Alas, it is time to bid adieu to the green interloper. Our last comet session was last night, February 10, and we had over two dozen visitors over the course of nearly three hours under cooperative clear skies with the comet itself perched high in the sky near the planet Mars.
During two weeks of on again and off again skies, you and many others joined us at our dark sky site to lay eyes upon this tiny visitor. As you saw, the image in the telescope was underwhelming in contrast to the dazzling professional-grade astrophotos that crossed our news feeds early on. Regardless, you saw firsthand what no other living person or yet unborn person will again see.
Such is the challenge of amateur astronomy. Like so many endeavors, much of the reward lies in the discovery. The comet was out there. It was faint. It was washed out by a bright moon. It hid behind layers of clouds. It was a moving target. But we got the intruder in our sights and laid eyes upon it. Box checked!
Thank you for joining us for these special sessions. Our next regular session will be Saturday evening, March 18. Starting time will be posted to the LLT website well before then, and we will also publish the calendar for the remainder of the year. Come out as often as you can. There is a limitless catalog of objects to share with you. Some are big and bright and obvious. Others are faint and elusive. We will bring as many of them to you as possible.
Your Lyme Land Trust Astronomy Team,
Mark Borton; Roger Charbonneau; Jon Dean; Scott Mallory; Parag Sahasrabudhe; Alan Sheiness
PS We will be sending a short Google survey to you soon. Please take a moment to provide us with feedback and suggestions. We want to provide programs that meet the needs of everyone. There is room for occasional observers, and room for people with specialized equipment who want a place to set up and work solo at the dark site, and everything in between.