Friday, April 30, 2004

One out of three Comets seen

There are three comets lurking out there in yonder sky that should be visible with the naked eye this spring. So far I've seen one of them. Clouds and haze are still hiding the other two.

I saw comet Linear just before 5am on Thursday morning. Once I knew where to look, I could see it with my naked eye. I took a picture, that looks awful, but actually shows about how dim the comet actually was. The lumpy circle of stars just above and to the right of center is the "circlet" of the constellation Pisces. There is a pale yellow arrow pointing to the comet. The blurry white stuff at the lower right is ambient light reflecting off of some bushes in our yard. If you want to see this picture bigger (well someone might have nothing better to do,) go here and click on the last thumbnail on the page.

I should have been able to see comet Bradfield at roughly the same time a little to the north east, but the clouds were thick over there. This comet looks really awesome in pictures taken this week and posted on the internet, so I am anxious to see what I can detect with my eyes and with binoculars.

I've also been looking for Comet Neat in the evenings. Since Bonaire is only 12 degrees north latitude, I should be able to see it pretty easily, but again, serious clouds and haze have gotten in the way. grrrrr

I'm especially hoping for clear skies on the morning of June 8, when Venus will be crossing the face of the sun as the sun comes up here on Bonaire. This hasn't happened for over 100 years, so I'll definitely be out to see it, if the weather cooperates.

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