Skip to comments.Bright Comet Lovejoy Rings in the New Year! (Closest approach 7JAN2015)
Posted on 01/01/2015 7:01:59 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine
2014 hasnt even ended yet and we already have one of the best comets of 2015 showing off in our skies: C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), already visible to the naked eye and predicted to get brighter over the next couple of weeks!
This is the fifth comet discovered by Australian "amateur" astronomer Terry Lovejoy. In 2011, one of his comets made a spectacular pass through the sky. This one may not be quite so ostentatious, but its location and brightness make it a winner. On Jan. 7 it will pass about 70 million kilometers (44 million miles) from Earth, and its predicted to peak around 4th magnitude; easily visible from dark skies without optical aid.
As a bonus, its passing near the constellation of Orion, making it easier to find, and itll also glide past Taurus and the Pleiades, providing for what should be some pretty photogenic scenes. Its moving roughly north, so it gets higher all the time for Northern Hemisphere observers.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
And, I am hopeless with constellation spotting. I check on a sky chart, go out and cannot find a damn thing that looks like the chart.
Previous threads posted on FR about this comet:
Watch the New Year’s Skies for a Green Comet
New Comet Discovered: Lovejoy Will Add to Comet Lineup in Winter Skies
NASA Photo of the Day: Comet Lovejoy
Comet Lovejoy Survives Fiery Plunge Through Sun, NASA Says
Astronomy Picture of the Day — Comet Lovejoy: Sungrazing Survivor
You can’t miss Orion. Three bright stars in a straight line are at the center of the constellation (the belt). The eye is drawn to it. With a pair of binoculars you can make out the Orion nebula just below the belt.
It’s also best to stay out in the dark for 30 minutes so your eyes can adjust appropriately.
Thanks, I was just googling to find a track!
This app will help you find the constellations a little easier. (It’s free.)
Is Orion visible in Hawaii this time of year?
doorgunner99 lives in Hawaii.
Thanks for the heads up.
Those Greeks had some wild imaginations to see all those characters in a bunch of stars. All I see are random stars.
COMET LOVEJOY BRIGHTENING RAPIDLY
“Is Orion visible in Hawaii this time of year?”
Just look due east at this time of the evening.
That’s what Stellarium helps you with.
If January is like December, we aren’t going to have much chance to see the comet here. I’ve never seen such dismal weather that I can remember. Cloudy, cloudy, cloudy. It was clear in part of the sky last night but in Orion’s vicinity, it was cloudy. Now we have three days of rain to look forward to. *sigh*
Maybe we’ll get lucky next week and have a shot at it. I hope so. My telescope and I are champin’ at the bit.
You have most of the month to get a view of it.
I have been known to spot the moon on occasion if it is clear! Funny, but it is often very visible here in Hawaii in broad daylight, something I do not remember on the mainland.