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Thread: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

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    Default Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.



    Hard nut? I was going nuts with the clouds and rains every day. I even feared I wouldn't see him before the next Moon would sneak in again. That would be even worse than the Chrismas lights of the neighbors. Rain, rain, every day, and more clouds coming in. Today was not better than any other day. But at 16.00 hours, on the way home in my car, I suddenly saw some sunbeams.....It seamed at least some clouds gave way to a bit of clear sky. Driving home for Wirtanen?

    At home I already had put my 20X80 binoculars on the tripod and set it up behind the garden door, in order to rush out the moment a big lump of clear sky should pass. At 20.00 hours the sky seemed to clear a bit and I went out with my 10X50 (7 degree field) in order to prepare the "road". I could see Menkar and some magn.7 stars. The sky was not as clear as one would expect between clouds, a bit milky. To demonstrate the circumstances: M37 was not seen with the 20X80. I must admit that the neighbours' Christmas lights in his garden were quite annoying in that direction. Maybe I didn't search seriously enough.

    After establishing which way to go with the 20X80 Swift (3.3 degree field), I directed my 20X80 to Menkar. Which disappeared immediately behind another load of clouds. Drip, drip, drip... a few raindrops. "Hmmm........a bit of rain", I thought.... followed by a nasty rainshower which urged me to flee inside with my binoculars under my arm. Ten minutes later another opening between the clouds appeared.

    Out again.
    Shower.
    In again.
    Out again.
    Incoming clouds

    Meanwhile Wirtanen had moved on the SS-screen. I accurately directed the binoculars to the right spot. Not all that easy, since the last time I did some serious starhopping was some time ago. One tends to forget....

    Finally, through a really big hole in the clouds, I saw a faint smudge of non stellar light. Found it! With averted vision the Comet showed himself. No core, no tail. "Yess" , I groaned. So loud that passersby across the street must have heard it and probably thought : a nutcase.

    At last this nutcase has cracked his Christmas chestnut.
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Way to go John.
    I think I heard your groan all the way over here ! :-)

    THE SATISFACTION OF SIMPLE THINGS...YESSS!

    Bravo Sir !
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Congratulations on the successful observation John!
    Quite a job of perseverance also I may add
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Baars View Post
    Hard nut? I was going nuts with the clouds and rains every day. I even feared I wouldn't see him before the next Moon would sneak in again. That would be even worse than the Chrismas lights of the neighbors. Rain, rain, every day, and more clouds coming in. Today was not better than any other day. But at 16.00 hours, on the way home in my car, I suddenly saw some sunbeams.....It seamed at least some clouds gave way to a bit of clear sky. Driving home for Wirtanen?

    At home I already had put my 20X80 binoculars on the tripod and set it up behind the garden door, in order to rush out the moment a big lump of clear sky should pass. At 20.00 hours the sky seemed to clear a bit and I went out with my 10X50 (7 degree field) in order to prepare the "road". I could see Menkar and some magn.7 stars. The sky was not as clear as one would expect between clouds, a bit milky. To demonstrate the circumstances: M37 was not seen with the 20X80. I must admit that the neighbours' Christmas lights in his garden were quite annoying in that direction. Maybe I didn't search seriously enough.

    After establishing which way to go with the 20X80 Swift (3.3 degree field), I directed my 20X80 to Menkar. Which disappeared immediately behind another load of clouds. Drip, drip, drip... a few raindrops. "Hmmm........a bit of rain", I thought.... followed by a nasty rainshower which urged me to flee inside with my binoculars under my arm. Ten minutes later another opening between the clouds appeared.

    Out again.
    Shower.
    In again.
    Out again.
    Incoming clouds

    Meanwhile Wirtanen had moved on the SS-screen. I accurately directed the binoculars to the right spot. Not all that easy, since the last time I did some serious starhopping was some time ago. One tends to forget....

    Finally, through a really big hole in the clouds, I saw a faint smudge of non stellar light. Found it! With averted vision the Comet showed himself. No core, no tail. "Yess" , I groaned. So loud that passersby across the street must have heard it and probably thought : a nutcase.

    At last this nutcase has cracked his Christmas chestnut.
    Congratulations John!

    That's an absolutely top report of yours, and a great gift to the X-Mas.

    Glad, you have cracked your Christmas chestnut,

    JG
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Well done, John!

    Had my first sighting on 7 Dec...couldn't see it naked eye though (old age I guess), but found it pretty quickly in my 10x50 binos using the S&T chart. Observed the "sucker" for about 4 hours off and on through my SV110ED at low mag (35x, 22mm TV Panoptic).

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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.



    Gefeliciteerd! (really hope I got that right)

    Same conditions here - only seen in the 10X50 so far - my observation matches yours as "a faint smudge of non stellar light"
    Take heart, we are all nutcases & slightly cracked.

    Way to hang in and get the target John.
    Moving on.......

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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Excellent John. Having just seen it myself a couple of days ago I heartily agree with you. Eridanus/Cetus are not very obvious in my light pollution so star-hopping in one of these vacant areas of the sky is not so easy. I'm glad you persevered and found it - an early Christmas present for you!
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Ha ha!! This is an awesome report, thank you John.

    Perseverance!

    Ian
    Last edited by kanadalainen; 12-11-2018 at 12:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Nice work John! Way to hang in there! Skies here have been terrible for days with big storms moving through. My only chance is this Wednesday night and as my (bad) luck would have it I have a company Christmas party that night! Afterward it is an hour and a half drive home so I am hoping that the cloud gods will at least give me a sporting chance late that night!
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    Default Re: Finally Wirtanen, hard nut to crack.

    Congratulations on cracking this nut, John! Us fellow nut jobs are pleased with the effort. I suppose you could call that combat astronomy?
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