Saturday 24 January 2015

After a Comet Lovejoy Holiday...

It's been a while since I've been able to observe the comet - put that down to cloudy skies, work schedules, and I'm afraid on one night a total inability to withstand the cold.

I thought it would be a rather more difficult object to find, having seen reports on twitter that it was now fading, but it was easily observable in my 10x50s despite the presence of a waxing crescent moon not too far away. It has now moved away from the Pleiades in a North Western path, and is now in the vicinity of Aries and Triangulum.

In fact the two stars that for the base of the narrow Triangulum triangle are almost pointing to it.

It has faded somewhat, but is still an easy object in binoculars and looks rather similar to the Andromeda galaxy at the moment. The condensation of the nucleus seems less apparent, but the teardrop shape is still present, although I can't get any hints of a tail. The magnitude is probably around 4.5 or so now, having dropped from the peak of 3.7-3.9 it seemed to reach at perigee.

If you wish to observe it, it is now an early evening object, culminating due south at 6-7pm.

Good luck spotting it!


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