto the mount. But after 10 minutes the area 3.5° N of Arcturus cleared and there was a small nebulous object perhaps 15 to 20 arc-minutes in diameter. Although bright enough to be seen easily if you know what you’re looking for it’s certainly not as bright as M41.
Catalina’s too big to fit in my SBIG’s 21’X15’ FOV so the observatory stays closed.

Jupiter’s 39 arc-second angular diameter is pleasingly seen as a disk but that area of the sky’s still occluded by cloud and the Galilean moons aren’t visible in my quick glance that-a-way.

Stepped inside to double check that I wasn’t viewing something other than Catalina and to write up the first part of this log. And then headed out again very briefly to observe with the Nikon 10X50 at 04:30.

In the 10x50 Catalina is visible but faint. Movement of the binocular helps to better define it. Jupiter’s in the clear and disk size is obvious when focusing sharply but can’t see the moons. Maybe the nearby last quarter moon has something to do with this?

hgp 04:47 hrs, 3 Jan 2016
Pete P.
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