Friday, December 03, 2021

Comet Leonard


We've been having quite a bit of rain lately, here on Bonaire. But the sky cleared up enough at 5:30 this morning for me to spot comet Leonard. (C/2021 A1) Today was special because the comet was passing by the globular cluster M3. There will probably be some really cool pictures posted today from people who used a telescope to view these two objects.
What with all the clouds and rain here, I was happy to be able to spot them at all. I saw them as two faint fuzzy spots in my 10x35 binoculars. Comet Leonard is pretty easy to find (in binoculars) right now because it is near the bright star Arcturus. You can find Arcturus by following the Arc of the Big Dipper's handle. Arc - Arcturus, get it? I'm including a chart that shows where Leonard was this morning - the top yellow dot - and where it will be for the next few mornings. Just count the dots from top to bottom, Friday is the top one, Saturday is the next one down, etc.  If you are way North, compared to Bonaire, the location of Leonard will probably be a bit different than how it appears on Bonaire, but it will be close enough, I think.

I'm also including a picture i shot this morning. I've cropped it a LOT because i shot it with a 85mm lens, and not a telescope. The fuzzy spot above the comet is M3. This was a five second exposure at f 1.4 and ISO 1600.

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