Thursday 15 January 2015

Comet Lovejoy Meets the Pleiades

Before the approaching storm blew in a mess of cloud to block out the starry sky, I managed to snatch a couple of glances of Comet Lovejoy, now moving rapidly north-east through the sky as it approaches perihelion in a few days time.

It was very easy to find tonight, almost in the same 10x50 field of view as the Pleiades, the glittering star cluster of the seven sisters in Taurus. I have observed the Pleiades many times over the years, and under really dark skies I've been able to see 8 or 9 of them, but tonight, it was the usual six.

One of the Seven Sisters is rather hard to spot from urban locations, in less than perfect skies.

The comet tonight was again less impressive than a few nights ago on account of the cloud, listed magnitude is around 3.9 which would put it as easy naked eye viewing under a dark clear sky, but in Newark tonight, there was neither.

It is still presenting as a teardrop shaped object, with the suggestion of a more condensed inner area, with a more elliptical, fainter outer.

Perhaps a little like a cross section of a malteser type "Revel"!


No comments:

Post a Comment