New Year comet on view

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New Year comet on view

Postby Tony O Hanlon » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:05 am

Comet 45P, full name Comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, has been slowly moving across the night sky over the past few weeks, and on New Year’s Eve (tonight) it should have been easy to spot in binoculars or a small telescope, as it meets up just east of the crescent moon. Note it was not visible to unaided eye as it is currently too dim. The comet remained visible shortly after sunset and above the western horizon for a few hours before setting along with the moon. Images taken so far on this comet show it to have a distintive blueish green color with a fan-shaped tail; looks great!

If you missed out on seeing Comet 45P on New Year’s Eve, weather aside, what else could you be doing :shock: :wink: ) there will be another window of opportunity to view it early in 2017. Shortly after the start of the new year, the comet will disappear from the night sky as seen from Earth as it passes behind the Sun but due to its orbit, it will be visible once again in February as it moves away from the sun, appearing in the eastern sky in the hours before dawn. The comet is expected to appear even brighter in February than it is now, however, it will still be too dim to see without the help of a telescope or a pair of binoculars.
Tony O Hanlon
 
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Re: New Year comet on view

Postby Conn Buckley » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:59 pm

Hi Tony, happy new year to you and clear skies --when you need them.
Thanks for the info on Comet 45p. According to that lovely IFAS calendar (I bought a copy) on 11 Feb 2017 it will be 0.084 AU from Earth. From my astronomy software programme I reckon that at Sunrise (7:58 am) in Limerick this comet will be at 61 degrees altitude. So, at 6:30/7:00 the sky should be dark enough to spot it with binos/scope. Worth getting up early for I reckon. I have been fortunate enough to observe a number of comets over the years and always found them well worth taking the trouble to observe. Conn
Conn Buckley
 
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Re: New Year comet on view

Postby Tony O Hanlon » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:42 am

Hi Conn

Just back from US travels so have had no opportunity to look for the comet, and am off again in Fab through most of March. Did you have any joy yourself? - apparently a rather nice green colour can be seen.

Tony
Tony O Hanlon
 
Posts: 27
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Re: New Year comet on view

Postby Conn Buckley » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:45 pm

Hi Tony, No, I have not seen it yet. I have however seen some images. I hope to get an opportunity to observe it in the early morning in the next week or so. Enjoy your travels. Conn
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