morning we were presented with an unusual and spectacular sight
in the eastern sky, about an hour before the first light of twilight
started at 4am. Not only was there a stunning pair of bright
gems rising in the east, the pair was accompanied by the much
fainter Comet ISON, still very faint forming a perfect line with
the duo. This image was taken with my 80mm f/4.8 Zeiss APO on
a german equatorial mount on my balcony on the back of my house
Two images are
presented below, the top image we have the view the eye saw,
with north to the right and the pair in a horizontal line along
the eastern horizon. Mars is the salmon orange gem in the middle,
and the bright star Regulus, the blue diamond on the right. On
the left side of the image, you can see ISON, now around 12th
magnitude but brightening rapidly for a solar conjunction in
about a month. It could reach naked eye brightness then.
The bottom image
is in portrait mode, and is presented astronomically correct
with north up. The field here is roughly 4 degrees tall.
I tried in vain
to see the comet in the Zeiss 11 x 80 binoculars, but it was
still too faint to see clearly.