Comet Neowise?

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Qwksvt99
Comet Neowise?

Is the focal length of this creating a too small FOV.  If not, why no observations for it in the Go Observing?

Thanks from this newbie.


NSOAndy
Comet NEOWISE: A bit too low...

It is a little large to get all the lovely tail into the field-of-view, but that isn't the main problem. Unfortunately, the comet is very low in the sky during the night, and so below the limit that the telescope can observe.

There is a limit on on how close to horizon all professional telescopes can observe, mainly because when you get close to the horizon, the amount of atmosphere you are looking through gets quite large and messes up most observations. We also have to be careful of the primary mirror. This is designed to be constantly and automatically adjusted as the telescope points to different parts of the sky, so it is not firmly fixed in place but lying on lots of special adjustable "pads". This means that if the telescope tries to tip over too far, the mirror might shift out of position, or in extreme circumstances perhaps even fall out! So, there is a limit of 25degrees from the horizon below which the telescope will never try to look.

So, the comet is not great for big telescopes, especially ones near to the equator like the LT. It is good for small ones though! I had a great view of it through binoculars last night.

All the best
Andy