towards the west, as I waited patiently to photograph the Milky Way at Fisher Towers several nights ago. I’ve annotated several celestial objects in the image, and the dim orange glow in the bottom center is the Red Cliffs Lodge on the Colorado River.
taken around 4 am this morning. The bright glob in the upper part of the galactic core is the planet Jupiter, overexposed due to its brightness.
PlanIt! Pro is an Android astroimaging planning app and is key to staging images like that seen above, allowing the user to locate themselves via GPS in order capture your envisioned landscape composition involving various celestial objects and/or events. Brilliant.
this evening with 78% of the surface visible. Full moon is on Thursday.
Short-period comet 64P/Wirtanen is well placed for what could be a naked eye view the next few nights. I’ve created a chart where you can generally locate the fuzzy object with binoculars as it arrives at perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) today. It’s a worthwhile challenge to spot the glowing object as appears early in the night sky, above and to the right of the constellation Orion.
Furthermore, the Geminid meteor shower should be at its highest activity Friday night, and its radiant is located to the left of Orion. So if the weather is clear, and you can see Orion, then you should be able to spot the comet and enjoy a few meteors if you brave the evening chill.
Good luck and keep your expectations low. I’ll post a shot of the comet if I can manage a good one.