February 9 – 12 2023
The night sky is pretty much a mystery to most City Dwellers. The glare of city light drowns out all but the brightest stars – and planets don’t do much better. If you are interested, I can tell you where to look to see these far-off worlds. If you were not interested, you would have stopped reading after the first sentence.
Read this first: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/measuring-the-sky-by-hand.html
There is an “eyes only” comet currently in the Northern Hemisphere skies that will soon be near Mars.
As many of us urban dwellers can attest, “eyes only” means other people can see it.
However, if “Seeing” is good and a good reference body is to be had, binocular-equipped viewers in the worst of urban glare may well be able to pick out the comet in about two weeks and change.
- Below is a sky chart from the point of view of Houston observers for February 10, 2023. Since Mars moves slowly through the sky, this will suffice to show the relative positions of the constellations and Mars for the four-day period I am analyzing here. The chart is calculated at 2200 (8 PM CDT) and everything will be moving to the West (right) until things start setting in the West, around 1 or 2 AM. All images credit: Heavens-Above.com
- Once you have located Mars, get out those binoculars – or use those keen eyes if you are in dark skies. Use the dated charts below to find where to look for the Comet.
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