Thursday, January 25, 2007

Comet spotting

After forgetting to go out and look at McNaught's comet on the only clear night this week (Monday night), we've been staying up a bit later to see if the cloud will clear enough to see it. Finally, last night we had some limited success. There was low cloud which was diffuse enough higher up to see the moon so we decided to just drive out into the country away from the lights and take pot luck and we were lucky.

We parked on the side of the road, turned off all the lights and stepped out into the pitch black and could see a pale vertical streak in the sky. Eventually the clouds parted long enough for us to see the head of the comet as well. Its HUGE! I was a bit concerned that we wouldn't be able to find it but there was no problem.

I'm not sure if it was because I need new glasses or if there was a bit of cloud over it but it wasn't particularly clear. Maybe if we'd stayed out there longer the sky would have darkened more so it would show up more clearly, but there was a huge bank of clouds approaching that were completely covering the sky so we didn't feel like it.

So, limited success but well worth trying to see on another night.

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