C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Celestial visitors from the edge of the Solar System.
Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 11th, 2013, 9:11 pm

Success! A patron named Louise was the first to spot it, in a binoc she brought. I could not see it in the 10x50 binoc I brought, but I did see it with 14x power using the Astroscan. The apparition was similar to what has been reported from the Southern Hemisphere--a yellowish blob with a short tail, although I certainly didn't see a one-degree-long tail.

There weren't many people--a man and woman, three of Emily's friends and a mother and son--but maybe a lot will come tomorrow night. We'll be out again tomorrow night in the same location we've been so far--in the back of the Complex between the Dog Park and the lake.

Poppa-Chris
Posts: 112
Joined: December 13th, 2012, 5:32 pm
Location: Denham Springs, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Poppa-Chris » March 11th, 2013, 11:02 pm

Quickie "preview" photo of Panstarrs from Burbank Park 3-11-2013 7:40 PM. Hopefully I'll put something better up later after proper processing.

Image
Poppa-Chris


"First star to the right, then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 12th, 2013, 2:14 pm

Here are the coordinates for this evening. Remember, an azimuth of 270˚ is due west.

12 March
6:55pm = az 262˚ / alt 18˚
7pm = az 263˚ / alt 17˚
7:05pm = az 263˚ / alt 16˚
7:10pm = az 264˚ / alt 15˚
7:15pm = az 265˚ / alt 13˚
7:20pm = az 265˚ / alt 12˚
7:25pm = az 266˚ / alt 11˚
7:30pm = az 267˚ / alt 10˚
7:35pm = az 267˚ / alt 9˚
7:40pm = az 268˚ / alt 8˚
7:45pm = az 269˚ / alt 7˚
7:50pm = az 269˚ / alt 6˚
7:55pm = az 270˚ / alt 5˚
8pm = az 271˚ / alt 4˚
8:05pm = az 271˚ / alt 3˚

Sunset is at 7:11pm. The best chance to see the comet will probably be after 7:40pm. Whatever tail there is will be more perpendicular to the horizon that it was yesterday. The 1.2-day-old Moon will be a little over four degrees to PanSTARRS' lower right.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 12th, 2013, 8:46 pm

Success again! John N., John L., Brad, Tom, Zach B. and Wally joined me out there. There were perhaps thirty or so patrons, which I like. The young Moon was awesome. Even as thin as it was, in about 40x (John N.'s telescope) a large amount of surface detail could be seen.

Dudley51
Posts: 2
Joined: March 11th, 2013, 8:30 pm

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Dudley51 » March 12th, 2013, 10:11 pm

Success also from the levee downtown by the USS Kidd. First viewed by 8x binoculars and a 10x monocular, it was found at 19:45 CDT. This is five minute later that the report from the Burbank viewing area for the 11th, but five minutes earlier than that at the USS Kidd on the 11th. The sky was clearer on the 12th, the comet a bit brighter and the tail appeared longer. I know it hasn't grown, just that we saw it better.

A nearby photographer was able to get several shots. Another couple was trying to spot the comet with the naked eye, but was unsuccessful, as were we. The comet was still visible when we left at 20:01.

- D. Fish

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 17th, 2013, 3:31 pm

I'm not ashamed to say I'm still not convinced I've seen PanSTARRS unaided-eye; I just have to acquire that skill set, I suppose.

PanSTARRS was seen Wednesday evening by Brad and Martha, Ben and Ashley, Trevor, Briar, myself and others at the Hodges Gardens Star Party in Sabine Parish. Due to its position in the sky, it could not be acquired at the official viewing field by the red barn. We all had to use the Texas Overlook next to the Fee Station. Its fading is apparent.

Here are the coordinates for the HRPO/Burbank area. Tonight's NOAA forecast has during the viewing time a temperature of 22˚C, 56% sky cover, 12% precipitation potential and a SE surface wind of 21k/hr.

17 March
7:15pm = az 277˚ / alt 16˚
7:20pm = az 278˚ / alt 15˚
7:25pm = az 278˚ / alt 14˚
7:30pm = az 279˚ / alt 13˚
7:35pm = az 279˚ / alt 12˚
7:40pm = az 280˚ / alt 11˚
7:45pm = az 281˚ / alt 10˚
7:50pm = az 281˚ / alt 9˚
7:55pm = az 282˚ / alt 7˚
8pm = az 283˚ / alt 6˚
8:05pm = az 283˚ / alt 5˚
8:10pm = az 284˚ / alt 4˚
8:15pm = az 284˚ / alt 3˚
8:20pm = az 285˚ / alt 2˚

Comet PanSTARRS Photo Gallery:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/communit ... 98641.html
Last edited by Christopher K. on March 18th, 2013, 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 17th, 2013, 7:59 pm

There is, as many will have guessed, no PanSTARRS attempted viewing this evening, as there is no "hole" in the effect overcast.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 18th, 2013, 3:31 pm

Here are the HRPO/Burbank coordinates for PanSTARRS for this evening and tomorrow evening...

18 March
7:15pm = az 279˚ / alt 16˚
7:20pm = az 280˚ / alt 15˚
7:25pm = az 281˚ / alt 14˚
7:30pm = az 282˚ / alt 13˚
7:35pm = az 282˚ / alt 12˚
7:40pm = az 282˚ / alt 11˚
7:45pm = az 283˚ / alt 10˚
7:50pm = az 284˚ / alt 9˚
7:55pm = az 284˚ / alt 8˚
8pm = az 285˚ / alt 7˚
8:05pm = az 285˚ / alt 6˚
8:10pm = az 286˚ / alt 5˚
8:15pm = az 287˚ / alt 4˚
8:20pm = az 287˚ / alt 2˚

19 March
7:20pm = az 282˚ / alt 15˚
7:25pm = az 283˚ / alt 14˚
7:30pm = az 283˚ / alt 13˚
7:35pm = az 284˚ / alt 12˚
7:40pm = az 285˚ / alt 11˚
7:45pm = az 285˚ / alt 10˚
7:50pm = az 286˚ / alt 9˚
7:55pm = az 286˚ / alt 8˚
8pm = az 287˚ / alt 7˚
8:05pm = az 288˚ / alt 6˚
8:10pm = az 288˚ / alt 5˚
8:15pm = az 289˚ / alt 4˚
8:20pm = az 289˚ / alt 3˚

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 20th, 2013, 6:08 pm

Here are the HRPO/Burbank coordinates for this evening and tomorrow evening.

20 March
7:25pm = az 285˚ / alt 15˚
7:30pm = az 285˚ / alt 14˚
7:35pm = az 286˚ / alt 13˚
7:40pm = az 286˚ / alt 12˚
7:45pm = az 287˚ / alt 11˚
7:50pm = az 287˚ / alt 10˚
7:55pm = az 288˚ / alt 9˚
8pm = az 289˚ / alt 8˚
8:05pm = az 289˚ / alt 7˚
8:10pm = az 290˚ / alt 6˚
8:15pm = az 290˚ / alt 5˚
8:20pm = az 291˚ / alt 4˚

21 March
7:30pm = az 287˚ / alt 14˚
7:35pm = az 288˚ / alt 13˚
7:40pm = az 288˚ / alt 12˚
7:45pm = az 289˚ / alt 11˚
7:50pm = az 289˚ / alt 10˚
7:55pm = az 290˚ / alt 9˚
8pm = az 291˚ / alt 8˚
8:05pm = az 291˚ / alt 7˚
8:10pm = az 292˚ / alt 6˚
8:15pm = az 292˚ / alt 5˚
8:20pm = az 293˚ / alt 4˚
8:25pm = az 294˚ / alt 3˚

PanSTARRS peaked at about +1 magnitude some evenings ago. There were some indications of having seen it with handheld binocs at Burbank yesterday. Wally, Ben, Rob, Roslyn and I were there with patrons. We supplemented the poor sky conditions (haze and light pollution from what was most likely a stadium at LSU) with lunar, Jupiter and Pleiades viewing.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4816
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Post by Christopher K. » March 22nd, 2013, 4:24 pm

Well, the last two evenings I saw absolutely nothing at Burbank. Wally and Rob and Trey A. were there either one or both nights, and although there were some possible sightings none was confirmed. One confounding issue was the unshielded sports lighting to our backs causing light "smudges" in our field of view time and again.

Since Sky & Telescope has the comet illustrated through the 24th on an illustration, I'll take that as a statement that the comet is at least theoretically viewable until then. So here are the HRPO/Burbank coordinates for the next three evenings.

22 March
7:30pm = az 290˚ / alt 13˚
7:35pm = az 290˚ / alt 12˚
7:40pm = az 290˚ / alt 11˚
7:45pm = az 291˚ / alt 10˚
7:50pm = az 292˚ / alt 9˚
7:55pm = az 293˚ / alt 8˚
8pm = az 293˚ / alt 7˚
8:05pm = az 294˚ / alt 6˚
8:10pm = az 294˚ / alt 5˚
8:15pm = az 295˚ / alt 4˚
8:20pm = az 295˚ / alt 3˚
8:25pm = az 296˚ / alt 2˚

23 March
7:35pm = az 292˚ / alt 12˚
7:40pm = az 293˚ / alt 11˚
7:45pm = az 293˚ / alt 10˚
7:50pm = az 294˚ / alt 9˚
7:55pm = az 294˚ / alt 8˚
8pm = az 295˚ / alt 7˚
8:05pm = az 296˚ / alt 6˚
8:10pm = az 296˚ / alt 5˚
8:15pm = az 297˚ / alt 4˚
8:20pm = az 297˚ / alt 3˚
8:25pm = az 298˚ / alt 2˚

24 March
7:40pm = az 295˚ / alt 11˚
7:45pm = az 295˚ / alt 10˚
7:50pm = az 296˚ / alt 9˚
7:55pm = az 296˚ / alt 8˚
8pm = az 297˚ / alt 7˚
8:05pm = az 298˚ / alt 6˚
8:10pm = az 298˚ / alt 5˚
8:15pm = az 299˚ / alt 4˚
8:20pm = az 299˚ / alt 3˚
8:25pm = az 300˚ / alt 2˚

All three evenings the comet will be in Andromeda. It will cross into Cassiopeia the morning of 9 April.

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