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September 30, 2013

#SMOD Tomorrow! #SMOD Tomorrow!*


*if you're a few million miles away from Mars, that is.

Comet ISON reaches its closest approach to the red planet tomorrow, and will appear very close to it from observers here on earth.

I completely forgot to include this in yesterday's astronomy post, but tomorrow morning will mark your starting point for observing Comet ISON successfully, given decent optics. If you have at least 8" on your scope, you're golden. Smaller, it is still worth a try, and definitely if you have an imaging setup (an amateur with just a 3" instrument successfully imaged it on Friday).

If you own a GO-TO, use these co-ordinates.
If you have a more primitive scope like mine, don't fret. Here's where to look tomorrow morning around 5am local time:

WIDEFIELDFINDINGISONOCT12013

CometISONHopTo1October2013

October1ISONeyepieceView

NASA put up a video explaining their upcoming attempts at imaging the comet from the red planet:

With each passing morning, ISON will brighten, so if you come up snake eyes tomorrow, try again the next morning. If you are successful, and manage to snag an image of it tomorrow or in the coming days, feel free to submit it and we will post it on the blog (contact me via twitter or email @ theonandonlyfinn (at) gmail.com). Be sure to also submit it to spaceweather.com, which has a rapidly growing amateur imaging gallery of Comet ISON.

Closer to home, SMOD's coming has been foretold to us, and a blazing reminder lit up the skies over Ohio Saturday:

Over a thousand reports of this blazing vision were submitted the AMS, which in turn generated this badass map showing giant blue people crushing the state of Ohio.

This is the second major fireball spotted over the Buckeye state in less than a week. Residents of the Midwest spotted this bad boy just three days ago:

The message is clear: do not taunt SMOD.

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posted by CAC at 07:22 PM

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