I didn't think I'd see anything at all from a construction site on the edge of a major urban area, but everything lined up in Stellarium and that is very probably the comet. I guess. I have to say my phone saw it a little better than I did. It is a little green.

For those in darker places, now is certainly the time to go outside and have a look. Shortly after sunset in the northern sky. You still have a few days.

1/31 '23 7 Comments
I bet Annie will be able to see this really well in VT.
I'm waiting for that reply too.
I tried. It was very clear last night into early morning, but… I wasn’t awake early enough. The dog woke me at 6:00, and by that time it was too light already. Not sunrise, and I could see the Little Dipper well enough, but too light out all the same.

Last might was the only clear night we’ve had recently, too. Tonight it looks as though it will be partly cloudy around 5:00 am.

And anyway I didn’t sleep well last night and it’s the same tonight, so probably I won’t get up early to see if it’s visible.

There’s also a surprising amount of light pollution where we are. It can be pitch black on the ground around the house, but Burlington is just to the north of us, and the sky in that direction glows.
I will say, last night as the sun was setting, Mt. Mansfield in the *east* was jaw-dropping. The ridge line was draped in sparkling snow, and glowing pink against a fading blue sky. Rose snapped a photo through the window of the moving car. As you might expect, it didn’t begin to represent the experience.
Current status: trying not to spend $100 on a monocular telescope with a smartphone adapter so I can take zoomed-in crummy pictures.

My favorite bit about this story is that the light from this star began its journey 13 billion years ago, but the star is now 28 billion miles away, because the universe kept expanding and we kept on moving apart from one another during those 13 billion years.

Only that's not right, because the star died aeons ago. Stars like our sun live 10 billion years; huge stars like this one are too fast to live, too young to die; they wink out in 10 million years.

So it's more accurate to say the former location of the star is now 28 billion light years away. And no longer part of the "observable universe," because light from where that star is today will never reach us. 28 billion light years = 8584 megaparsecs (yes, I asked google). A galaxy 4,300 megaparsecs away from us is receding from us at the speed of light. Our relative velocity is therefore close to twice the speed of light, which is possible because it's not the velocity of either object relative to a point that isn't moving. And that means light from there will never reach us again.

[Waves goodbye, realizes it's a bit late for that]

4/1 '22 1 Comment
I thought you were referencing a Decemberists song in your title but it’s not. Maybe this story should be.