Ian Pike 10 a.m., Dec. 9
In the House of Gemini
There is a comet in my house. ISON is inbound and Saturday night we are going to hunt that dog. The 22" Lipp is the gun were using and the prey is said to potentially be the brightest comet in a century...
Right now it's dot on the background of a photographic plate. Or for us digital geeks a long exposure for a dusty mote at best, but we are going to shoot it anyway. Right now its moving about 9 arc minutes per hour across the background sky. That is pretty fast for a big pile of ice, gas, and rubble. Could make a great movie if we can get 8 hours worth of shots in one night.
I am a Gemini according to the horoscope. At least that's true this Millinea, though I am not so sure about a few 1000 back. But I digress. Given that the comet is currently in my house, I feel its necessary to capture it with a few pictures this weekend. Conditions are not for the faint of heart. First you drive 85 miles out to the desert mountains, and then hunt around for the compound to get in. Then you put up with rural 4000 foot desert conditions for the next 8-12 hours. Bring water.
Saturday it will hover around 22 degrees at the Lipp Observatory after sunset. Cameras like the cold, so do the scopes, humans not so much. We will need at least 6 hours worth of pictures to make a simple movie of the comets movement. That is a quite a bit of standing around in the cold.
Did I mention that it will be COLD?
We need Hot Chocolate and moral support. This is where YOU come in. If you feel like joining us, your invited to come out TDS for a visit and watch us bag a comet. Feel free to call 858-877-3103 if your up for the visit. We like to warn you in person before you venture out. It's going to be cold.