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Tuesday, January 16 2007

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Another Camera

When I got home from work, Yuko was brandishing another new camera which she bought today. It's a Pentax SLR and Yuko named it "Penny". She hasn't bought a lens for it yet - the one attached is on loan from the camera shop...

Yuko with the Pentax Box
Canny and Penny

Comet C/2006 P1

I've been very slack in recent years with regard to astronomy, which used to be my main hobby. So it was almost as an afterthought that I decided to go outside tonight to try to see The Comet. I got home from work at about 7.30pm and did a quick bit of googling to find out where to look.

In past times I would have looked up the RA/Dec coordinates and plotted it on a star chart to work out the precise spot to look in the sky. But there was no time for that as sunset was approaching. So I had to settle for a picture and description of the position that I found on this website.

The diagram I used to locate the comet

The website said it was 10 degrees above the sun at sunset, which would have made it easy, if not for the fact that the sun was already too low to see, and it was not obvious from the remaining twilight where the sun was. And being only 10 degrees from the sun I knew the sky would be too bright to see any stars nearby - so I couldn't use them as a reference either.

But I borrowed Yuko's 350D SLR camera and her big fancy lens, stuck it on my second heaviest tripod and walked across the road into the college where there was a reasonable view of the western horizon. I plonked the tripod on the grass and began scanning the horizon with my trusty 12x50 binoculars.

And lo! I found the comet almost immediately, quite low and close to the tree-tops. I took a few pictures, but the sky was still quite bright making it difficult to get good contrast.

The camera
The position of the comet


In the series below, the first and third images have had their contrast increased after shooting, and the first one has also been blown up by a factor of 2.

From Message
Laughing Mole
5480 Days Ago
I saw the comet too. I've sent you a couple of pics.

From Message
A Poster
3549 Days Ago
Due to excessive comment spam, messages must await approval by the Webslave (Noswonky) before being displayed.

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