Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS


I had hoped to get an image of the snappily named C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS today since it’s seemingly in view in the Northern skies over the UK.
If you look just below the new crescent moon C/2011 L4 can apparently be seen with the naked eye as it streaks across the heavens at lots of miles per hour and even more kilometres per hour if you are in a decimal mood.
Not quite as visible as comet Hale Bop though, but it’s seemingly a once in 10,000 years experience not to be missed!

No such chance in hell tonight though!
As the BBC were quite fond of saying some years ago when we Scot’s tuned in to watch the latest World Cup match or penultimate episode of Last of the Summer Wine, that old phrase “except for viewers in Scotland ” has yet again intervened.

In those, thankfully far off days, it was all to do with scheduling.
Obviously the Shipping Forecast with all those “There are warnings of gales in Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey, and Fair Isle” comments had priority over minor events such as the Royal Wedding or that speech by Churchill where he told my mum that “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender” and pass the brandy.

Today it was not the BBC’s fault though. Winter has come back with a vengeance and the sky is filled with falling snowflakes. Visibility is around zero and even the moon has decided to hide behind a cloud.

My pal Joe recalls that last year on this day we had a heat wave with temperatures getting above 20 °C (68 °F) in many places. But that was last year.

For viewers in Scotland, here is a big truck with a huge load of trees on the back.



About Duncan Harley

Author, photographer and feature writer.
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