I was pretty sure for a while that I wouldn’t be seeing the comet tonight. I’ve at least gone out and looked at it for a few minutes every night for more than a week now, but near sunset it was looking marginal.
Pretty – I like clouds and sunsets – but marginal for comet watching.
It’s okay if I didn’t see the comet again tonight. Sometimes we can all use a night apart.
With the comet getting higher in the sky by 3° or more per day, I knew that it would be up for a longer time after full dark every night, so missing it tonight wouldn’t be the end of the world by any means.
I was ready to write it off, not even bother to look later when it got dark.
By 22:00 it was completely dark, almost two hours after sunset, and the skies were again totally cloudless. The comet was even higher than it had been when I was taking pictures at 21:00 to 21:20 the other night. It’s nice and high, actually above that big pine tree across the street and above those power lines. It’s still remarkably easy to see, given that comets normally fade fairly quickly. This one is hanging on.
It’s barely visible to the naked eye still here in the light-polluted Los Angeles metro area, but still an easy target with the binoculars. It took me a minute or two, but only because I didn’t realize how high it was now. I was scanning the horizon given the hour, but it was up above those wires!
If you’ve got binoculars of any kind, don’t give up if you haven’t seen it yet or it’s been cloudy. You’ve probably got at least a week more, maybe two.