In days gone by, news of a snazzy new comet would have me dragging out my big, heavy telescope (a 10-inch Dobsonian, for those of you who care--the 10 inches referring to the diamater of the primary mirror) even when the thermometer edged down close to zero, even when it meant driving for two hours to reach a dark-sky location and then tamping down a foot of snow to make a stable, level platform for the 'scope.
So just a few minutes ago I was considering trekking to a nice spot with one or both of my boys later this week (when the moon is almost new and the sky is clear--tonight will not be the night) to introduce them to Comet Machholz, which is currently at magnitude 4 (we're talking naked-eye stuff here, even from my suburban neighborhood) and I thought...
Naw. It's been awfully cold here lately. And let me tell you, there's nothing colder than standing out there in the dark, usually on a bare hill (for the widest possible view of the sky), not moving at all except to turn the focus knob or to swap out a lens or to consult a star chart and reposition the 'scope.
Check out this photo. That's about how it will look through my telescope. If I can just work up the nerve to go out in the cold.
Talk me into it, somebody.