Cometary Sunday

COMET STREAKS PAST EARTH THIS WEEKEND: Comet 46P/Wirtanen is approaching Earth for an historic encounter on Dec. 16th–one of the 10 closest comet flybys of the Space Age. Where should you look? Face in the same direction as the windmill:

Andy Horstmanshoff took the picture outside Lovelock, Nevada, on Dec. 14th. “Comet 46P/Wirtanen is the green blob in front of the windmill,” he says. “The stars of Orion and Taurus framed the comet beautifully in the crystal clear sky of Nevada’s high desert.”

You might expect such a nearby comet to be very bright. It’s not. 46P/Wirtanen is a small comet and, thus, barely visible to the unaided eye despite its proximity. Rural observers describe it as a faint misty cloud about the size of a full Moon, best seen using averted vision. Urban sky watchers have almost no chance of seeing it through city lights.

It is, nevertheless, an easy target for digital cameras. Even a short exposure reveals the comet’s spherical form and emerald green hue. “My picture is a 20s exposure,” says Horstmanshoff. “I used a Canon 5D MK III camera set at 5000 ISO.”

This weekend, Comet 46P/Wirtanen may be found in the constellation Taurus shooting the gap between the Pleiades and Aldebaran. A good time to look is just before midnight when the Bull is climbing high in the southern sky.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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20 Responses to Cometary Sunday

  1. Micki says:

    Is the number of departures typical or excessive for an administration at this point?

    Who’s out of the White House
    From wire reports

    WASHINGTON Notable firings and resignations from President Donald Trump’s White House since he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, starting with the most recent.

    A Dec. 15: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (effective at end of 2018)

    A Dec. 8: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (effective at end of 2018)

    A Nov. 7: Attorney General Jeff Sessions

    A Oct. 17: White House Counsel Don McGahn

    A Oct. 7: Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (effective at end of 2018)

    A July 5: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt

    A April 10: Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert

    A March 28: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin

    A March 22: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster

    A March 13: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

    A March 6: Economic adviser Gary Cohn

    A Feb. 28: Communications director Hope Hicks

    A Feb. 7: Staff secretary Rob Porter

    A Dec. 13, 2017: Communications director for the White House Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault Newman

    A Sept. 29, 2017: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price

    A Aug. 25, 2017: National security aide Sebastian Gorka

    A Aug. 18, 2017: Chief strategist Steve Bannon

    A July 31, 2017: Communications director Anthony Scaramucci

    A July 28, 2017: Chief of staff Reince Priebus

    A July 21, 2017: Press secretary Sean Spicer

    A May 9, 2017: FBI Director James Comey

    A Feb. 13, 2017: National security adviser Michael Flynn


  2. Den says:

    High speed revolving door, next; Elf on a shelf.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    Don’t see the green blob.


  4. °¿º Carol says:

    Some sun around 3:00 until sunset. Actual stars visible tonight. Maybe I’ll mosey out there later to look for the comet I’m sure I’ll never see.

    Had a nice time at the Wooden Nickel with Jill, her friend Laura and her daughter Sarah, and neighbor Joe from down the road stopped by. Joe is everyone’s friend in the area. I doubt there is anyone he doesn’t know out here. He is our neighbor, only a mile away, he knew Bob, of course. He gave me a couple good hugs which I really liked. I miss being hugged.


    • Micki says:

      I get it. Being hugged is a human need for some of us.

      Carol … I’ve tried to send you an email a gazillion times since yesterday when I picked up my USPS mail, but I keep getting some sort of message that “the server” is no responding. I don’t know if that means yours or mine…however, I’m able to send emails to others with no problems.

      Thank you for the Carol-fully designed greeting! Very cute!

      Peace, joy, contentment…and happiness to you!


  5. David B. Benson says:

    TVD bridge route in 54 minutes. Some interesting Xmas lights arranged to look a bit like Santa sitting in his sleigh.


  6. Micki says:


    The wind is picking up (again!) with a vengeance.


  7. Micki says:

    I went to a Holiday Open House this afternoon. One fellow there sported quite the sweater…all decked out with Xmas reindeer, a tree, couple of presents….then he hit a switch in his pocket and it lit up…well, it lit up like a Christmas tree! Hope he doesn’t go out in the rain! 😉


  8. Den says:

    Sporadic rainfall, 40 to 50 outside, indoors 69, fed & warm, LIG!


  9. Den says:

    Belly up to the Bar Santa!


  10. Micki says:

    Is he that stupid?

    Trump suggests court should determine whether it’s legal for SNL to belittle him.


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