Saturday, October 27, 2007

Go see Comet Holmes.

If it's clear where you are, go outside right now and see Comet Holmes with your eyeballs, even with a nearly full moon nearby and even if you live in a horribly light polluted city. Binoculars will help, but you can see the comet with just your eyes right now, although it looks just like a star.

Look to the Northeast. Capella is the bright white star. Look up further towards the zenith to a compact triangle of stars, with the brightest star on the top apex. That star is Mirfak. Comet Holmes is the one on the lower left, the one closest to the line between Mirfak and Capella. Tonight, Capella and the moon form the bottom two points of a skinny-ish trapezoid, with Mirfak and Algol the top two.

Binoculars will reveal the star as a glowing blob, much bigger than the nearly stellar yellow object I saw on Wednesday. A telescope will reveal a stellar nucleus and a glowing blob surrounding it, getting bigger every day.

Finding charts (albeit poor in magnitude distinction are here)
. Sky and Telescope has one too--just move Capella up higher in the sky the later in the evening. A report here

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I saw it! It was a grayish blob in my binoculars.