Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Celestial visitor

Astrophotographers around the world were waiting last week for Comet Machholz's pleasing pairing with the Pleiades. In my neck of the woods, it was overcast for much of last week, so I didn't get to view it. For anyone else who missed out, here is a beautiful photograph of the event from British astrophotographer Pete Lawrence.

Tonight the clouds are gone. I went back out to take another look, this time with the telescope. To my delight, I was able to locate the comet with the naked eye, although it is hardly conspicuous. Through the eyepiece of the telescope, it glowed gently, humming along its slow arc. Thanks Don -- well spotted!

UPDATE -- an even more spectacular photo at APOD!