New Year, New Comet

If you’ve been vaguely catching any astronomy news, you’ve noticed that a comet called ‘Lovejoy’ keeps popping up. While not the same comet as the previous visitor to our solar system, the factor that is the same is the fellow who keeps discovering these comets with his eight inch telescope [read: not an astoundingly sophisticated piece of equipment]!

The current comet is brightening, making it visible to the naked eye in non-light polluted skies and visible with regular binoculars. Its proximity to Orion makes it a little easier to find. The moon is getting later, too, so the skies should be dark enough after sunset.

This comet will return in 8,000 years [the influence of our solar system amended it from 11,000 years], so might want to get a glimpse of it sooner than later!

I don’t have photography equipment fancy enough to catch the tail in any detail, but the photos below give you some idea of what you’d see through binoculars. You can follow this link from Sky and Telescope for more information and great photos.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 Q2 [Green]

Comet Lovejoy C2014 Q2 [Green]

The Belt and Sword of Orion

The Belt and Sword of Orion

The Pleiades

The Pleiades

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