CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A COMET: Today, Dec. 16th, Comet 46P/Wirtanen is making an historic close approach to Earth–only 11.5 million km away. This puts Wirtanen in the top 10 list of comet flybys during the Space Age. It’s easy to find in the constellation Taurus, shown here in a photo taken just last night by Alan Dyer of Gleichen, Alberta:

This is Comet Wirtanen 46P in Taurus on December 14/15, 2018 accompanied by a Geminid meteor, caught by chance of course. The meteor has left a yellowish “smoke” cloud.
Yellowish Aldebaran and the Hyades are at bottom, the pink California Nebula (NGC 1499) is at top, in Perseus, while the blue Pleiades are at centre. They form a nice colour contrast with the cyan-green comet. The Taurus Dark Clouds of interstellar dust are at left.
Comet Wirtanen was two days before its closest approach to Earth and nearly at its brightest. It was visible to the unaided eye.
I got a chance to capture this and other views after Chinook clouds cleared off near midnight on Dec 14/15.
This is a stack of 5 x 2-minute exposures with the filter-modified Canon 5D MkII camera at ISO 800 with the Sigma 50mm lens at f/2.8. The meteor is from one of those frames. The camera was on the Star Adventurer tracker.[/caption]

“This is a tracked image with my camera mounted on a Star Adventurer tracker,” says Dyer. “A sporadic meteor dashed through the field of view during the 2-minute exposure–a busy sky!”

Dyer caught Comet 46P/Wirtanen splitting the gap between the Pleiades star cluster and Aldebaran, the red eye of the Bull. These are excellent landmarks that can guide you to the comet tonight. Indeed, you might need the help.

Although the comet is very close to Earth, it is not very bright. 46P/Wirtanen is a relatively small comet and, thus, barely visible to the unaided eye despite its proximity. Rural observers describe it as a faint misty cloud of 4th magnitude, about the size of a full Moon. It is nevertheless an easy target for digital cameras. Even a short exposure reveals the comet’s spherical form and emerald green hue.

Still can’t find it? Try using binoculars. Observers in urban areas say they are having good luck finding Wirtanen using hand-held optics. Simply scan the constellation Taurus for the green blob. Sky maps: Dec. 15, Dec. 16


Cretins, Morons and Dolts

Collectivist Banking

One has to wonder how long the American wage earner/taxpayer is going to put up with a group of PRIVATE individuals deciding our national economy.

Whatever you might save isn’t rewarded with more than notional interest. Yet the mechanization of the constantly changing ‘Market basket’ items that show NO inflation. Meanwhile the real cost of living is near a 19% inflationary rate. Now do you understand why you can’t seem to gain ground toward retirement.

End the Fed…from Rico

Try getting a breakfast in NYC for 10-cents, go ahead, I dare you!

– The last time I had breakfast at the Tavern on the green there it was a LOT more than 10-cents, I assure you.

Why is that?

– It’s called INFLATION, and it’s what the Fed really’does’…

Don’t forget to ‘thank’ them for doing such a swell job!

All the EU economies are taking it on the nose. Any(which is most) country that went off the gold standard, on to a fiat currency is now suffering the same as the US.

The Governments spend more than they take in each month. To compensate, the US Treasury issues more bonds, T-bills and of course prints more money. What the value of that dollar is, the moment they print another dollar, the value drops by 50%. Keep doing this and soon one looks like California or Venezuela. At some point, Wiemar Germany becomes an eternal Oktoberfest.

The Eastern Europeans know to have a cache of negotiable metal. Paper currency is something you either don’t have enough or you have too much; there’s no right amount.

Banning Christmas songs

Any one of these can get you a felony arrest record for offending some twit. Do it anyway!

Since you decided to pull “Baby it’s Cold Outside” from its playlist because someone was offended, I feel that these other holiday songs are also on the chopping block. How did our generation ever survive?

  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Subjecting minors to soft core porn
  • The Christmas Song: Open fire? Pollution. Folks dressed up like Eskimos? Cultural appropriation
  • Holly Jolly Christmas: Kiss her once for me? Unwanted advances
  • White Christmas? Racist
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake? Peeping Tom stalker
  • Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Everyone telling you be of good cheer? Forced to hide depression
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Bullying
  • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. Forced gender-specific gifts: dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols (GUNS!) for Barney and Ben
  • Santa Baby: Gold digger, blackmail
  • Frosty the Snowman: Sexist; not a snow woman
  • Do You Hear What I Hear. blatant disregard for the hearing impaired
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Make the yuletide GAY? Wow, just wow
  • Jingle Bell Rock: Giddy up jingle horse, pick up your feet. animal abuse
  • Mistletoe and Holly. Overeating, folks stealing a kiss or two? How did this song ever see the light of day?
  • Winter Wonderland. Parson Brown demanding they get married…forced partnership
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas. Not if you are homeless. That’s just Insensitive
  • Grandma got ran over by a reindeer. Homicide. Extremely violent and promotes alcoholism.”

Sunday Toon

Day by Day

Ponder this

Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.

~ Ayn Rand