Astronomers for a day

January 14, 2007

On Thursday, we had yet another snow day following the evening ice and snow. The upside (aside from the obvious prettiness outside and cozyness in) was that we were home at sunset, and able to climb up the hill to try to get a look at Comet McNaught. There'd been a blurb in the paper calling this the brightest comet since Hale-Bopp, and which instructed you to look more or less "at" the sun right after sunset. For the first twenty minutes or so, we didn't see anything. It was a gorgeous, cold evening though, and Kevin and I spent a good while at the top of the hill admiring the scenery. Kevin got some great Olympic mountain photos - click for a bigger, prettier version where you can see the snow on the peaks.

Just as we were assuming that the comet was hidden by the hills, it got dark enough to see it. It was clearly visible to the naked eye, though if I hadn't known where to look, I probably would have missed it. The photos were a little bit harder to see. Try clicking on this photo to enlarge it, and then look in the center of the photo. (To the left of and above the three slim branches on the horizon)

See it? Here's a zoom-in:

Friday and Saturday were both cloudy, so it was fun to have the chance to see it while it was still around!



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