Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Comet E2 Lovejoy at its brightest this week!
UPDATE: I have produced black and white printable charts suitable for use in the field. here is the spotters map, and the binocular map.
Comet E2 lovejoy is currently zooming through Aquila, it is currently about magnitude 7.6, easily visible with 10x50 binoculars (except in very light polluted areas) as, well, a fuzzy dot. But a fuzzy dot that moves signficantly from night to night. Heck, if you look long enough, you can see it move over the course of the morning. Lovejoy should peak in brightness around the end of this week.
So the next few days, while the moon is absent from the morning sky, is the ideal time to look for the comet.
Here is a high resolution view in the same orientation as the spotters map above. The circle is the field of view of 10x50 binoculars. Stars down to magnitude 8 are shown. The comet is curently close to bright Zeta Aquliae, and should be easy to hop to from this star.
Here are some images of comet Lovejoy from Dennis Persyk, which includes a nice animation.