West Seattle comet-watching: Tonight’s views, plus Jupiter

March 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm | In Skies Over West Seattle, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

The sky cleared enough for Comet PanSTARRS viewing again tonight – and we have photos to share in case you missed it. Above, from Trileigh Tucker – click the image for a larger view. The remaining images are from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams:

To help answer the question of “where to look?” check out his wide view:

That’s Blake Island, with the comet off in the center right – click that image for a larger view. And to get a step-by-step tutorial on where to look for it any time the sky clears in the nights ahead, here’s what local astro-expert Alice Enevoldsen has written about that – she was out with comet-watchers on the south shore of Lincoln Park, and they also viewed Jupiter – Nick sent in this photo as a result:

P.S. Along with comet-viewing any upcoming night it’s clear enough, you’ll find Alice at Solstice Park this coming Wednesday night for her traditional equinox/solstice sunset viewing – 7:13 pm, full details here.

P.P.S. From the archives in case you missed their original appearances – nice comet photos from Saturday night; also, the Northern Lights, seen from Alki!

9 Comments

  1. Last night I was coming home around 8:30 p.m. and as I came down onto Alki Ave. I saw something in the sky that appeared to be on fire. It was moving east to west and looked like a round object in flames. Was that a comet?

    Comment by Marie M — 11:37 pm March 18, 2013 #

  2. The comet doesn’t really appear to move – it’s kind of fixed in the sky – if you saw something moving, it would likely have been a meteor or if much closer, maybe a Sky Lantern – have you seen those? Or was it more like an aircraft? Watching slow-moving planes and even helicopters in the distance from Alki at night can be unsettling…

    Comment by WSB — 11:45 pm March 18, 2013 #

  3. WSB — you beat me to it! :)

    Comment by Alice — 12:10 am March 19, 2013 #

  4. Thank you for the explanation. What I saw was moving slowly and it was much closer to the earth – I would estimate that it was about the level that a floatplane would be flying over the sound. It looked very much like the photos of the comet above, but much closer. Perhaps it was the Sky Lantern you mentioned? OK, I’m off to google that. So great to have you, WSB and Alice, to bring all this wonderful information to us! Thank you.

    Comment by Marie M — 8:22 am March 19, 2013 #

  5. Just checked google and, yes, I believe that what I saw was a Sky Lantern. Thank you. I learned something today.

    Comment by Marie M — 8:29 am March 19, 2013 #

  6. We get an increasing number of reports of them. Usually from folks who think they are seeing a UFO!

    Comment by WSB — 8:49 am March 19, 2013 #

  7. Ha Ha!

    Comment by Marie M — 9:31 am March 19, 2013 #

  8. WSB, thanks for the great coverage on the comet and northern lights. This is an interesting and scientifically important rare event in our area. According to other regional media it doesn’t seem to exsist.

    Comment by planenut — 2:04 pm March 19, 2013 #

  9. I noticed that. Odd! I vividly remember watching Comet Hale-Bopp from our front steps years ago and so far this time around my only regret is that I haven’t been able to go join Alice and company personally yet, every single evening there’s been a meeting to cover or a family member to go pick up somewhere … Rooting for one more clear night! – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:06 pm March 19, 2013 #

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