Saturday, January 5, 2008

Christmas comet

I promise this blog won't always be about comets. Here at The Cloud we have many interests.

But there's a new comet out there (8p/Tuttle), just below naked eye visablility, that I hope to get out and see as soon as this damn cold subsides. And I saw this beauty - Comet Holmes - over several nights in late October/early December. It brightened a million fold in just over an hour in October 07, and was easily visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch just below and to the right of Cassiopeia. With binocs you could make out a little of the structure. Very pretty.

It's still around now, bigger and dimmer and in pretty much the same place, since it's heading more or less straight away from the earth.

I took the family out to see this one, because it was so bright. The girls said they saw it, but they could have been looking at anything: a star, an airplane, a squirrel, the TV antenna. They're pretty young.

L-Hux and I have been good about teaching them the night sky. I show them the planets when they're out, and they are pretty good at finding them on their own. Though they think everything is Jupiter. And L-hux has begun the delightful tradition of driving us all out to a bluff over the Arkansas river a couple blocks from our house to watch the full moon rise. Not every month, but most. We sit in the car and let the girls play in the front seat (otherwise verboten territory) and see who can spot it first. Fun. Don't now if we are making little amateur astronomers of them or not, but hopefully we are making some memories.

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