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|• October 30 Tritton in the sky and Tritton in the room
The periodical Comet Tritton has given us the impression that it had regained its strength, but it returned to its former unimpressive appearance on the 29th, perhaps because of exhaustion from its long journey in space.
However, I hear that Tritton (Mr. M's pet cat in Sendai City) in the room is enjoying a healthy daily life oblivious to the demise of Comet Tritton. Mr. M is a member of OAA Comet Section, who loves stars. He named his cat after a satellite of a planet*, but the appearance of Comet Tritton was totally unexpected.
I have been plotting the track of the comet on a star chart. It is a pity that the comet has not brightened.
*Triton is a satellite of Neptune. In Japanese the pronunciation of Triton and Tritton is identical.
Cat Tritton and Tritton in the sky (upper left corner)
|• October 14
The astrophotography exhibition has begun at Ryoma Post Office at Kamimachi, Kochi City. Commemorating
Ryoma's life, the exhibition includes the "star of Ryoma" (Minor Planet 2835) and Comet Hale-Bopp alongside the bronze statue of Ryoma. I wanted to display a photograph of the Southern Cross and Halley's Comet, which I had taken in New Caledonia in 1986. Unfortunately I was not able to find the negative. Only one year later a supernova appeared in the Large Magellanic Cloud and Dr. Koshiba in Japan detected neutrinos. Sirius and Canopus I saw overhead at Bali are unforgettable.
Traditionally, Ryoma Post Office was manned by the postmaster and all woman staff members, but at present Mr. Mihara, who loves the stars, works as the only male member of the post office. It is only one minute walk from my place.
Ryoma Post Office (A Ryoma's statue in the left corner)
The astrophotography exhibition
|• October 13
Although Mars is now moving away from us, the observatory's popularity has never declined and it is full with visitors at any public viewing night. This summer I show the visitors around wearing a T-shirt with constellations printed on it which glow at night. Through the slit of the dome visitors can see twinkling autumn constellations, while winter constellations are glowing on my back inside the dark dome. It must be a pleasing sight to the visitors. A friend of mine bought me this rather unusual shirt at a market in America about 10 years ago.
A public viewing night at Geisei Observatory
A T-shirt with constellations
|• October 7
As I am going to hold an autumn astrophotography exhibition at Ryoma Post Office starting on October 14, I continue to take star-field photos, which I do not often do. Recently I acquired a 6x6 format Bronica EC camera second-hand. The most attractive features of this camera are a Nikkor 75mm lens and manual time exposure mechanism. Among the works I am going to exhibit are M31 in Andromeda and M31 in Triangulum. The focus for these photos is extremely sharp. However, the camera is so heavy that I feel as if I were carrying a brick around. The strap sinks into my shoulder and hurts me. When well into autumn, I will photograph the mountains with this renowned camera driving along Ishizuchi Skyline.
By the way, Comet Tritton of 1978 has been recovered. In 1978 my personal observatory was just completed and I tracked this comet with the 40cm reflector for many days. I am looking for old film containing this comet's images. If it is clear tomorrow morning, I will photograph and show you this comet, which had been missing for 25 years. Late in September, I photographed the field where the comet was recovered using e210 astrocamera, but I seem to have missed it.
Click here for a larger image
M31 (upper right) and M33 (lower left)
October 2, 2003
Nikkor f/2.8 70mm
A 20-minute exposure on TX400 film
Copyright (C) 2003 Tsutomu Seki.