Thursday, February 26, 2009

Comet Spotting

The closest approach of Lulin was 38 million miles and the APOTD website featured the comet yesterday. Tonight we have clear skies and it's about 45F, making it a very comfortable night for comet spotting. And spot it we did.

It's currently near the constellation Leo, and tonight we saw it on a line between Saturn and Regulus, about 2/3 of the distance toward Regulus. At midnight here in Colorado, that's due South and something like 60 degrees above the horizon. Binoculars are sufficient to see the comet although it is a bit fuzzy because of its double tail. We have street lights in the neighborhood and I have some light pollution from Fort Collins to deal with. But it really wasn't too bad when it is this high above the horizon.

Maybe tomorrow night I'll get the telescope out. This weekend, I may head to the mountains to find a high altitude spotting location, that is if the weather holds.


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