SUWANNEE SKIES OBSERVATORY
OLD TOWN, FL
I got up well before Oh Dark Thirty this morning (11/13). I think it was
Oh Cold Dark Hundred, about 0400E Eastern time. The skies were absolutely
superb. Dark, crystal clear, and steady, at least through binoculars.
Jupiter was almost directly overhead, outshining nearby Castor and Pollux.
I took the 15x45IS Canon Binocular to the SE corner of the South Meadow,
and quickly found Comet Lovejoy R1 just north of mu Leonis, at the back
of Leo's head. The comet is fairly bright and shows a tail of perhaps half
a degree in the usual anti-solar direction.
I then sought out Comet ISON above Spica , I first found ISON on Monday
morning. ISON has grown brighter, and shows a stubby tail. The nucleus
resembles a slightly out-of-focus globular cluster, with a smooth rather
than grainy appearance, and perhaps a slight tint of blue.
I took a moment to enjoy the very evident triangle of Zodiacal Light
running from the ESE horizon to perhaps 45 - 50 degrees along the
ecliptic. I've seen it stretch even farther on some evenings a Chiefland,
but this was impressive enough.
I noticed things were beginning to lose contrast, and it dawned on me.
(Sorry!) I was able to observe tiny Mercury peek above the Eastern tree
line, lined up beneath Mars and Jupiter along the ecliptic. It appeared to
be about half lit, like the Moon at First Quarter.
I had intended to try for Comets 2P Encke and Linear X1, but the sky had
brightened too much. I will keep trying, if the weather permits, until
Full Moon and thereafter.
I hope the skies are treating you well. I'd love to hear about your
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