Posts Tagged: comet

Tidbits for Your Weekend

Photo of Pear blossom taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

I have been collecting links for about a month now, some of these you may have already seen but enjoy the ones you have not yet read:

From the Stories, Myth, and Fiction Beat:

Tor.com’s short fiction and poetry series: Nevertheless, She Persisted containing the marvelous The Jump Rope Rhyme by Jo Walton, plus many others

A morning coffee break in the woods, with good companions

Four Kinds of Dystopia

The Fairy Tales of Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron

From The Science Beat:

Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles with the Great Bear : Get out your binoculars and look for the comet in the next two weeks.

New Way to Fight Superbugs Found in Noxious Weed : When folk medicine helps fight MRSA

A Medical Marvel : Wherein reviewing old manuscripts yields a 1000 year old eye cure from Bald’s Leechbook, an Anglo-Saxon medical recipe book.

The Very Drugged Nazis : What is says on the tin

Gotta See It! Four Planets Directly Imaged In Motion Around The Star HR 8799

Researchers create ‘time crystals’ envisioned by Princeton scientists : How about adding a little time to your crystal molecules?

The Education Beat:

And for centuries, segregated by age but never by background, all students congregate in the large meeting room for their 40 minutes of quiet reflection every week. While the meetings always begin in silence, they can eventually be punctuated by the thoughts of anyone in the room who has something to share.

School officials concede that the meeting is sometimes viewed as an imposition by younger students, but say this tends not to be a lasting attitude.

“Invariably, when alums come back here, the thing they say they miss the most is our weekly meeting,” said Travis Larrabee, the high school director. “In what other part of society do you sit in silence with 500 other people?” – Before Matt Ryan’s Ascent, a Quiet Grounding in the Quaker Way

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required

In Hillsdale College, a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for Conservatives

The question remains is it possible to have a liberal great books education that builds on the western canon and adds in a diverse array of women, POC, the 20th Cent, and post-modernism? I know so. I learned it at Scripps College from 1986-1988.

Comet Catalina and the Big Dipper

Comet Catalina and the Big Dipper
Close up of Comet Catalina
The Stellarium map to Comet Catalina

Mon 01.18.16 – Yesterday, the 17th of January, Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) was closest to Earth before it departs for the outer solar system.

For the last few evenings, I have been duly trotting out around 10 or 11pm to see if the cloud cover has cleared enough for me to see the rising of the Big Dipper in the northeast.

Last night, I got fairly lucky with a patchy sky and the sky opened up to mostly clear in the northeast. The first photo above is my photo of the rising of the Big Dipper, the second photo is a cropped close up to show the small fuzzy turquoise cotton ball that my camera captured of Comet Catalina (top left middle), and the third photo is a screenshot from Stellarium to map out / illustrate where one would find Comet Catalina in the sky last night at the time I took the photo.

Not too spectacular, but I was shooting with my 50mm lens and not my telescope. Through my binoculars, I could see a faint tail. Very faint.

Photos taken with by Jenifer Hanen with her Nikon D800 camera and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.

Comet Panstarrs and the New Moon

03.12.13 - Comet Panstarrs and the New Moon

Photo taken on Tues 03.12.13 in Huntington Beach by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a 85mm f1.8 lens.

Tues 03.12.13 – For the last few days, marine inversion mists permitting, I have gone to a west facing beach or cliff to look for Comet PANSTARRS in the 30-45 minutes after the sunset.
This evening was the first evening that I was able to get a photo of the Comet, above just to the left of the moon. I was so excited to see the comet clearly on the view screen of my Nikon, as the comet was not visible to the naked eye but only visible through binoculars.
Saturday evening, my Dad and I went to the Point Vincente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. While we saw a few whales through the binoculars, listened to a wedding reception in progress, we did not see the comet at all as its position on the low western horizon was right in the marine fog bank off the coast.
Sunday evening, two nights ago, my Dad and I drove down to the Huntington Cliffs just above Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, and waited for the comet to appear a bit higher on the horizon above the shipping lanes just between the northwest end of Catalina Island and Point Fermin in San Pedro. We were able to see the comet just above a big oil tanker and passed the binoculars around for others to find it. I had no luck with getting any pictures, as I had my Nokias’s with 26mm lenses and a sharp 50mm lens on my Nikon.
Last night, I was very tired and just walked out to the River’s End here in Seal Beach and did not see any comet at all due to the big fog bank sitting off the coast that extended about 20 degrees into the sky. I could barely see Sirius the dog star in the southern sky through the fog bank and Sirius is our brightest local star.
Tonight, after a long day at Lukas’s first birthday lunch party and a slog through the 405 southbound traffic, I decided to not go out as I could see how misty the ocean air was. But just as the sun set, I noticed the mist cleared up here in Seal Beach, so I loaded my gear into the car and drove as fast as possible down to the Huntington Cliffs.
As I arrived in the Dog Beach/Huntington Cliffs parking lot, I saw that a lot of other folks where already there with binoculars, cameras on tripods, and one guy with a large fat telescope. I parked myself at the end of the line up of folks at the cliff’s railing, looked out saw a beautiful crescent / new moon, lifted my binoculars and there she was: Comet PANSTARRS!
After struggling to set up my creaky, elderly tripod, I started taking photos with my Nikon 85mm f1.8D portrait lens, and a fine portrait of the comet I got. I passed my binoculars to a family next to me so that they and the kids could see the comet, while I took another six good photos of the moon, the comet, and the shipping lane with San Pedro on the far right.
The above photo is cropped and a bit corrected in Lightroom. The larger, non-cropped, non-corrected version is up on my flickr stream.
If you want to try to see Comet PANSTARRS, go out tonight through Friday, to a western facing vantage point just after sunset, take binoculars, look for the moon and there will be the comet.