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Friday, November 29, 2013

Comet ISON goes Pfffttt!!

It looks like Comet Ison will not become "The Comet of the Century", as it appears to have burned up as it rounded the sun, reaching its "perihelion" or closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day at 1:48PM Eastern Time in the US. This is one of the reasons I wrote so little, actually nothing, about it. Touting a comet as "The Comet of the Century" before it actually becomes that is almost always a jinx. Those comets rarely are, and ISON has shown itself as no exception.

Oh well, there's still plenty to see in the sky. Come on down for a star tour adventure with the Starman of Mitzpe Ramon. We're open every clear night except Fridays and Jewish holidays.

Comet ISON is show in a composite NASA image as it approaches the sun. The sun's bright central image is blocked by a coronagraph so other objects can be seen in the frame.

See also: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/28/comet-ison-nasa/3776419/

Comet ISON's passage around the sun as it disintegrates in the heat of the corona.


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Monday, November 4, 2013

Photos from the Solar Eclipse of November 3, 2013

We went up to the roof of the physics building at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva where a public viewing session was being held. Here a group of students uses eclipse glasses and a small Meade telescope to view the eclipse.

On top of the physics building at BGU is a large dome with a 16 inch Meade schmidt cassegrain telescope. Here a student uses a small solar telescope attached to the Meade tube.

An impressionistic view of the eclipse through my No. 12 welder's glass.

The sun at mid-eclipse, about 4:15PM, partially obscured by an antenna on a nearby building.

The sun, 20% eclipsed. This is what it looked like through my No. 12 welder's glass filter.

The sun sets behing the BGU computer science building.

A rather impressionist view with the filter tiled from the perpendicular. 
Allright, not an eclipse picture. But as I was leaving campus I came across this group of mechanical engineering students fine tuning their race car. Amazing what you can find at Israeli universities!

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