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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Posts: 286
Location: Maple Shade, NJ
This year, 2018, has been pretty quiet so far regarding comets. However, one comet has literally just burst onto the scene, C/2017 S3 (PANSTARRS). That’s the correct designation, although it seems that many, if not most commentators insist on using their own non-standard interpretation of the designation.

Anyway, the subject comet has experienced a couple of outbursts this month and is now around 7th magnitude, so it’s an easy binocular object, currently in the constellation Camelopardalis. Bob King has a nice article at S&T online...

I was just able to detect it with 15x56 binoculars from my suburban front yard on Wednesday morning, July 18 (hampered by light pollution and passing clouds), but this morning, Thursday July 19, I went to Carranza Field in Wharton State Forest and S3 was easy to find and see with the 15x56s. I did not see any color or a tail in the binoculars or with an 85 mm spotting scope. However, I also took some snapshots, and the bluish-green color of the coma is readily evident, see this example...

Note: That’s the underlying address of my web site. For some unknown reason, the SJAstro URL forwarding is not working at the moment.

Joe Stieber

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