John Burroughs and I went out tonight just about 8:30pm. South side of Escanaba by the community gardens along M-35, about a block from my house. We climbed a big snow pile and scanned for Comet Pannstars with his 20×80 and my 15x 70 binoculars. It was mostly clear, 26Foverhead, but there were thin, ruddy clouds from the horizon up to about 8-10 degrees, reflecting lights from the Delta County Airport. Jupiter was bright & M-42 in Orion was just visible as a vague smudge naked-eye when we began to observe.
After about 10 minutes, we found it, just a little right of directly below the two day old sliver of Moon, perhaps halfway between the Moon & the horizon. If you drew a line extending from Jupiter through the Moon down to the horison, I believe it would have intersected the Comet.
After the skies darkened a bit I was able to find it naked eye (consider that I am developing cataracts in both eyes, and the aforementioned cloudy haze) after looking at it thru the 15x70s and just dropping the binocs. Then I was able to recover it easily naked eye until it sank down into the haze about 5 degrees above West, say 9:30pm. or so.
The Comet had a very pronounced bright head, with a fuzzy coma and a nice, tail fanning up along the ecliptic back toward the crescent Moon. I would say the tail appeard under this sky to be about 1.5x the diameter of a Full Moon (Incidently, with all the snow cover up here there is enough Earthshine for the entire Lunar orb to be visible both naked eye & in the binocs–making the estimate of length by comparison easy.)
I am looking forward to watching it climb the skies away from the haze and muck in the coming nights–hopefully this won’t be our only clear night for another week.
Helen & I had just gotten back from her Doctor in Green Bay, about 8:15, or I would have taken my camera out & attempted to get some photos. I am thinking I will try one of the telescopes tomorrow night, if clear.
I hope some of you also went out to look. I am looking forward to seeing some of Shawn Malone’s photos of Pannstars–I hope she posts some–I imagine she must have been out shooting?