Tag Archives: Comet Lulin

The Nice Work Observatory

Any friend of yours is a Palomar.The hastily constructed Nice Work Observatory was able to record sightings of the legendary Comet Lulin this night.

Despite near total lack of astronomical equipment the resourceful staff of the Nice Work Observatory were able to turn a 5′ step ladder, a roll of duct tape, a Beatles CD compilation, and a pair of Pentax 16×60 binoculars (plus a step stool for the shorter astronomer) into a serviceable star-gazing apparatus. After hauling the Nice Work Telescope (disassembled for easy transport) up to Saddle Peak far above the black sweep of Santa Monica Bay, the astronomers set up shop and were able to look at Saturn close-up and personal and mark the path of Comet Lulin as it left the Solar System at a brisk — somewhat insulting — pace.

As part of the Nice Work Observatory Outreach Public Educational Program, two drunken motorcyclists were allowed to view the bright orange planet and the blurry green comet through the  Nice Work Telescope after which the annoyed head astronomer made the necessary recalibrations to re-locate the planet and passing ice ball.

Comet gazing was an on-again, off-again affair due to clumps of clouds that flew in, parked awhile, then sped off into the night sky on unguessable errands. The astronomers took the opportunties afforded by these occlusions to become reacquainted with old friends, Castor and Pollux, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Aldebaran, Orion, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Taurus, the Pleiades, Leo and the good ol’ North Star.


Every Earth Day Day

Topanga has its vey own private solar orbit.Our neighbors high in the valleys of Topanga have a motto, “Every Earth Day Day.” Nobody knows what they mean by that ringing affirmation (or is it an imprecation?), but that’s okay; we love our Topangish neighbors and support them 100%.

One possible interpretation of the slogan “Every Earth Day Day” is as an instruction to look to the eastern skies in this our northern hemisphere (my personal favorite) and squint for the Comet Lulin. All this squinting is best done after dark, needless to say (a phrase which is, ironically, always needless to say). Better still if you do your sky-squinting sometime after 9pm. Bring along some binocs or a telescope. The Comet Lulin is no Comet Kahoutek. It requires amplification.

You can find the astral visitor by following the instructions ON THE WEBSITE YOU SUMMONS BY CLICKING THESE WORDS. Or, just go look for Saturn a-wanderin’ in the sky — it’s the brightest light to the east (and a teensy bit south); also the orangest one. The very faint 5th magnitude green smudge to the left right of Saturn and a short FTL rocket trip above it — Hey! That’s Comet Lulin!