What follows is genuine and not an April 1st Dimbleby Spaghetti joke!
All at ADAS, - The front cleared Manchester in the early evening and with the Moon not rising till late it offered an excellent chance to catch the comet. Paul rang and I was further enthused after seeing a picture in that well known astronomical magazine 'Hello'(?) (Helen's copy, not mine - honest) which I took along for reference. Arriving at 2030 BST there was another car, another astronomer - Pete Warrington of Kearsley. Pete said he worked with Mike Oates, discoverer of more than ~100 plus comets using the SOHO images. We quickly found the comet, naked eye and brighter than we'd seen it before. The tail just seemed to grow and grow. First using Paul's averted vision technique but then direct vision. The comet was beautiful, a strong tail filling the fields of view in our scopes. We'd both taken along our £149(!) 80 mm f5 scopes which were just perfect. Pete pointed out some other sites- those of the Lancashire coastline at night. The 'scope was trained on Blackpool Tower, and then we watched Venus approaching the horizon, including one amazing view of it just above an oil rig in Morecambe Bay! We followed it till we lost it at 21.35 BST, without accounting for the elevation and shift in position from home my planetarium program said that it was 1.5 degrees below the horizon! The tail of the comet seemed very long, we thought it could be 7 then perhaps 10 degs, or slightly more extending to 51 And. Called it a day (night) at 2200 BST. The sight could be better, passing cars a hassle and not dark - suggestions? This site has been used by Paul for 3 comets Hale-Bopp, Linear S4 and now IZ, and ADAS for the Jupiter graze. Mersey Valley Event- May 1. I've drafted a handout which we can check for suitability. Now we're clear of the Bank Holiday I'll check with the centre on facilities and arrangements. Night night, Roger L.
by Unknown ADAS member