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Old 16-12-2018, 09:02 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Photo opportunity tonight - Comet & Pleiades conjuntion

Hi all,

The spate of nice conjunctions keeps on happening. Though this time I need to apologize for the short notice of this one,

For those of you not aware, Comet 46P/Wirtanen comes within a tick of 3.5 of the Pleiades tonight. It's closest approach is around 12:30, Sydney time, but the moon is still an hour from setting. Of course the moon is gone an hour later, but the pair will also be a little lower in the sky too. The pic below is a screen shot from Sky Safari showing the approx closest approach of the pair, from Sydney. Time & celestial position of course depends on your own location. The comet also reaches perihelion around now too.

BIG coma the comet has too. I saw it last Saturday night and I estimated it was over 1 in size - twice the diameter of the full Moon.

On a side note, I wonder if 46P/Wirtanen's short tail is due to foreshortening rather than it not being there. It's trajectory brings it very close to us, and the relatively shallow angle between trajectory and proper motion with respects to us means we see the comet approach us nearly head-on.

I've got my fingers crossed for a clear couple of hours around midnight tonight. May head up Killara/Mona Vale way here in Sydney as I then avoid looking through the glare of the CBD from my place.

Tomorrow night 46P/Wirtanen is close to 6 away from the Pleiades.

Happy hunting,

Alex.
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Old 16-12-2018, 09:44 AM
Kunama
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I am going to test out the Bino-Tak and LOA 21mm eyepieces on the comet tonight (weather permitting )
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:07 AM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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Not going to happen here ..... completely overcast and raining and more to come....
Col....
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:14 AM
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h0ughy (David)
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Love to see but unfortunately bintel haven't sent me the cloud filter i ordered
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:24 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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David, Astroshop had plenty!
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:36 AM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Certainly hope to be able to see and image the comet / Pleiades tonight but the brightness of the moon wont be helping. Last night, early this morning, the clouds cleared but the sky seemed to have a hazy layer. Combined with the lovely led street lights surrounding the area, made it just possible to see the comet through 9 X 60 binos. How you would hope to see it from suburban areas in brighter moonlight tonight is being optimistic. I'm hoping to get away to a darker site and try and catch it toward moonset and before the comet gets too low, some time around 2:00 / 3:00 am.
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Old 16-12-2018, 08:19 PM
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theodog (Jeff)
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Looks good through the bino's.
Shame about the bright of moon though.
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:27 PM
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The clouds are breaking up here so I was able to find it with the binoculars, looks good.

Michael
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Old 17-12-2018, 01:16 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Michael, clouds started clearing around 10:30. Come midnight sky was crystal clear and i headed out to Christianson Park in Vaucluse - best I could do on the short notice the heavens gave.

From home I struggled to see the comet with averted vision in 11X70 binos. From Christianson Park the comet was an easy direct vision object with the binos. Lovely experience to see. Got home soon after 2am.

Alex.
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