We will meet on top of the observatory hill, behind the observatory, to the left and behind the small tower with communications equipment, also to the left, go as far as you can until you hit the rocky end. See this map (click). Park at point A in the map, note that this is the second (more northern) parking lot. Park at the very northern end (look for my black BMW), this is the shortest walk to the road.
You will then embark on a 20 minute hike up the steep hill, on a paved road (comfortable to walk and you wanted to loose some weight, anyway, right? :-). Be careful as you get to the top, the melt water is freezing over!
We will meet at point C, the very far rocky end: when you get to the observatory, go around it on the left and towards the smaller tower with communication equipment on it and around the left of that one, too. That's where we will be, see photo below. If the group is too large, we can split up into two groups and shoot from point B, which is the bus drop-off and ski lift - right under the lift, see photo further down.
This is the view from point C:
This is the view from point B:
Timing and Logistics Info:
The weather forecast is cloudy for the sunset time, with winds dying down as it gets later. Watch the weather and decide if you want to come, but please keep your RSVP updated before 3 pm. If it is a washout, I may repeat the meetup sometime next week during the week. However, this meetup here will be happening!
Sunset is at 6:52 and the comet is best visible for 60-90 minutes after that, as it gets darker, but before it is completely dark. We will not wait at point A, please proceed up the hill on your own.
Before you RSVP, please make sure that you paid your dues, only members in good standing can participate.
It will be cold and somewhat windy, dress in layers, bring some hot fluids and gloves as well as head cover.
Standard equipment: tripod, camera, remote release/timer.
Lenses: anything goes from wide angle landscape to 400 mm zoom, I recommend to have both. For the comet to show prominently, you will need to zoom in quite a bit, below is a shot with a 250 mm (full frame) zoom.
Bring a *very dim* flashlight to see your camera and not blind others (no bright head lamps, please), and perhaps some regular ones for light painting. There is a rock with a big crack, which is just begging to be lit up. :-)
Comet Panstarr will be the brightest comet in a long time and at our latitude it will have its best showing starting early March. The comet turned out to be less bright than expected, hence, the rescheduling to this weekend, as brightness will diminish further as we go. It is still a very small crescent moon, which makes a great addition to the photos. This is a Friday, so we can stay out long, perhaps for some beautiful time lapse, staged crescent moon trail and/or star trails. Don't miss this, the next time this comet will appear is in[masked] years, you might be too old then!
For more info on the comet and how to view it, here are a few links:
Up to date link for what to expect tomorrow (moon will be slightly higher, comet slightly further right):