Photos: More West Seattle comet-watching tonight

March 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm | In Skies Over West Seattle, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(Photo by Paul, added 9:45 pm)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:38 PM: Last night, Comet PanSTARRS was briefly visible in a gap between the clouds – and that might be the case again tonight, reports Alice Enevoldsen of Alice’s Astro Info fame and author of “Skies Over West Seattle” updates on WSB – so she’s planning to be on the south end of Lincoln Park at 8 pm. We’ll update if there’s a sighting! (And if you can’t join Alice at the park, the graphic in her March SOWS report shows you where to look.)

9:48 PM UPDATE: Sightings reported! First photo in is courtesy of Paul – added atop this story.

ADDED SUNDAY MORNING: Two photos from Alice’s husband Jason Gift Enevoldsen:

Jason reports that Alice couldn’t get to the beach so he led the comet-viewing there instead:

I took a couple scopes and some binoculars and set up at the south end of the beach again. There was soon a small crowd and we all enjoyed the significantly-improved views tonight – fewer clouds and steadier air (despite the wind). … Many of us were even able to make out the comet without optical aid. The effect was very similar to the second photo below near the top-center, sort of like a tiny speck of dust stuck to your glasses – difficult to see at first and fuzzy, but once you’ve spotted it, it was hard to ignore. I think we probably had about 15-20 people total who stopped by, all ages, and took a chance to view it. We had fun while it lasted; the clouds came in quickly around 8:45 pm, only about 10 minutes before the comet would have set behind the mountains anyway.

What about Sunday night? We’ll see how things look when sunset approaches!

SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: If there’s a significant break in the clouds, Alice plans to be out at the south end of Lincoln Park beach around 7:45 tonight for comet- and Northern Lights-watching. You can also watch her Twitter account for updates.

10 Comments

  1. Just saw it with binoculars. (Thanks to hubby) But now it’s visible with naked eyes.

    Comment by Sean — 8:16 pm March 16, 2013 #

  2. Visible naked eye now. Nice tail thru binoculars

    Comment by Myles — 8:20 pm March 16, 2013 #

  3. Shoot – just heard about this and went out to look, but couldn’t find it through any of the gaps in the clouds. I might dash out there again before I go to bed, just in case…

    Comment by Trileigh — 9:19 pm March 16, 2013 #

  4. Just sent Editor a picture taken tonight, hope it was not too large (5 mb). The comet was in view for about 40 minutes just north of due west about a fist-and-a-half above the horizon. The clouds then blocked it out.

    Comment by WestSide45 — 9:23 pm March 16, 2013 #

  5. Nice picture WestSide45!

    This is the 3rd naked eye comet (that I can recall) in recent years visible from Seattle. I am sure I missed some in the 90′s.

    Last night the tail was easily visible thru binoculars. Once sighted with binoculars the PanSTARRS was easily seen as “star” point of light due west about 10 – 15 degrees above the horizon.

    Here are some web pictures of the other two I remember.
    McNaught was visible 1 or 2 cold winter sunsets in 2007 if I remember correctly. Weather gave a small window, but I remember seeing it clearly and with a short tail without the aid of binoculars.

    Jan 2007 Comet McNaught:
    http://www.pbase.com/image/73001328

    17P/Holmes was a different animal – viewable for several weeks growing into a fuzzy ball of light.

    Nov 2007 17P/Holmes:
    http://weather-underground.discovery.com/data/wximagenew/d/dudleydocker/105.jpg

    Comment by Myles — 7:38 am March 17, 2013 #

  6. We have another one that came in overnight – adding shortly. Thank you for the links. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 7:41 am March 17, 2013 #

  7. What Beautiful photos! thank you

    Comment by Lisa Vannelli — 11:17 am March 17, 2013 #

  8. Gorgeous photo – thanks!

    Comment by Molly — 1:26 pm March 17, 2013 #

  9. Seen from Lowman Beach Wednesday evening. Wind was significant; a couple in the group were frozen solid. Still a naked-eye object at 8:30 pm.

    Comment by WestSide45 — 10:06 pm March 20, 2013 #

  10. Thanks. We covered Alice’s equinox-sunset event tonight (I’m about to publish) but once again couldn’t make comet viewing, due to conflicting events (my community meeting du jour went past 9 pm). Glad many are seeing !

    Comment by WSB — 10:25 pm March 20, 2013 #

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