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Come out, see comet

Comet Ikeya-Zhang - first reported Feb. 1 by two different skywatchers - last passed by the Earth in 1661. You can see it Saturday morning with binoculars.
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Get up early Saturday morning, and you’ll be able to see a comet.

Just step outside at 5 a.m. with a pair of binoculars and look north for Comet Ikeya-Zhang, advises Paul Bacon, an amateur astronomer who is a technician at Grass Valley Group.



The comet was reported on the same day – Feb. 1 – by comet hunters Kaoru Ikeya in Japan and Daqing Zhang in China. Astronomers concluded the comet had traveled across the sky before – in 1661.




Bacon, who became interested in astronomy about 10 years ago, photographs the heavens from his Grass Valley home and other points around the county.

A recent photo Bacon took through a telephoto lens shows “earth shine,” the light reflected from the Earth to the moon, something that happens the first or second day of a new moon. Now’s the best time of the year – April and May – to view earth shine.

Saturday is Astronomy Day, which was established in 1973 in California.

On the Net

For more Astronomy Day tips, log onto http://www.astroleague.org/al/astroday/adtips.html


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