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Looking for Lovejoy…

Had no luck looking for Lovejoy (was that a Hue and Cry song? Hmmm, maybe not…) last night, thanks to a combination of rubbish weather and light pollution. Look at this panorama I took from inside Kendal Castle – it’s a wonder we ever see *anything*…

pano19

My own fault, really, going up to the castle at 11pm when there was just a bare hint of a gap in the clouds, but you know me, ever the optimist, I couldn’t help myself. And when I finally got up there, having splodged and trudged up the muddy hillside, there were just enough star-filled gaps drifting over the castle to keep me there for an hour or so… but none of those gaps drifted over the comet, so I never saw it, and headed back down around midnight. And finally my luck ran out and I went flying when the mud beneath my boots gave way. The things we do for astronomy, eh?

Comet Lovejoy is still being enjoyed by experienced amateurs with big telescopes and cameras, and some truly stunning photos are being taken by astro-photographers now, but to be honest it’s getting harder to see now for beginners because the big, bright Moon is getting bigger and brighter each night, drowning out the comet’s faint light. Here in Cumbria the weather has turned evil again, and all my weather forecasting apps agree that the chances of Comet Lovejoy being glimpsed in the Cumbrian sky are about the same as the chances of me watching the head-shakingly disappointing 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special again. But if you live in a part of the country or the (northern) world where the clouds are predicted to part, here’s a chart to help you find the comet…

FC Dec 31 - jan 4

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3 Responses

  1. Brilliant panoramic btw.

  2. I wonder how many people got your “Looking For Lovejoy” joke, Stu? Apart from the members of Hue & Cry, my friend Linda got it and smiled wryly, adding, “The Moon’s always getting in the way these days…”

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