Sunday, May 13, 2007

Faint, Fuzzy Comets

Earlier this evening I managed to observe two of the comets that happen to be zooming around the solar system - C/2007 E1 Garradd and C/2007 E2 Lovejoy. We had a visitors' night at our observatory, and after the public left we got down to the business of looking at faint fuzzies.

I had the charts for the comets, and they were pretty easy to spot, as long as one was dark adapted. Garradd was low in the southwestern sky, but was visible as a smudge in the eyepiece of the 16-inch SCT. Lovejoy, hanging around in Draco, was a might easier, and stood out among the background stars.

All I need to do is observe two more comets, and I'll have reached the big 5-0. Yep, I have seen forty-eight comets as of tonight.

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