Can you spot the comet? (Hint: it’s green!)
Zooming in … how about now?
It’s been a long time since there’s been a comet that I could successfully see and photograph! Comet Lovejoy is a star hop from Rigel (Orion’s foot) into Eridanus, where it can easily be seen (at least in the suburbs in the northern hemisphere) with binoculars, a telephoto lens, or a telescope. It looked gray through the binoculars, but in the pictures it is a beautiful green.
I am glad that our winter clouds cleared away and I got a clear night last night to spot it. I was hoping for a second clear night in a row so I could show that the comet is moving relative to the stars. Alas, the weather did not cooperate, and it looks like it’s going to be cloudy for a while. But I’ll keep looking up!
If Comet ISON had survived its solar flyby, today was the first day we were supposed to be able to see it. Although it appears that what survived is either rubble or small, we braved the early morning cold to try to catch a glimpse of what is left. No joy. It was too dim to be seen from Friendswood, Texas.
My son and I stayed in Buda, Texas during our college tour road trip and found a hill with nice dark skies west of town. We were able to find Comet PanSTARRS, but it was a real challenge, even with very dark skies. As you can see, it’s already dimmer (although in darker skies) than it was a few days ago.
Comet PanSTARRs is visible from the Northern Hemisphere (Pearland, Texas – just south of Houston)! It is not yet bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, but it is obviously a comet through binoculars or a 200 mm lens.