View Full Version : Comet 17P/Holmes on Friday Night, 2007/11/30

Dave Mitsky
2007-Dec-01, 07:17 PM
It was clear on Friday night but I got a late start so I traveled to the ASH Naylor Observatory instead of to one of the local dark sites.

The transparency was only so-so but I was able to see Comet 17P/Holmes without optical aid. I took some shots of the comet with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel DSLR and observed it with the my 8x42 Celestron binocular, the 4 1/8" f/4.2 Astroscan at 14x (32mm Brandon), the 5" f/5 achromatic finder scope, and the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain. I could see the pseudonucleus through the 17" at 162x (40mm University Optics MK-70).

I tried to locate another periodic comet currently visible, Comet 8P/Tuttle, which I had forgotten about when I was at the observatory on Thursday night, but I was unsuccessful, even with the help of an Argo Navis. The comet's far northerly position made sweeping with an equatorial mount a bear.

The seeing was rather bad and looking at Mars was a waste of time, even at only 162x. (I didn't bother with stopping the scope down to 10 inches like I did the previous night when the seeing was a bit better.) The "bland" desert hemisphere was facing Earth at the time anyway so it wasn't that much of a loss.

Through the course of the evening I also observed a few bright DSO chestnuts such as M35, M37, M42, M43, M78, NGC 2158, NGC 2169, NGC 2244, NGC 2392, and Beta Monocerotis.

Dave Mitsky