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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 16:38:00 EST
Subject: NEAT in a.m., Aurora, Lecture

Hi all, 

It might JUST be possible to see Comet NEAT tomorrow (Sunday) morning, just 
before Sunrise and maybe on Monday morning too. But only if it is REALLY 
bright!

At 07.00 on Sunday morning (16th) it is 8 deg 26' from the Sun, rising almost 
directly above it (P.A. 345 deg). From Glengormley the comet's altitude is 
only 1 deg 17' at 07.00, increasing to 2 deg 36' at 07.10. But sunrise is at 
07.44, so the sky will be getting very bright at that time. The further West 
you are, the later both comet-rise and sunrise will be: add 4 mts for every 
degree you are West of Belfast (which is approx 6 deg W). And the further 
South you are, the earlier the risings, although by a lesser amount.

It will be 45 degrees Left of, and very slightly below, Venus, at that time. 
Or if you can see Altair, it will be 32 degrees below left of it, at a 45 deg 
angle.

You'll need binocs or a telescope with your widest-field eyepiece, but be 
VERY careful not to be observing near sunrise - for obvious reasons! - i.e 
potential blindnesss if you get the Sun in the field of your binocs or 
telescope!

On Monday morning the separation will be only 6 deg 35', so your chances then 
are even lower. On Monday morning the comet will be above and slightly right 
of the rising Sun. But again, be VERY careful not to sweep up the Sun by 
mistake.

AURORA: There's a low-level aurora alert for tonight, but with the bright 
Moon we'll be lucky to see anything anyway, unless it's a major display.

LECTURE VENUE:  Some of you were asking about the venue for my lecture 
"Aliens, Where Are They?" to the Irish Astronomical Society in Dublin on 
Monday evening.  Ely House is at  8 Ely Place, Dublin 2, which is just off 
Merrion Row. It runs parallel to St Stephen's Green East. Time 8.0.

Good luck,

Terry Moseley

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