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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Comet watching

I was reading the other day about Comet Holmes, and went out last night about 9:30 to see if i could find it. Even with the streetlights on my block, it was easy.

If you can find Cassiopeia, you can find the comet. Cassiopeia is a large "W" in the northeast sky, turned 90 degrees counter clockwise this time of year, so that it's open on the left side. Follow down from the "W" towards the horizon, and you'll see an obvious triangle of stars. The comet is the one in the lower left corner of the triangle. Even with my poor vision, i could see the difference between it and other stars - no twinkling, a somewhat larger and fuzzier circumference - but with a pair of binoculars its nature was much clearer.

Comets, of course, were long considered harbingers of bad news in the past. What disasters await in the wake of Comet Holmes?



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