Friday, December 31, 2021
Thursday, December 30, 2021
A bonus for Comet Gazers is the planet Mercury, which is rapidly rising in the West each evening. I love it when planets zoom by each other. I pulled up the sky view from Montclair, NJ in the free Stellarium software, and it looks like Mercury will be more or less exactly to the left of Venus tonight. Should be easy to spot if you have clear skies. Here on Bonaire, Mercury was already above Venus last night and will be about as high above Venus tonight as it was below Venus on Monday night. Let's hope for clear skies. Venus is a bright blob in my binoculars. In a telescope right now, it is a skinny crescent!
Oh... as a bonus for early birds; according to Stellarium, on Friday morning before sunrise, Mars, the Moon and the star Antares (in Scorpius) will make a more or less equilateral triangle. (as seen from both Montclair, NJ and Bonaire!) Antares is a red star, so it and red Mars should make a nice pairing. I saw Antares, but not Mars on my bike ride on Wednesday morning. It was cloudy today. Mornings, here on Bonaire, are often cloudy this time of the year, but I'll be sure to check it out tomorrow, just in case.
The sky was clear last night, but then clouds rolled in. Then it cleared again, when comet Leonard was really low in the sky. I could see foreground bushes in the un-cropped photos.
I didn't get any amazing comet images, but I did luck out and catch a meteor streaking by the comet on one frame. December is our favorite month for spotting meteors here on Bonaire.
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Whoo! Monday evening was one of those rare no clouds - green flash
type evenings. I zoomed just north of Hato so i could look at comet
Leonard over the sea. For the first time, i could detect some of the
comet's tail in my binoculars. I also saw a humdinger of a meteor while i was out there.
Then i zoomed home and grabbed a camera and tripod, and shot some six second exposures, the longest i can do without a tracking mount.
Monday, December 27, 2021
If you are up North, the three planets form a line that tilts more towards the left. Leonard is still halfway down a line from Saturn to Alnair, but Alnair sets at 5pm! If you look at the spacing between the planets on the chart and then in the sky, you can sort of calibrate your eye as to how far from Saturn you should look for Leonard. On Bonaire, you look more or less straight to the left. Up North you'll be looking to the lower left, down towards the horizon.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
According to what I read online, Comet Leonard is getting a bit dimmer each night. But, here on Bonaire, it is also getting a bit higher in the sky each night, and now there is no moon to wash out the sky.
Here is what it looked like from our backyard on Monday. Well, in the camera at least. It's still pretty much a formless blur in my small binoculars. It would probably look better if
I went to a darker part of the island.
Friday, December 17, 2021
Friday, December 03, 2021