C/2014 S2 (PANSTARRS)

October 14, 2015  -  I had been dying to get out to a dark-sky site, with some aperture to bag this comet.  Family and work issues conflicted with the (seemingly) few work-nights that were clear.  I finally made it to Broemmelsiek Park and managed the task.  I had memorized the map earlier in the evening and failed to find it.  After goofing off viewing other objects, I decided that I could go to the car in the parking lot, pull out the Skyhound map, and use some white light on it and give it another try.  That's when I realized that I had been looking at the map for October 13, and I needed October 15 (Universal Time).  Oops.  Over an hour of comet movement wasted!

After finding the comet, I had a moment of truth - draw the field of view, and HOPE that I could see movement in an hour, or fuggetaboutit.  This comet isn't moving all that fast, but I decided to draw the field and delay bedtime to well after midnight if necessary.  Fortunately, movement was noticeable in under an hour at 200x.  Likewise its' location so close to Polaris allowed for little movement of the telescope over that hour, making tracking at 200x much less problematic.

The field of view (FOV) in the drawing is 0.50 degrees, about the size of the full moon.  I often have difficulty detected color in comets, but I thought I noticed a slight green hue early on.  Some hint of a stubby tail to the ENE. 

It was a pretty good night at Broemmelsiek, but the overall sky seemed a tad brighter than I recall.  Still, the Milky Way was prominent straight up.  A few meteors were seen in the final hour.

The next day, I pulled up THE SKY LIVE and it showed the following field (worth comparing to my drawing - sideways):    {click on image to enlarge}
 
The little rectangle and wide Vee are recognizable in both.  I'll use this tool more often now!

I hope to get out and see this comet some more soon.  Unfortunately the moon is now invading the evening skies.


November 7, 2015  -  Transparency was a bit challenged, but this comet was nearly straight-up, which helped.  Found easily, star-hopping from the dim stars in UMinor's bowl.  Stubby tail is now obvious.  No color seen.  Movement was definitively noted in just an hour at 200x.  It is moving pretty fast, approaching perihelion soon.


November 9, 2015  -  Got a rare Monday night out and joined Jeff H. and Rick S. at Whiteside for a short while.  The tail was longer now and unmistakable, though MUCH dimmer than the coma.  Strangely, over the evening I thought the comet (and particularly its' p-nucleus) dimmed quite a bit.  That may have been a trick caused by its' close approach to a star in the FOV at that later time.  The view of the comet was much better at 200x, but I wanted to capture a wider star field this time.
 
I think it would take at least an 8" for a definitive look at this from "Green" skies.  Hopefully I'll get another view of this in Draco over the next weekend.
Oct 14  {click on image below to enlarge}
Above, Observation on Nov 7, 2015.  Stubby tail better defined at Whiteside.

Below, Observation on Nov 9, 2015.  Stub tail barely seen at 60x, and now longer at 200x.

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