Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Night Sky

The last few days the night sky has been phenominal. My neighbor and I have been walking the dogs on the MUP. While the moon is still low, it is easy to find the little dipper, orion, and especially the comet, 17P/Holmes.

Comet Holmes lies in Perseus the Hero and is visible all night from most of the Northern Hemisphere. It is about 35° high - one-third of the way up from the horizon - at 6 P.M. local time. By 11 P.M. the comet climbs directly overhead and to the naked eye it appears as a modestly bright, small round cloud of about 3rd magnitude.

No one knows how long the outburst will last. Comet Holmes could remain a naked eye object for several weeks, and may even undergo a second outburst. At any rate, the comet is worth watching!

I was very tempted to get the bike out last night, but my legs were very sore from kickboxing class. The class really pushes legs to their limits. I had to stop a few times because my legs were toasted.

The class has really improved my racquetball game. The leg strength, lateral movements and cardio work has given me quite an edge over my playing partners. Getting to the ball quicker also makes it much easier to choose shots as opposed to just returning the ball. My win percentage is creeping up.

On those cold crips nights, take a walk, or ride, and take the time to look at the sky. You may get hooked.

A fun beginners site to get acquainted with the constallations is >The Night Sky.

A video link of tonights sky is shown at Amazing Space.

Google Earth also has a pretty good video link for kids, but adults can also get lots from the video and it's links.

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