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Comets

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  • kentblackwell
    At least four comets are gracing our skies, and all are observable with small telescopes. I saw three of them last night. Too bad the best of the four, Comet
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2003
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      At least four comets are gracing our skies, and all are observable
      with small telescopes. I saw three of them last night. Too bad the
      best of the four, Comet Encke, was already behind the trees as I got
      started. All of the following observations were made with a 4.5" f/4
      telescope during the first quarter moon:

      Comet C/2002 T7 LINEAR
      I could see the comet at 22x, but it showed much better at 57x. I
      could also detect a slight tail, and a very bright core. In the
      short while observing it movement was detected away from the close
      9.9 mag star TYC 02351-0445-1.

      Comet C/2001 HT50 LINEAR-NEAT
      At 11.3 mag it was quite difficult in the 4.5" on this moonlit
      evening. Once the moonlight spilling down the telescope tube was
      blocked it became a little easier to see the comet.

      Comet 43P/Wolf-Harrington
      My notes read, "Ah, too bad..I just can't see the comet; it's a
      little beyond the reach of the 4.5". However, after relaxing my eye
      it suddenly appeared as a vvf, fairly large blur exactly in the
      correct location! It surely is at the very limit of a 4.5" scope.

      Good comet hunting. Be sure to catch Comet Encke early after sunset.

      Kent Blackwell
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