Finally! A View of Comet Holmes!

Typical, isn't it? For the few days since news of comet Holmes started doing the rounds it's been cloudy here. Last night I needed to be out for part of the evening, not getting back home until at least 20:30.

Guess what.

Yes, that's right, it's was nice and clear.

However, even while I was out busy doing the thing I needed to be doing I could see that something was wrong in Perseus. I could see there was a star there that shouldn't be there and, unless my eyes were playing tricks on me, it was just a little "fuzzy" when compared to other stars.

When I finally got home it was still clear, just. A huge bank of cloud was rolling in from the west so I had about 15 minutes at the most to get a reasonable view of the comet. I grabbed the Meade 10x50s and headed out into the garden.


Yes, I know, "wow" is one of those words that get easily used when something novel turns up in the sky. But, really, wow! It's quite a sight in the bins. Mostly it reminded me of a very bright planetary nebula, the view reminded me somewhat of when I've observed M57 (although, obviously, it was bigger, more circular, brighter and less ring-like — but you get the idea, right?).

Tonight is looking like it could be another clear night.

Guess what...


Comet Holmes

News of the outburst of comet P/Holmes (17P) sort of caught me out yesterday in that the first news I saw of it turned up just as I was finishing work for the day.

So, this morning saw me trying to catch up with various requests to add or update information on the SPA's website. I won't bother prattling on with all the details, all the usual suspects have already blogged about it some some length, but I just wanted to mention that a thread about the comet is under way on the SPA's BB.

Of course, where I live, it's cloudy and from what I can see at the moment there's little prospect of things clearing up in the next day or so. :-(


Astronomical Art

Equal to astronomy in my lists of interests is photography. As with astronomy, I won't claim to be terribly good at it, but it amuses me, it's something that you can keep on learning and, most important of all, it keeps me out of trouble...

Recently I started making use of a site known as RedBubble. I now use it on the off chance that someone might want a print of one of my photographs. I've even had a photograph appear in their featured section (oh, yeah, and I've bought work from there too).

The astronomy connection?

RedBubble is still very much in development and one of the features they added recently was groups (anyone who has ever used Flickr will be familiar with the idea). Last week I got to thinking that there should probably be an astronomy group.

Now there is.

It's early days, and there have been a couple of hiccups (generally people not getting what astronomy-related work really means — but people have been cool about having works removed from the group), but it seems to be coming alone pretty well.

So, if you're on RedBubble and you're reading this, please do join (even if you don't have works to add to the group there's the discussion forum waiting for people to natter about astronomy stuff). If you're not on RedBubble and you've got work you'd like to add why not sign up and come join in? On top of that, if you're looking for some astronomy related works to hang on your walls, or you're just looking for a neat astronomy related card, have a look at what's kicking about at the moment.

You can even own a copy of the back of my head (as featured on Bad Astronomy, so it must be good <g>).


Battlestar Galactica

I adore the new take on Battlestar Galactica. No kidding, I think it's one of the best, if not the best, SciFi TV series ever made.

Really, it's not just good, it's very good. Amazingly good. So good I don't know how to actually say how good it is.

In other words, I quite like it.

It's the start of a new month. Often, at the start of a new month, when I look at the monthly stats for my websites, I'll find forums out there who are hot linking to images that I host. This annoys me (mostly because the person who has done this is, in effect, "stealing" bandwidth) and I generally go and do something about it. I do, however, try and make a point of seeing what's going on first.

Now you're wondering what this has to do with BSG. Well, last night, I was checking the stats for my astronomy site and I saw some hits from the forums on SciFi.com (before now I don't think I knew they had any, but it makes sense). Thinking that it might be someone hot-linking I went to have a look.

I found that the links came from this thread. Seems that a bunch of people are geeking out over where the colonial fleet are "currently" located. Someone had even gone to the trouble of trying and find a map or two that relates to a chart that is seen in one of the episodes. And this is where the two things link up: Where do they go to get their chart? Here! :-D

Of course, within the universe of the show, there are massive problems with that. As someone in the thread points out:

This makes finding where they are even trickier... Unless the colonies were in OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, there's no way that they could possibly have the same star maps...unless the prop department just grabbed a bunch of star charts (which since they were two dimensional ground perspective maps would be virtually useless in interstellar navigation...) and told the actor to "point there"... Which once again worries me that the writers have no idea where they are...
(which had me laughing out loud for a number of reasons — props? They use props!?! On a TV show!?!?! <g>).

So, yeah, I got a bit of a kick out of that. A bunch of people geeking out over the finer points of a SciFi TV show (which I totally get, I totally get the geeking out thing) and they've done so while referring to something on one of my sites.

In my little geeky world I find that cool. ;-)