Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Comet Holmes shines above the street lamps

Comet Holmes above the NYC street lampSession name: 20071106.2000

Skies cleared up after the rain where a naked eye limiting magnitude was in the neighborhood of magnitude 5. Comet Holmes continues to be seen naked eye from New York City, even from well lit spots in the city. Find some shade if you can and look toward Mirfak to see an obvious non-stellar object nearby.

Artists' Rock, an outcrop of Manhattan Schist behind Artists' Gate is not the ideal place to observe from (view of area) yet this photo shows a good likeness of the night sky with acute vision unaided. The four brighter stars of Alpha Persei Association show between Mirfak and delta Per.

The comet continues grow in size, my estimate based on ~7 comet diameters to in the 22x60 binoculars' 2.1° field of view is about 18'. The brightness profile consists of an evenly illuminated central condensation surrounded by a paler ring. The coma is about 3 central condensation diameters across. The psuedonucleus was not detected. In acsii it could appear like __/---\__

Its location has moved west, north of west, morphing the right triangle it created with Mirfak and delta Per last week to a flat isosceles.

I find the observation with 7x50 binoculars to be the most pleasing. It takes in the large, richer field of stars that contrast sharply with this dandelion interloper, ready for a breath of air to blow it apart.

Another pleasing view was the Double Cluster observed in the Tak bins. Framed nicely the clusters reveal the stardust that clings around some of the brighter stars; all the while sitting on a bed of uneven faint light.

Marked up photo || unmarked photo

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