Stellarium is Free, the whole shooting match, unrestricted. I get the red cross X as well, no circle, not really needed anyway. If you zoom in it just shows a wee round dot, no 'comet' picture anyway. Must be some setting hidden away in there for it or an update maybe.
C'mon Liz, spill the beans, what's the secret ?
Weather is slowly clearing, I've got me fingers crossed .. and my eyes, toes, elbows, legs, .....
Liz, how'd you get the comets to be little circles like that?
Andrew, Still no handles but thansk for the time chart, I know where to look at least!
Things change a bit between releases so Liz's 0.11.0 is a bit different to 0.11.3 which is on this lappie.
Go to "Sky and Viewing Options" -> "Sky"
Drag the "Planets" slider to the right until the names and circles appear. Somewhere around 2/3 - 3/4.
Would some altitude be helpful to see this? No luck at home as hills and trees to west.
Always helpful when an object is low Odille, but you'll also have to wait a night or two for the Moon to move back to give you a dark sky window. The comet is dimming fast so don't expect too much. A visual obs of mag 9.2 was posted on 1 Aug, and it will probably be about mag 10 by the time you get to see it. It will just be a small faint patch - you won't see anything of a bright 'nucleus' (inner coma) without a big scope (nuclear magnitude was reported at around mag 13 by several observers on 30 July so expect it to be out around mag 14).
A Chinese observer, Man-To Hui, posted a sketch he'd done of the comet on 1 Aug, through an 8" scope. In a few days, expect that to be the sort of view you'll get through a 10" or 12" scope even allowing for no moonlight, not much at all I'm afraid. http://comethunter.lamost.org/sketch...P.htm#20120801
Just came in from Observing Comet P96 Macholz.
First observed at 18:37 AEST 08:37UT, when it was only 16 deg above the Horizon.
Small diffuse not round fuzzy haze .
I would guess it at about between Mag +8 and 9.
After about half an hour of observing I was able to discerne a hint of a nucleus and maybe a bit of a fan shape, but not certain as It was by this time pretty low and I called it quits
I should be visible in scopes of about 8" and above but you will need clear sky's
It was not visible in 10x60 Binoculars.
Using the GStar camera last night i was able to get this frame.
This is what it looks like, maybe a little more diffuse in the centre visually. Just be careful of the other galaxies in the area!
Thanks Chris, that pic helped me tremendously and thank you for your help in messages on how to find it. Also, thank you to Ron for giving me the co-ords to put into my Argo Narvis and giving me the best veiwing times during the course of the week.
It was relatively easy to find, Chris gave me an excellent guide by telling me it was sitting only about 22 arc mins away from 24 Coma Berenices. The seeing conditions were terrific- so clear and still for the most part of the hour's observing session.
I only had a one hour window to do the alignment and bino scan as the sky doesn't get dark enough until 6pm sitting at 27 deg (here in Brisbane) and by 7pm it was getting down to 16 deg. I managed to observe it until 7.30 where it got down to 12 deg but then started to get quite dim as it sank lower into the atmosphere soup and that's where my horizon gave up.
When I started the session, for the very first time I was shaking with anxiety as I felt so under pressure as I had a short viewing window to find and observe and I desperately wanted to see this comet- my first thru my scope. Who'd have thought observing could be so stressful!
The co-ords directed me straight to 24 Coma Berenices and then I began the scan working a 30 degree area around it. There it sat smack in the middle of 24 Com.Ber. and a triangle asterism pointing to it. The asterism and 24 C.B. sat on either edge of my 70deg fov 10mm Pentax XW ep (120X). I noted the bottom part of the triangle had one star brighter than the other. I did a mag estimate of the two dimmer ones being mag 9 and the 2 fainter ones as being mag.10. I used this information to confirm the asterism on my sky programme to verify I was in the right area and not confusing the comet for a galaxy. Upon further checks, the only 2 galaxies that seem to lay in that area are well beyond my scope's resolution anyway, so I discounted that possibility, also they weren't lined up with the asterism and 24 Com.Ber. I estimated the comet to have a mag. of 10.5 doing the comparison with the triangle asterism. I could be wrong- this is my guess anyway (some confirmation of this would be helpful if anyone observed it the same night that I did.) This small area was devoid of bright stars, instead just very few fainter ones.
My sky programme revealed that these stars were:
HIP61615 mag 9.03 HIP61555 mag 10.06 TYC1448-217-1 mag 9.87.
The comet was quite small with an easy to see nucleus with a small faint coma surrounding it. I made many checks to make sure this wasn't a star because initially it looked stellar in appearance albeit very diffuse. Checks revealed all the faint stars in the same area with the same brightness remained pinpoint and stellar. This was different.
I had no idea 24 Coma Berenices was a double star- let alone such a stunning double, until I put my eye to the eyepiece. An absolutely gorgeous close pair of saphire & topaz- such striking contrast! I found myself constantly leaving the comet to observe these two stars. Sometimes coloured doubles can be not so vivid in colour- this one was outstanding. So I got two treats in the one night.
Last edited by Suzy; 10-08-2012 at 01:39 AM.
For me, there was no shape obvious, I was just lucky to see anything at all. I was very fortunate to have terrific seeing conditions at the time to show up what it did.
Woohooo bring on another comet! Something with a tale would be nice.