Friday, January 19, 2007

nutty finally sees the comet!


from the rooftop of our light-polluted apartment building, bang in the very heart of, hazy, washington, d.c. this time, i finally managed to see comet mcnaught, both naked eye, and with a pair of 10x50 binoculars on a tripod.

at just before 4pm, i spotted it. at first it was very difficult to discern from all the plane contrails (especially in d.c. so close to national airport) but after eliminating a few false alarms, i saw it.

i was amazed to see it easily naked eye about 15 mins later.

i'll be out tomorrow for more of the same.

a naked-eye daytime visible comet is extremely rare. in fact this is the brightest comet of the last 40 years!

tomorrow will probably be your last chance to see this comet, as the weather's not looking too good, and by next saturday it will be below the horizon.

it will be positioned approx 20 degrees below the sun to the south west, and the best time of the day to see it will be between 3:30pm and 4:30pm.

as it's a couple of outstretched handwidths away from the sun, be very careful if you try and use binoculars to spot it. NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN USING BINOCULARS! if you ever want to see again, that is.

if you do miss it, all is not lost.
it is next scheduled to make an appearance in 4534...

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