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.