7
   

New Comet May Be Observers' Dream Come True

 
 
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 04:10 pm
First predictions of a newly discovered comet point to the possibility of the brightest comet in centuries. The sun-grazer type comet with the romantic name of C/2012 S1 was discovered by a couple of Russian Astronomers in Cancer. Being both large in size and a sun-grazer means that it may be become extraordinarily bright, perhaps greater than magnitude -12 (the full moon is mag -12.5). It could become visible in daylight for a few days. It’s almost parabolic orbit means that it is on its first ride from deep space and unless it is perturbed by the sun will never return.

The caveat is that predictions on comet brightness can be about as reliable as a rain dance. I am taking no chances with just my 9.25” Catadioptric telescope; I am refurbishing my 17.5” Dobsonian, just in case this is the real thing.

The fun should start after Thanksgiving.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 3,912 • Replies: 33

 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 05:07 pm
@Zarathustra,
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/comet-due-2013-could-brighter-full-moon-004852031.html

Here's a link for an update w/pix
Zarathustra
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 05:15 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
That is certainly NOT a picture of the new comet. It currently looks like a dim globular cluster. It will be a many weeks before a tail forms. I think that picture is Hale-Bopp, at least it is strikingly similar to that comet.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 06:30 pm
@Zarathustra,
Quote:
my 9.25” Catadioptric telescope; I am refurbishing my 17.5” Dobsonian,
I have a Catadioptric (Questar), butwhat is a Dobsonian? anxious to know the differences.
Zarathustra
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 07:40 pm
@farmerman,
A Dobsonian is named for John Dobson. He is known from the San Francisco Sidewalk Armature Astronomers Club, if I am not mistaken. It is a simple reflecting telescope on an alt-azimuth mounting and usually with a tube made of Sonotube.

It is meant to be first, last, and always a “light bucket”. It was designed to put very large scopes into the hands of amateurs. The optics are diffraction limited, but just, holding +/-1/4 wavelength accuracy. It can be considered the antithesis of your Questar which has a precision mount and optics on the order of +/-1/32 wavelength accuracy. A standard German Equatorial mounted 17.5” reflector with the standards of your Questar would be prohibitively expensive on the order of $25,000 and up.

While meant only for deep-sky objects you can often find a sweet-spot with very good figure. I can stop mine down to 6” and have measured it at +/-1/24 wave. So I got a light bucket and a super planetary scope for under $1,000.00. My 171/2 inch was the largest when I got it; they now make 30” and even 36” Dobsonians now.

Do you do serious observing? I have never known anyone who owned a Questar that did any real observing. They have been most generally seen as a status symbol, like a Ferrari, and how many race drivers own a Ferrari vs. the Justin Biber type owners?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 10:24 pm
@Zarathustra,
Sonotube!? Zounds! That's what I covered withe carpet remnant and gave to the cats for a scratching post. I just love innovation.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2012 03:18 am
@Zarathustra,
Sounds like fun. I'll look forward to it.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2012 04:51 am
@Zarathustra,
I use my questar mostly for bird and geology photography> It has one of the greatest means for image stabilization (I have a Q-7 Ti) with an after market "steady cam" lens gizmo made by Canon. Its a real great tool for long distance range shots and it helps moderate the atmospherics when Im shooting "peneplain surfaces' at over 5 miles distance. I rarely bother pointing it up unless theres something extra going on (Ill certainly be watching this comet , but I was a kid when Kouhoutec came around and was really bummed out when it turned out to be a visual dud)

As far as my use of the instrument,I am compiling photos for a geology book and Ive used it to set up pan shots of distant structures that can only be appreciated in long distance. In my camera Ive got "Stitching" software so I can adjust the spread of the shot.
I got mine at a schools de- accession sale so if you dont mind Ill drive my "Ferrari" knowing that I made a great deal.
AS Ive told Ragmanoccasionally, the proof is in the picture, not the equipment. My goal is shots, how I get there is of no concern to anyone save me. Most all spotting scopes are pretty crappy no matter what the ads say. Ive rented and leased all kinds over the years and was mostly satisfied with some of the canon or Nikor long Fp lenses but I wanted something I could leave "on station".
Gotta admit, I dont hardly use the clock drive mechanisms . Only times Ive used em is when I would do a loong exposure of something like the milky way from Spruce Knob W Va. Otherwise, I suppose I could do without it. Now with this comet, assuming it aint another dud, Ill be able to stay on station pretty well.
Zarathustra
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 05:43 pm
@Zarathustra,
Just a note as I neglected to add this information to my first post. The comet will be nearing the sun in November of 2013 (Next November) not 2012. I didn't want to confuse anyone who happens to read this so I thought I had better make this point.
Zarathustra
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:04 pm
@farmerman,
It’s funny, as I was going to note in my post that it seems birding is the main use of these telescopes, which were originally purchased for astronomy by the people I know or as a “coffee-table telescope” i.e. status symbol. I am sure that there are many uses that make them worth the money (even full price), they are a finely crafted, but they just seem to make little sense for astronomy, especially the 3.5”. As this is not a political thread, your offense to my comments is amusing, even rabid Questar owners don’t take offense at a critique of their scope; but I guess offense is like anything else if you don’t continually use it you lose it. It is nice that you got a good deal on your scope and are enjoying it, but you will have to look somewhere else for an argument.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:05 pm
@Zarathustra,
we are all data kind of guys here, so you better be more accurate next time. This aint social science ya know.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:11 pm
@farmerman,
Hold on there, fella. What'cha got against social science? And besides, if you bothered to click on the link I posted and did more than just look at the pic in order to denigrate it, you'da seen that the story sez clearly 2013. It ain't Zarathustra's fault if some of us are less than observant.

Btw, what's the date today?
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:15 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I quit reading links and **** ever since gungasnke posted his first crappola and "Reasoning logic" began posting KKK propoganda
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:16 pm
@farmerman,
Still doesn't explain what you have against social science.

<said in a very stern voice>
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:24 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
nothin against it, just dont like the choice of words.s "Christian SCience" a science ?.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 06:56 pm
@farmerman,
I do agree with that. But the actual name they use is the Church of Christ, Scientist.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 09:08 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
someone oughta tell them that their newspapre (Christian Science Monitor?) is misnamed as is their radio hour (Christian SCience Radio Hour)
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 05:26 am

Note that this comet is in the same orbit as that of the Great Comet of 1680:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/comets-ml/message/19851
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 05:57 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
I have a Catadioptric (Questar), but what is a Dobsonian? anxious to know the differences.


A Dobsonian is a Newtonian reflector with a unique type of alt/az mount.

Instead of the mount having a certain height and connecting to the tube in the middle like in a typical set up, the mount is very short, and it connects to the telescope at the end, near the primary mirror (which always stays near the ground).

The setup relies on the length of the telescope tube to bring the eyepiece to eye level. Dobsonians can be BIG scopes though, and oftentimes you need to climb a ladder to reach the eyepiece with the bigger scopes.

Here. A picture is worth a thousand words:

http://www.obsessiontelescopes.com/telescopes/18/18-main-image.jpg
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 06:01 am
@Zarathustra,
Zarathustra wrote:
I am taking no chances with just my 9.25” Catadioptric telescope; I am refurbishing my 17.5” Dobsonian, just in case this is the real thing.


While a few looks through the 17.5 inch scope might be interesting, you'll probably get the best views of a comet from a high quality set of astronomical binoculars.
 

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