Thursday, April 20, 2006

Comet frustration

I spent about an hour last night in my heavily light-polluted backyard trying to locate Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann—to no avail. I swear I was looking in the right place, according to the May 2006 Sky & Telescope charts, but no dice. I started a bit early and had to wait for the appropriate region of the sky to rise above the treeline across the street. But I figured it should have been a short hop away from alpha CrB, right? And according to S&T, it ought to be around Mag 7 by now. I just didn't see anything that looked like a comet. I figure one of the following went wrong:

1) I was looking in the wrong place (not too likely)
2) Light pollution washed the sky out too much
3) The comet might be largish, making for a low surface brightness
4) The TV-60 just doesn't have enough photon-gathering power for this object

or some combination thereof.

And to top it all off, the smell of lilacs near the deck was so cloying as to induce mild nausea. I never have cared for perfume.


At 5:12 PM, Blogger Tag said...

I share your pain!! Hopefully go out tonight and look again. I am suspecting that #3 on your list is what troubles us (well me) here in the city. Some are reporting in mid-8 magnitudes and I think that's detectable.
better luck to you.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Yeah, I might wait until later when it's higher in the sky, too. And possibly break out the 8" SCT, if I'm feeling energetic.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Tag said...

yep, aperture's part of the solution for us bright sky folks.
The next time I try (if near future) I'll have to be bring something bigger than 4". It's just not cutting it.


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