Friday, January 19, 2007

not my time with McNaught

I missed the whole McNaught thing, observing wholly on the Internet.

This past Tuesday (1/17), Ben a fellow TotL'er issued an unexpected invite to observe daytime McNaught. I was sort of caught off guard not knowing where the comet was or if it was daytime object. Work has occupied a better part of my days that I didn't think I could steal away at lunch. As luck would have it, time freed up and I met Ben at Bryant Park. He had his TV-76 and I with my Takahashi bins.

In short, Bryant Park was not an agreeable place since the horizon consists of rooftop cornices rising easily to 30° in the lower parts. Tree branches confused the field of view with the unfocused shadows tangled with the bluish, white sky. Ben & I tried from various spots with the park but we agreed that if it was visible it was below the rooftops.

Kin would report later in the day that he was unable to see it in binoculars from Union Square Park. I assume his horizon was better.

When we abandoned that hunt, our attention turned to Venus. In the scope, binoculars, and fleetingly naked eye we stood and observed Venus while talking of old & current times. I didn't turn my attention to Mercury and I pretty much ignored the Sun, using our star as a landmark to measure off to Venus - almost a full handspan, pinky to thumbtip (then curl thumbtip in to subtract 2°) separation.

I have missed events in the past primarily due to weather. This year it was due to schedule and priorities - hmmmm.

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