[AZ-Observing] Re: Comet Machholz Shaping Up

  • From: gene lucas <geneluca@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 13:09:16 -0700

We got a peek at Comet Macholz last night at the Gilbert Riparian Sky 
Watch, through Bill Dellinges Myachi (sp.?) 20 x 100 binoculars.  The 
head was very prominent. Of course, in the urban setting, with 
streetlights just across Guadelupe Rd. from us, only a "hint" of the 
tail was noticeable.  Near the lake, the humidity was relatively high, 
and we got some dewing later on in the evening.  About four other 
telescopes were set up, including Randy Peterson's 10 inch LX200, 
another gentleman with an ETX125, and others. (Sorry, I didn't get all 
the names....)  The turnout by the public for the lecture (led by Win 
Pendleton in the nearby Library building) and observing session remains 
strong.
We also had another productive meeting of the Planning Committee for the 
observatory.
Gene Lucas
(17250)

BillFerris@xxxxxxx wrote:

> 
> 
>Comet Machholz was an easy naked eye object, last night from the USNO  
>Flagstaff Station parking lot. In the 18-inch Obsession, the ion tail looked  
>like a 
>slender bundle of a few strands of fiber optic cable...very nice.
> 
>Bill in Flagstaff
> 
>Tom Polakis wrote:
>There  were no less than six telescopes in our group last night, and
>unfortunately  none of them were  small refractors, the ideal  comet-viewing
>scope.  We made the best of it, though, getting nice  views through Kerry
>Weatherford's 10-inch using a 41mm Panoptic  eyepiece.  Since the phase
>angle of the comet is so small, the  foreshortened dust tail is not
>impressive, as it is a stubby feature  extending less than 1 degree.  Much
>more impressive is the ion tail,  which is only several arcminutes wide for
>its entire length, which is more  than 2 degrees.  This tail can be followed
>most of the way back to the  core until the coma brightness is too high to
>pick it out.
>
>Without  the telescope, it reminds me of a globular cluster.  I put  its
>brightness midway between that of M13 and Omega Centauri, when they  are
>seen high in the sky.
>
>The good news is that the comet is only  getting brighter.  And further good
>news (for most of us) is that it  is moving north.  It should be quite a
>sight in the coming  weeks.
>
>Tom
>
>
>
>
>
>
>--
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>
>
>  
>

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