Tuesday, 19 March 2013

First Light, PANSTARRS... Big Bino convert..


Yesterday evening near sunset, a bank of heavy black cloud lay to the North, but the North West through to the South was fairly clear....... I was  hoping for a chance to glimpse the comet.

I decided to head off to one of Pembrokeshire's best observing sites, a small car park named Maidenhall near Newgale.

This elevated site has a wonderful 360 degree view, especially out towards the sea.

Another good reason to visit Maidenhall last night was to meet up with friend and fellow astronomer Andrew Merrick, who was also hoping to see "First Light" on Comet Panstarrs.

Andrew had already set up his 72mm refractor, and right next to the scope was a lovely pair of 25x100 binoculars.....

The skies behaved perfectly; the Moon and Jupiter were visible, the stars slowly switched on and the cloud bank to the NW was fairly low... ideal conditions for finding Panstarrs......

But where was it....? ....  We both searched and scanned the horizon.... and then searched some more......nothing to be seen...!!!

Then finally Andrew snagged the comet in the refractor....

My little 8x30 binos were not up to the task, and I would have been searching in vain for much of the session....

Andrew's 25x100 binos were a different matter...

The Big Binos delivered a beautiful image of the dust tail, and the coma was very striking.

The overall big binocular view left a lasting impression.

Earlier this evening to mark the event, I made a Panstarrs sketch for my astro log book.


I've always fancied a pair of Big Binos, but I wasn't sure if they would deliver.

Thanks to several views of the comet, M42 and M45 last night, I'm now a Big Bino convert..


It was great to catch up with Andrew and his family......

I hope to meet up with him again soon at Maidenhall....... maybe next month for some Saturn observing.....


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