Comet Hunting with the Autostar/Audiostar

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Piet Le Roux South Africa
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Comet Hunting with the Autostar/Audiostar


Post by Piet Le Roux »

The comet prospects for 2020 does not look good and I am placing my hopes on 4 comets for viewing in the Southern Hemisphere :
C/2017 T2 ( PanSTARRS ), 2P/Encke (2020), 88P/Howell (2020) and 85D/Boethin (2020).
These comets should reach a brightness of more than than magnitude 10.
To get the Autostar/Audiostar to track comets accurately you must load it with fresh data (as I learnt in 2019) a good site to get your data is
You could enter the data via your controller but the naming of the elements on the site is not quite the same as that used by Meade, The Autostar needs 7 elements (the site descriptions are in brackets)
1)Epoch Date
2)Perihelion (q)
3)Eccentricity (e)
4)Argument of Perihelion (Peri.)
5)Longitudinal Ascending Node (Node)
6)Inclination (Incl.)
7)Absolute Magnitude : not important, I entered the brightest that it could get.
Here are the 4 comets in Meade format that you could load as a txt file with the Autostar Update software if you have a Autostar controller but if you have a Audiostar you must load it with the MyScope software,

C/2017T2(PANSTAR |2000|20200421.0000 | 1.615098| 0.999628| 92.9945| 64.378| 57.2305| 8|00.0 | MPC ???
2P/Encke(2020) |2000|20200725.8000 | 0.336721| 0.847998| 186.5625| 334.5517| 11.7646| 7|00.0 | MPC ???
88P/Howell(2020) |2000|20200928.0000 | 1.353087| 0.564357| 235.9118| 56.6843| 4.3836| 8|00.0 | MPC ???
85D/Boethin(2020 |2000|20200710.0000 | 1.128963| 0.775831| 65.3099| 333.0157| 4.1737| 8|00.0 | MPC ???

PS the MPC # is not essential.
Main Equipment : Tele Vue 27mm Panoptic, 7&13mm Nagler, Big Barlow : 8" Meade LX90ACF with Meade 2.0" Enhanced Diagonal : Camera Fuji XT100
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Makuser United States of America
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Re: Comet Hunting with the Autostar/Audiostar


Post by Makuser »

Hi Piet. It looks like you have all of the data and software ready. I wish you the best of luck in finding your Comet targets for this year.
Sky-Watcher 90mm f/13.8 Maksutov-Cassegrain on motorized Multimount
Orion Astroview 120ST f/5 Refractor on EQ3 mount
Celestron Comet Catcher 140mm f/3.64 Schmidt-Newtonian on alt-az mount
Celestron Omni XLT150R f/5 Refractor on CG4 mount with dual axis drives.
Orion 180mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain on CG5-GT Goto mount.
Orion XT12i 12" f/4.9 Dobsonian Intelliscope.
Kamakura 7x35 Binoculars and Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Binoculars. ZWO ASI 120MC camera.
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