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Re: [comets-ml] Re: Metrics of "greatness"

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  • Hartwig Luethen
    I saw comet West, Hyakutake (under dark skies, 70 degrees of naked eye tail), and Hale Bopp, and I would rank them in that sequence. All three were extremely
    Message 1 of 55 , Mar 21, 2013
      I saw comet West, Hyakutake (under dark skies, > 70 degrees of naked eye
      tail), and Hale Bopp, and I would rank them in that sequence. All three
      were extremely IMPRESSIVE (!) naked eye sights, which is for me the
      hallmark of "greatness". Someone termed PANSTARRS as the "great
      binocular comets", which really fits what I saw. But a comet that looks
      like a great one when viewed in binoculars (like also Bradfield 1980 )
      is a phantastic object, but not GREAT. My numer 4 is McNaught in bright
      twilight from the northern hemisphere, where it was a bright and easy
      sight with the naked eye, sporting a short tail, even when viewed in the
      extremly bright twilight. That one still looked much much better to the
      naked eye than PANSTARRS did on March 12 with binoculars under simular
      viewing conditions .

      To make it clear: Comet PANSTARRS is an interesting comet, anyway. I am
      far from being disappointed. PANSTARRS has a fair chance to rank within
      my personal top ten, but there will be severe competition by other "not
      great" comets , which were either equal or better (like 1P/Halley,
      Bradfield 1980 Y1) or more unusual and ,therefore, more interesting
      (like 1983 H1 IRAS-Araki Alcock or P/Holmes).

      It has been argued that PANSTARRS was in fact great, but hampered by
      poor viewing geometry. That is certainly right, but great comets are
      great because they are rare. They are rare because a number of
      cricumstances have to be come together: Intrinsically bright object,
      small perihelon distance, good viewing geometry from the earth and close
      geocentric distance. Hyakutake was only "great" because it passed earth
      at close distance on March 26, 1996, and it actually fizzeled when it
      was closer to perihelon end of April 1996. Just imagine what would have
      happened when Hale-Bopp would have come along on the Hyakutake orbit -
      the "great annoying comet" as it would have ruined any dark adaption.

      So lets hope for the great November comet of 2013.

      Hartwig
    • Rodney Austin
      Yep. The other one is There is no such thing as Bad News, so long as the paper sells. Rod ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 55 of 55 , Mar 24, 2013
        Yep. The other one is "There is no such thing as Bad News, so long as the
        paper sells."
        Rod

        On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 10:54 PM, Simon Allen <simon.sallen@...>wrote:

        > Is it not the case of the Journalist's mantra "Never let the facts get in
        > the way of a good story, laddie." Reporting that something will be poor
        > or mediocre hardly wins headlines. Simon.
        >
        >
        > On 24 March 2013 05:02, Rodney Austin <rodcomet@...> wrote:
        >
        > > **
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi All,
        > > I can understand people not wanting to stick their head over the parapet
        > on
        > > the subject of comets. They always seem to do the other thing. I'm
        > > currently wondering to speak out here in New Zealand as a result of an
        > > small snippet in one of our major newspapers a couple of days ago.
        > "Tekapo
        > > (Mt John Observatory) will be a prime spot later this year to view Comet
        > > Ison, which will become as bright as the full moon."
        > > Yeah right!!!!
        > > After I left working for Mt John, I spent most of the next 25 years
        > working
        > > for our local newspaper. It never fails to amaze me how journalists
        > > continue to blindly blunder down the same old track, even after they have
        > > been given accurate info.
        > > Heavy Sigh...
        > > Rod Austin
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > --
        > Simon
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
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