Unusual

Standard

I got up early to go to Burgess Hill.  I have never been to Burgess Hill before.  I will probably never go to Burgess Hill again.  I bought velvet and feathers.  I came home with a lighter case.

Later I went comet hunting with the 5″ reflector.  Comet Lovejoy is zooming past Orion and tonight was CLEAR, windless and not (quite) frosty.  First I tried star-hopping, without any success, and was reduced to the most primitive method of all:  use the finder chart to spot a pattern, visualise it on the real sky, point the telescope at the bit you are visualising, and hope.

On this occasion it was a nearly right-angled backwards L with Aldebaran and Rigel at the extremities and Lovejoy (I hoped) at the angle.  Bizarrely, this immediately worked.

Lovejoy didn’t look very exciting, what with the small aperture telescope and a great shouty moon blasting everything out of the sky.  A little fuzzball, no tail of course, blink and you miss it.  Nevertheless, I was smug about finding my comet, even my small scope showed, very faintly, that characteristic green tinge, and it felt good to wave as it passes.

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