Irregular Verbiage

from the desk of Colin Nicholls

New Reality TV Shows

Coming in the new season:

Bigger Than Your Head, in which overweight competitors attempt to lose weight through intense caloric reduction, whilst receiving counseling. After 12 episodes, most candidates have dropped out after gaining self-acceptance through personal growth. Those that remain are the losers. (In some markets, this show may be broadcast as “Too Jung to Diet”)

Race To The Bottom, in which 12 corporations compete to be the top dog in a weekly series of mergers and acquisitions. In the finale, the last remaining corporate entity inherits the national debt, no production capacity, and a subsistence-living populace with zero purchasing power. (Subtitles required for final four episodes due to production shifting to Manila)

Conjunction +/-1

Lugged the 6″ Dobsonian Mount out each evening to get some shots of Saturn and Jupiter doing their thing.

December 21 was the closest approach, but I think my best shot was the evening before:

December 20th – ISO 800 F1.8 1/25 s
December 21st – ISO 800 F1.8 1/13 s
December 22nd – ISO 400 F1.8 1/30 s

Each time something cosmic happens worthy of time and attention, I tell myself I will invest in some better equipment, but it doesn’t happen. This time, I tried to get a range of ISO settings and shutter speeds, and had my Sony RX100 mounted on a tripod, pointing down the eyepiece.

Magic

In my dreams

The excitement is high here at the Lewis Carroll Amphitheater, with the Mome Raths due to hit the stage any minute. The opening act were all mimsy, and this crowd is now ready to OUTGRABE.

I missed the first act because I was at the bar ordering Snicker Snacks.

Comet NEOWISE

NEOWISE from our back yard

NEOWISE is actually quite a credible naked-eye object, low in the North West. It helps to know where to look, and what to look for, but it is very definitely a bright nucleus with a tail fanning out. The most detail seen out of the corner of your eye.

As the month goes on, the comet will roughly follow in the Three Leaps of the Gazelle (asterism) which you can see leading to the upper left in the image above.

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