Sunday 8 February 2015

A Quick Glance at Comet Lovejoy

Seriously clear tonight, and the moon is well out of the way early evening. The comet is still in the same binocular field as gamma andromedae - which in my mind shall always be known as "the peach star" from now on.

Comparison indicates the comet to now appear almost identical to the Andromeda Galaxy nearby, so it is indeed fading, it was a couple of notches brighter a few nights ago. My eyes were trying to convince me a tail was visible tonight, but my brain is also trying very hard not to be fooled.

Other things were worth looking at on such a sharp night. Messier 42 in Orion is something we take for granted I think, being such an obvious object, but it is always worth looking at, illuminated by the hot young stars of iota, the so called "Trapezium". Messier 35 in Gemini was resolved by my 10x50s tonight, which is not always the case. All three Auriga clusters were visible, M36, M37 and M38, but don't ask me which is which.

Finally I had a look over at Jupiter through my sycamore tree. I had the usual shaky hands syndrome, which made the giant planet appear to be constantly looping the loop, but two moons were definitely visible, and there was possibly a third too.

All this visible in very average binoculars. So much to see up there, and you needn't spend a fortune.


No comments:

Post a Comment