Friday, 18 June 2010

Comet, etc

England v Algeria in the World Cup is on ITV1 and the match is so good, I am typing this. Yes, it is terrible and England are embarrassingly woeful. It's a pity that assistant coach David Beckham can't go on, even in his nicely cut suit he'd play better than this lot. In fact my grandmother would do better than Rooney et al, and she's been dead for nine years.

I did manage to get out and observe Comet C/2009 R1 McNaught the other night, I set my alarm for 0200 and was actually able to get out of bed to do so. I can't usually get up early to go observing, but as this comet is only around for a short while, I made myself get up. I had to walk up the footpath in front of the house to get clear of the trees blocking the view of Perseus (which is why I used my 8x42 binoculars and not a telescope) which the comet is currently passing through. It took me a while to see it as the sky was not that dark (it is June at 50 degrees north, after all), there was a lot of murk in the sky and, hence, a lot of skyglow. The comet was faint and round and I could not see the tail.

My car passed its MOT with no problems today, although yesterday I noticed a judder in the clutch. However this type of electronically-controlled manual gearbox called a 'Sensodrive' is known for clutch judder, so I am hoping it is not a problem. Anyway, the car not needing anything done to it means I can begin saving for the 18" Dob I want to get. I have two months worth of work starting on the 24th, although it won't be anywhere near enough to save up all the nearly £3000 needed, it'll be a start. Providing work keeps coming I should be able to save the money in 6-7 months.
I had been doing a separate blog for the Herschel 400 project, but I have decided to bin it and just put the posts here, after all I am duplicating 99% of the stuff and that's pretty pointless, so I am just going to keep it all on this one.


  1. I like the blog! And I know how you feel dragging out at 2 AM to observe that comet...did it myself twice this week.

    Just know that your friends here is the USA are quite happy that England and Algeria played to a tie today...keeps hope alive after that ridiculous phantom call that withdrew the USA's winning goal against Slovenia!

  2. You've done better than me on seeing the Comet. We have had two nights of just fantastic skies sans the moon but I've been sick and just can't get out. Congrats on the observatory and on saving for a new scope. Also, it makes sense to combine the H-400 I think with your blog here.

  3. Alan, thanks for the comments. Yeah, getting up at 2am is no joke, especially with work later on in the morning!
    England were truly abysmal last night but if they win against Slovenia - which I doubt on the evidence of the past two games - they go through. I hope USA go through; if they do and England don't then I'll be hoping USA progress in the tournament.

    Jay, sorry to hear you've been sick. I read your blog post and that condition is a nasty one, I know people with it. I also read that you are getting a 20" - congratulations!
    I am hoping the shed for the observatory shows up soon, it was ordered two weeks ago, so it should be a week or less before it arrives. I want to get it put up before late July so all's ready before the dark skies come round again.


Please feel free to leave a comment. However, bare in mind that all comments are moderated, so any spam or offensive material will be deleted. Thanks.