The night before the Helderberg hike, Friday 19 January, I had an impromptu Comet (and Hamburger) Party, inspired by Willie. We were a group of seven. I discovered that my cottage can handle about seven. More than that would be problematic, unless I figure out how to effectively and neatly “spill outside”.
Anyway, I didn’t really take comet pictures, I left that to my guests. (I still have to collect those.) The picture on the right was taken three days later. (And my best sighting of the comet was two days earlier, I think. Also, no pictures, sorry, which might be why I’m believing it was my best sighting. ) McNaught has already featured as the “Astronomy Picture of the Day” about 10 times. My favourite one (from the APOD collection) was probably the one from 22 January – the picture was actually taken on Friday, same day as our party.
Having this “party” resulted in me being in bed “late”, probably getting less than six hours of sleep. (I typically need my eight, unfortunately.) Followed by the mountain climbing the following day and a wedding that night, gave me a second very late night. So Sunday was a bit of a write-off. I was in Zombie mode, my brain insisting on slumbering all day. That didn’t make me a particularly good conversationalist at lunch, which I had with family and a friend visiting from Mpumalanga. Oops.
Now for some links:
- A nice page all about the comet – it has some headache-causing stereo pics that are fun/challenging to look at (it takes time to recalibrate and focus correctly, I found it helps to focus on Earth’s patterns of continents, and then it takes time to recover normal eyesight again <grin>)
- SpaceWeather.com’s photo gallery
- Southern African photo gallery
- Astronomy Pictures of the Day, January 2007: 5th, 9th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 22nd (my favourite), 24th (what the Northern hemisphere now sees)