Comet C/2014 W2 (PanSTARRS)

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rwilkinson
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Comet C/2014 W2 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:51 pm

No, this is not a typo - this really is the third of PanSTARRS' comet discoveries to appear in our skies at once.
However this one is the faintest, at around 12th magnitude at the moment. But it is in Ursa Minor (quite close to Polaris), and so is well-placed for observation all night.

I managed to detect it for the first time earlier this evening, fitting nine exposures in the gaps between the clouds before the sky filled in completely:
c2014w2_21nov.png
C/2014 W2 on 21-Nov. 9x 90-sec using HX916 on StarWave 80ED at f/4.7.
c2014w2_21nov.png (320.24 KiB) Viewed 2996 times
Last edited by rwilkinson on Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comet C/2014 W2 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:09 am

After locating it with my 80mm refractor on Saturday, last night I used my "big gun" (8" SCT).
c2014w2_22nov.png
C/2014 W2 on 22-Nov. 71x 90-sec using HX916 on C8 at f/3.9.
c2014w2_22nov.png (312.58 KiB) Viewed 2983 times
The clear sky gave me an uninterrupted run of around 2 hours, but it was so cold that I needed my dew-heater turned well up to prevent the optics from icing over!

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Re: Comet C/2014 W2 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:57 am

I've not looked for this comet for a while, but although it's faded down below 12th magnitude it is still around - in fact it's circumpolar in Cepheus.

The sky cleared after 11pm last night, and as I had a "new" CCD camera to test (an old Starlight Xpress MX716), I set up my "windowsill observatory" (with the 70ED refractor on a Celestron LCM mount) and realising that this comet would be in view through my NE-facing window, decided to have a go:
c2014w2_26mar.png
Comet 2014 W2 on 26-Mar. 23x 1-min using MX716 with 70ED at f/3.3 on alt-az mount.
c2014w2_26mar.png (305.7 KiB) Viewed 2776 times
This is just a stack of 23x 1-min lights (i.e. no calibration frames), without any LPR filter and with the field-rotation effects removed by global matching stellar registration in IRIS.
The 13th-magnitude comet is definitely visible (close to a group of three 11th-magnitude stars).

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