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Thread: Comet Catalina??

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    Default Comet Catalina??



    This is the 3rd night I have searched for Catalina Comet. All programs state that it will be northwest of Venus. You hop almost straight up to Syrma and then slightly NW to Catalina. The views were clear and picked up Syrma with no problem...but no comet. Am using 25mm & 10mm on an xt10.

    Is this comet supposed to appear as a star or is there supposed to be some definition to it? I did pick up a "star" where the comet was supposed to be. But just don't know.

    Also, thinking that maybe the programs were off a bit, I tooled around the area and did pick up a VERY faint "smudge". No matter how I focused it was like a small smudged fingerprint. Not sure what that was. Nice part about tonight's viewing was seeing a couple of sats zip across my 25mm view.

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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    Smudge = Comet......usually..
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    Quote Originally Posted by My 2 Stars View Post
    ...All programs state that it will be northwest of Venus. You hop almost straight up to Syrma and then slightly NW to Catalina....
    Hm, well, I think it is northeast by terrestrial directions, pretty much north by celestial. If you're standing and looking at Venus in the early morning, Catalina will be up and left.
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    I reckon the smudge was it!

    Best go back for another look and see if the smudge has moved it position and that will confirm your sighting.

    Cheers
    .

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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    I have always wondered what a comet looks like through a telescope! If it werent so dad gum cloudy and rainy here, I would be on the hunt! I always see those gorgeous pictures with the green ball and sparkly trail. Is that not the case? I have heard that you can/should be able to resolve the tail or see the center through a 10"?
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    Quote Originally Posted by resq View Post
    I have always wondered what a comet looks like through a telescope! If it werent so dad gum cloudy and rainy here, I would be on the hunt! I always see those gorgeous pictures with the green ball and sparkly trail. Is that not the case? I have heard that you can/should be able to resolve the tail or see the center through a 10"?
    It depends on the comet. Some you can definitely see a tail, although never as much as in photos. Most however are just gray or greenish smudges.
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    I've only seen one, being C/2104 Q2 Lovejoy. But it often reminded me of a Messier globular cluster with a brighter extended halo. The tail only showed up for me when the transparency was excellent and it was moving higher overhead, especially as it passed through Taurus on to Cassiopeia.

    In fact, my first sighting of Lovejoy was last December when it was in Lepus and near M79. I was looking for the glob and landed on the comet, and I thought, "Holy Cow! This is one nice glob!"

    Then there was the time I mistook M31 for Lovejoy and was alarmed at the apparition of M32 in the FOV. I thought it was an alien invasion.
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    I had it in 15x70 binoculars last week. A very faint smudge. Maybe try to increase the mag and see if the object is spouting a tail, a double tail at that! I have not had a chance to look at it in my scope yet but have seen some nice sketches showing a lot of detail.
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    I'm really looking forward to seeing this one. This time last year I was checking out Lovejoy in Lepus with both the 15x70's and the scope. Agree with Bryan that it looked a bit like an unresolved globular cluster.
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    Default Re: Comet Catalina??

    Of the many comets I've viewed over the past 40+ years, most appeared like a big globular cluster through my small telescope--some with a short tail.

    The glaring exceptions were West (1976), Hyakatake (1996), Hale-Bopp (1997), and McNaught (2007). These were truly spectacular, naked eye spectacles.

    Other comets were very nice in binoculars, like Kohoutek (1973) and Halley (1986), and a few others-- even though they were naked eye objects.
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