View Full Version : Bright comet observing

glen chapman
2004-Jan-02, 10:29 AM
Okay need some help from all you Hale-Bopp veterans out there. After forty odd years I am about to see my first naked eye comet (down under) Wait for it, not one, but two in the sky together, both about mag one or better - if the predictions hold.

Now I have an 200mm Dob (Celestron) What I am interested in is best filters or other equipment for observing - and although an extended object, will stopping down help - scope is F8 by the way.

One of the comets will be low on the Western horizon, but the other is going to be very high in the sky - so will get absolute dark - if my calculations are correct.

So any thoughts or suggestions will be gratefully listened to.

Glen Chapman

2004-Jan-02, 03:19 PM
A swan band filter might help, although I doubt you'll really need one for these two. I've always had pretty good luck with my 8" SCT up to magnitude 9 for comets (although they were best seen from a good dark site).

Lumicon (http://www.lumicon.com/sf.htm) sells Swan band filters. I'm not sure if any of the other filter manufacturers do offhand. I've never used one, so I can't vouch for their performance.

2004-Jan-02, 06:20 PM
I think a good pair of binoculars would be your best bet with naked eye comets. A scope limits your field of view too much.

glen chapman
2004-Jan-02, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the tips guys. Also I agree about binoculars - but from reading observing reports - I get the impression you can get some good views of the head and such.

As I have said before I have no idea what to expect - but I know I am going to REALLY enjoy it.

Glen Chapman

2004-Jan-02, 11:19 PM
Also, don't be afraid to pour on the power. Some of the best views I had of H-** inner coma area was with high power and shortly after sunset before the sky had darkened too much. Good luck.