I was recently out scouting for comet 141P/Machholz. I slowly started scanning the southern horizon even though I knew that it would be after sunset before I could bag my game. But still, it is, after all, the thrill of the hunt that makes nailing your target that much more rewarding.
I was using a pair of 8X42 binos. In hindsight, that may have been an optimistic endeavor - I never did manage to locate it.>>171740
A funny thing about the discovery of Neptune is that it was served on a silver platter for the astronomer who would eventually be credited with the discovery. French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier publicly presented his calculations for his prediction of the planet's position on the 1st of June 1846, and astronomers throughout France responded with a resounding silence.
Two months later, Le Verrier took a proactive approach and reached out to German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle, who discovered Neptune the same day he received Le Verriers letter - within 1" of where Le Verrier had predicted it would be, and within one hour of searching for it.
In theory, any amateur with access to a modest telescope could have been the one to discover it.