|Left to right: Chief Mountain, Comet Lovejoy, meteor smoke trail|
I had just sort of pointed my camera/tripod north and set the initial focus without looking through the lens, and was still fiddling with frozen thumbs when I caught sight of the meteor streaking in. I managed to press the shutter only by instinct. At this point, I hadn't even had a chance to locate the comet with my binoculars, but my earlier calculations told me where it was supposed to be. Cross your fingers old fella'.
It almost never happens to me, but this time I got lucky. Comet Lovejoy rises parallel to the meteor's cursive smoke trail, and both point towards the majestic mountain. Try as I might, this is the closest alignment with Chief Mountain that I can manage without skiing many miles into the backcountry and spending a few below-zero nights waiting for the mountain clouds cooperate.
Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) was only discovered a few months ago, on September 7th, and it's already passed by our little planet on its way towards a Christmas day perihelion with our neighborhood star, when it will loop around roughly 75.4 million miles from the sun. It should be somewhat visible through December, more or less, but it leaves us farther behind with each passing day. Don't worry, though, it'll be back in roughly 7,000 years.