New moon


16 Responses to “New moon”

  1. Just_Ok says:

    It may be a new moon, but it’s still really old.

  2. relawson says:

    I hate living near the city. I miss things like this all the time :(

    I got the transit of Venus, though! Daylight cosmic event w00t! :D

  3. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Damn you, 11,000-foot peak standing one mile to my west.

    • niktemadur says:

      San Jacinto is usually one of the good guys, but in this case you’ll make an exception?

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        It’s a beautiful view, but it precludes viewing astronomical phenomena that take place at sunset. Also not helped by the ten trillion watt light on the Tram House.

        • niktemadur says:

          Really?  I thought the tram only operated until sunset or so.  Then again, last time I was in the area was late 97.
          That tram.  It’s incredible going from pool weather to snowy forest in 15 minutes.

          However, take away the mountain, and the Riverside/San Bernardino/LA glare would surely impede any quality star gazing.

  4. I stood out in the cold for a couple hours… I thought the comet was going to be between the moon and the horizon, and that it would be larger than the moon’s disc. I never saw it, and went home disappointed; damn.

  5. niktemadur says:

    At sunset on Tuesday, four of us were scanning the horizon for the moon, it took me AGES to find it, a very thin and dim sliver.  Then I pointed it out to my friends, yet they still couldn’t see it, it took them a while.
    Then we got to work and party at the same time:  I’ve got an 8″ Dobsonian (reflector) beauty, my friend has a smaller refractor but with very high quality optics.  We saw Panstarrs easily with the scopes, but not at all with the naked eye.
    After the comet, there was still Jupiter and the Orion Nebula to gawk at close to the zenith, then the fog kicked into high gear.
    All in all, it was a wonderful little amateur astronomy session.

  6. chellberty says:

    For me, it’s solar or nothing

  7. glatt1 says:

    Awesome picture!  Good job, Rob Pfile!

  8. planettom says:

    The comet is a lot easier to see from the surface of Mercury.  Argh!
    I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!

    • niktemadur says:

      Not quite.  If you were watching the comet, you’d be on the dark side, frozen solid at under -300ºF.
      And since Mercury is “tidally locked”, there you’d remain, on the night side forever.

      • planettom says:

        I hate to nitpick, but everything you wrote here is wrong.
        The image above is a (roughly) accurate depiction of what the comet would have looked like from Mercury on March 14th.
        Numbers from the Minor Planet Center, plugged into the Starry Night astronomy program.
        The comet reached perihelion on March 10th.  At that point it was .302 AU from the Sun.
        Mercury was .4 AU, so the comet was closer to the Sun than Mercury ever gets (.307 AU)
        Today, March 15th, Mercury is .425 AU from the Sun.   The comet is .344 AU from the Sun, so it’s still closer to the Sun than Mercury.  Heading back out into the black, for another hundred thousand years or so.
        Here’s what the Sun would have looked like from the comet on March 10th perihelion:
        Finally, Mercury is not tidally locked.  This was proven by radar observations in 1965.

        • niktemadur says:

          Holy frijoles, one learns something new every day.  Or in this case, unlearns.
          From Wikipedia, …three rotations about its axis for every two orbits.  Check, ya got me.

          The original brunt of what I tried to say, and failed miserably at it, was that Panstarrs was probably impossible to view from the sun-facing side of Mercury, and what a sun that would be!  But then again, with virtually no atmosphere to disperse light, Panstarrs might after all be visible from there.  Maybe, I don’t know.

          I did however, get Mercury’s night side temperature roughly correct, it’s closer to -280º.
          One out of three ain’t… no wait, that’s not good at all. Unless it’s baseball, then I’d be a millionaire.

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