January 03, 2005

Happy New Year + Comet Machholz

Happy New Year!

There's a new comet passing by and I finally found a clear night to check it out. I went out about 9:15pm tonight, found the Pleiades and moved the binoculars down and to the right a couple fields-of-view. When moving, the "fuzzy blob" is fairly easy to notice. As usual these things are FAR more pretty in the pictures you can get online--it's just a grey, fuzzy blob in my binoculars. I couldn't see the tail from my light-polluted back yard.

The comet will be moving towards the Pleiades over the next couple days. Perhaps it will get a noticable tail. The finder chart from Sky & Telescope should help with locating. Just click here.

Although not that impressive, its a nice reminder of our tiny little place in the overall universe... Consider our solar system as a little bubble a light-year across (that's overly generous, but bear with me). Then consider that our galaxy is 100,000 of those little bubbles in diameter. It's something like a million bubbles to the next-closest galaxy. And there are billions of galaxies out there.

What a collosal waste of space if it is all created only for us.

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