Visual Observation of C/2011 L4
- Hi all,
yesterday evening (Mar. 13.767 UT) I succeeded in observing comet PANSTARRS from a location at 350 m above sea level in the Black Forest at -6 degrees celsius.
I could not find it with the unaided eye. In 9x63B it was an easy object, but not conspicious. I estimated its brightness (with the comet 5.5 deg above the horizon, sun 10.5 deg below) using gamma Peg (altitude 8.5 deg, 2.8 mag). The comet was about three quarters of a magnitude brighter (also accounting for the differences in the sky background for both objects). Applying extinction according to the ICQ tables (using winter conditions) results in a brightness of the comet of about 1.0 mag (perhaps a bit fainter, but brighter than 1.5 mag).
The coma was a parabola. The tail was visible for 0.5 deg in p.a. 65 deg. To me the western branch appeared slightly brighter than the eastern one.
PS: Does anyone intend to take photographs under darker/dark skies? I wonder if it would be possible (from very dark high altitude locations) to record the outer parts of the tail with the coma already below the horizon.