I just can’t see it.
The past two evenings, when it was supposed to be visible, we couldn’t find it. Maddeningly, others have great photos of the thing.
Here’s a photo of where it was supposed to be the evening of March 12. Nice sliver of a Moon.
We watched for over an hour, from just after the Sun’s winking out in a blaze of orange (Texas dust and DFW smog). We were shooting without a tripod, and so it was difficult to capture just how thin was the line of the Moon for a long time. It was not a clear crescent, with mountains of the Moon providing jagged lines that glistened like a crystal glass necklace. Longer exposures revealed the comet to other observers in other places, but not to us. Perched as we were right on the edge of the Austin Chalk Escarpment, we were joined by a dozen or so others who hoped to see the comet, or who were just putting their BMX bikes away.
A more detailed, and grainy, shot of the Moon (with no comet):
Here’s a photo of where it was supposed to be last night, the evening of March 13.
It’s like waiting for Godot. Waiting for Comet Godot.
Quoting from SamuellBeckett.net:
ESTRAGON: People are bloody ignorant apes. He rises painfully, goes limping to extreme left, halts, gazes into distance off with his hand screening his eyes, turns, goes to extreme right, gazes into distance. Vladimir watches him, then goes and picks up the boot, peers into it, drops it hastily.
VLADIMIR: Pah!He spits. Estragon moves to center, halts with his back to auditorium.
ESTRAGON: Charming spot. (He turns, advances to front, halts facing auditorium.)
Inspiring prospects. (He turns to Vladimir.)
VLADIMIR: We can’t.
ESTRAGON: Why not?
VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for Godot.
ESTRAGON: (despairingly). Ah! (Pause.) You’re sure it was here?
ESTRAGON: That we were to wait.
VLADIMIR: He said by the tree. (They look at the tree.) Do you see any others?
ESTRAGON: What is it?
VLADIMIR: I don’t know. A willow.
ESTRAGON: Where are the leaves?
It must be dead.
- NightSkyHunter version of how to find comets in 2013
- SpaceWeather.com forecast for March 13, 2013
- A Guide to Help You See Comet PANSTARRS at its Brightest (universetoday.com)
- Astrophotos: Comet PANSTARRS Meets the Crescent Moon (universetoday.com)
- Moon and comet pair up for a stellar show (photoblog.nbcnews.com)
- Expect near perfect skies for viewing Comet PanSTARRS from Houston (chron.com)
- Moon pairs up with Comet PanSTARRS for big show (photoblog.nbcnews.com)
- Look for Comet PanSTARRS near the crescent moon in western skies (science.nbcnews.com)
- Another chance to catch the moon and Comet PANSTARRS on March 13 (earthsky.org)
- Update: Comet PanSTARRS Makes Its Northern Hemisphere Debut (universetoday.com)
- McKellen and Stewart Will Bring Pinter and Beckett to Broadway in the Fall (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)