Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Braving the cold to see a fuzzy dot.

I just got back from the beach a little while ago.  The comet, C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) has made its debut a number of days go in the local skies.  However, Michigan weather being Michigan weather, it has been mostly overcast.  I made an attempt this past Friday and that turned out to be a bust because of low clouds on the western horizon.  Today didn't look that great.  Hell, it was snowing this afternoon but the clouds cleared out this evening and gave us this:
PANSTARRS didn't show itself until much later after this picture was shot but I was able to look at it through some high powered binoculars that were provided by the astronomy club from the local university.  I also got a crack at it with a telescope but oddly enough the binoculars had the better view.
Picture from Stellarium.
This is probably the only good attempt that I will be able to get.  Although the comet is moving higher each night, it has also been dimming since Sunday.  It's already hard enough to find with the naked eye so some binoculars and telescopes are going to be needed the next time fair weather comes in.

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