I can’t get last night out of my head! Last night was incredibly exciting for me, as I’ve already written – so much so that I’m already making plans for tonight!
Comet Gerradd is visible in the sky tonight, almost directly overhead in the early evening. The weather is expected to be clear, so I’ll be out in my front yard with the telescope (and some bug spray!) hoping to spot it. I’m getting better at identifying the constellations – I can’t always name them, but I do recognize them – and that’ll help me find the comet itself as it’s to the east of Hercules, and to the south of Cygnus.
There’s also M13, a globular cluster of around 300,000 stars located inside constellation Hercules, which should actually be a smidge brighter than Gerradd tonight. I don’t know how well the telescope will resolve the cluster, but if I’m lucky it’ll look like a big mess of stars – sort of what a globular cluster implies, isn’t it?
If anyone wants to hang out with me tonight, you know where I live. I’m going to try and erect some sort of simple barrier against the street lamp right next to the house as its light interferes a bit with the eyepiece on the telescope. I’ll probably just move the car to an advantageous spot and set up shop. I’ve got bug spray, so the legions of mosquitoes should leave us alone.
Meanwhile, tomorrow night should be enjoyable – the International Space Station will be orbiting almost directly overhead, and will be visible for about 6 minutes as it rises from the horizon and passes into the shadow of the Earth. Scarlett is going to come out with me and watch – I don’t know how well the telescope will do with it (probably would prefer binoculars in this instance), but at the very least we should be able to watch it with our eyes. She’s super excited – when I told her what we were going to do tomorrow night, she actually squealed in delight! I hope it lives up!