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Comet Linear, Round Three, 7/7/01

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Posted by Bob Sal on July 8, 2001 18:31:06 UTC

Hi All;
Finally! We got a decent Sky for a good part of the night. We also had a 97% Moon which brightened things up a bit. I'll post a full report on the entire observation session soon. The Comet was the main object of the night. I found it at 1:26 AM NJ time in the LX200 using the old fashion manual star hopping method and the map I printed from the sight I posted. It was low, so I couldn't see it naked eye. Then streaky clouds started rolling in and took away most of the brightness of the Comet. I could still see it though. I consider myself very lucky to have spotted it where it was. What a show! It was under 2 bright stars and formed a "V" shape with the Comet at the bottom. I qiuckly made a sketch of the stars and Comet. This took about 2 minutes. I looked back in the eyepiece, I swear it moved. I kept watching. Absolutely! In 5 minutes, it was clear, the Comet was aproching the 2 stars. I made another sketch and logged the time. Kept watching. You could see it move as you watched! Kind of like watching the big hand on a large clock. The "V" shape was turning into an obtuse triangle. I made a sketch and logged the position every 5 minutes. After about 25 minutes (left my notes upstairs) it went right through the 2 stars. After 50 minutes it formed a Tee-Pee with the 2 stars, Comet at the top. What a thrill! I never saw anything moving like that in the eyepiece. I'd say it moved at least 15 to 20 arc minutes in just under 1 hr, but I can't be sure. If the 2 bright star were not there, movment would have been harder to detect. I couldn't have asked for a better location. Listen people, I don't know that we're gonna get to see something like this ever again! Get out there, find it! You won't be sorry. It's the most Incredible, Huge, Fast object I've seen in the eyepiece. The clouds kept getting thicker and thicker till they were mashed potatos. I shut down when I couldn't see it anymore. I was more interested in movment than visual details. I tried for it again tonight, but the clouds rolled in too soon this time, so I'm here writing about it instead. I still can't get over how it was moving like that! I was using the Teleview 22MM 68 degree eyepiece at 138x. I wanted to try a 14MM but couldn't bring myself to miss a second of it. What a show! I loved it! What did I do to deserve such a fine gift? Thank the Good Lord that made me, Comet Linear C/2001 A2 and of course those bright 2 stars. Clear Skies.
That's it;
BOB SAL

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