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What were your favorite comets?

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  • kentblackwell
    The clouds are with us for a few days, so we can t chat about what we re seeing in the sky. Vote you your favorite comets. Sorry, you younger members; you re
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 28, 2009
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      The clouds are with us for a few days, so we can't chat about what
      we're seeing in the sky. Vote you your favorite comets. Sorry, you
      younger members; you're limited to those only seen in recent years.
      Here are my top four, in order.

      1. Hale-Bopp
      Maybe it didn't have as long a tail as Hyakutake but it seemed to
      have been in the sky forever, and I (as well as the club) showed it
      to more people than any other comet. I even followed it two years
      later when visiting the southern hemisphere! Alan Hale and I sold his
      book and my comet pictures at the Discovery Store in Washington, DC.
      How more memorable can that be?

      2. Comet Shoemaker-Levy.
      Ah yes, this one was fun. I held a "Comet crash into Jupiter" party
      at my house. No one knew if anything would be visible on Jupiter or
      not. So, we all stood in line, with champagne glasses in hand, to
      look through our scopes as Jupiter turned to display several black
      impact scars, each appearing larger than shadow transits casts by
      it's moons!

      3. Hyakutake (Hi you ka TAH' key)
      Visible even in the city as a bright comet with a very long tail, and
      near Polaris so it was visible all night for a week or so. It was too
      large to view through a telescope. Additionally, it was too large to
      fit in the lowest power binoculars. Truly, a great naked eye comet.

      4. West
      I'm only including this because it was one of the greatest comets
      visible in the last 30 years. I was definitely into amateur astronomy
      at the time but for some reason never looked at it. I must have been
      preoccupied with ~something~ else in the '70s. Who knows what?
    • Bob Bunge
      ... My number 2. Best comet images I ever took: http://ladyandtramp.com/hbsl4.jpg http://ladyandtramp.com/hbsl2.jpg ... My number 3. (assuming S-L9 - anyone
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 28, 2009
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        kentblackwell wrote:
        >
        > 1. Hale-Bopp
        > Maybe it didn't have as long a tail as Hyakutake but it seemed to
        > have been in the sky forever, and I (as well as the club) showed it

        My number 2. Best comet images I ever took:
        http://ladyandtramp.com/hbsl4.jpg
        http://ladyandtramp.com/hbsl2.jpg

        > 2. Comet Shoemaker-Levy.
        > Ah yes, this one was fun. I held a "Comet crash into Jupiter" party
        > at my house. No one knew if anything would be visible on Jupiter or

        My number 3. (assuming S-L9 - anyone else see some of the other S-L
        comets?) Highlights for this are impressive. Impact night was first
        light for my refigured 20-inch mirror - I had picked it up from the
        recoater's that afternoon! A very cool party a few nights later on the
        grounds of the US Naval Observatory with David making a drawing while
        observing through the 20-inch. Only time I met Gene in person.

        >
        > 3. Hyakutake (Hi you ka TAH' key)
        > Visible even in the city as a bright comet with a very long tail, and
        > near Polaris so it was visible all night for a week or so. It was too

        My number 1. Bright, long tail, up all night long. A star party at
        Crockett park in Virginia with perhaps 5k folks. Ran hundreds past the
        eyepiece of the 20-inch. The line was so long that smaller scopes were
        set up along the line. Other than sore legs, I remember watching many
        stars pass behind the nucleus during the party. Proof to me that the
        nucleus as seen visually isn't solid. A late night caravan from DC to
        Skyline drive with the moon, followed by a nap in the car. Woke up to
        see the comet through the frosted over car windows. Also a star party
        at USNO where Sandra Day O'Conner looked through my scope.

        4. Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock. Because I "discovered" it since I was at
        sea on a ship and didn't know about the discovery before going up on
        deck and noticing it naked eye in the bowl of the big dipper.

        5. Halley, only because it was the first time I talked to my wife-to-be
        in the dome of the 12-inch reflector on the roof of Smith Lab at Ohio
        State University. Also stood in the middle of a two lane road at the
        entrance of a park south of Columbus at 3am in a pouring rain explaining
        to drivers of each of at least a thousand cars that the star party had
        been canceled.

        Bob
      • kentblackwell
        Wow, dynamite. I haven t transferred my 35mm film pics of Hale-Bopp to digital but will have to do so, soon. Kent ... it ... party ... or ... first ... the ...
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 28, 2009
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          Wow, dynamite. I haven't transferred my 35mm film pics of Hale-Bopp
          to digital but will have to do so, soon.

          Kent

          --- In delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com, Bob Bunge <bbunge@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > kentblackwell wrote:
          > >
          > > 1. Hale-Bopp
          > > Maybe it didn't have as long a tail as Hyakutake but it seemed to
          > > have been in the sky forever, and I (as well as the club) showed
          it
          >
          > My number 2. Best comet images I ever took:
          > http://ladyandtramp.com/hbsl4.jpg
          > http://ladyandtramp.com/hbsl2.jpg
          >
          > > 2. Comet Shoemaker-Levy.
          > > Ah yes, this one was fun. I held a "Comet crash into Jupiter"
          party
          > > at my house. No one knew if anything would be visible on Jupiter
          or
          >
          > My number 3. (assuming S-L9 - anyone else see some of the other S-L
          > comets?) Highlights for this are impressive. Impact night was
          first
          > light for my refigured 20-inch mirror - I had picked it up from the
          > recoater's that afternoon! A very cool party a few nights later on
          the
          > grounds of the US Naval Observatory with David making a drawing
          while
          > observing through the 20-inch. Only time I met Gene in person.
          >
          > >
          > > 3. Hyakutake (Hi you ka TAH' key)
          > > Visible even in the city as a bright comet with a very long tail,
          and
          > > near Polaris so it was visible all night for a week or so. It was
          too
          >
          > My number 1. Bright, long tail, up all night long. A star party
          at
          > Crockett park in Virginia with perhaps 5k folks. Ran hundreds past
          the
          > eyepiece of the 20-inch. The line was so long that smaller scopes
          were
          > set up along the line. Other than sore legs, I remember watching
          many
          > stars pass behind the nucleus during the party. Proof to me that
          the
          > nucleus as seen visually isn't solid. A late night caravan from DC
          to
          > Skyline drive with the moon, followed by a nap in the car. Woke up
          to
          > see the comet through the frosted over car windows. Also a star
          party
          > at USNO where Sandra Day O'Conner looked through my scope.
          >
          > 4. Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock. Because I "discovered" it since I was
          at
          > sea on a ship and didn't know about the discovery before going up
          on
          > deck and noticing it naked eye in the bowl of the big dipper.
          >
          > 5. Halley, only because it was the first time I talked to my wife-
          to-be
          > in the dome of the 12-inch reflector on the roof of Smith Lab at
          Ohio
          > State University. Also stood in the middle of a two lane road at
          the
          > entrance of a park south of Columbus at 3am in a pouring rain
          explaining
          > to drivers of each of at least a thousand cars that the star party
          had
          > been canceled.
          >
          > Bob
          >
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