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Sunday, October 21, 2007

 

"Bright" Comet next week!

Path of comet LONEOS (C2007/F1) between 27 October and 5 November at civil twilight (half an hour after sunset). Click the image to enlarge to a usable size.

Comet LONEOS (C2007/F1) is a rapidly brightening comet that is currently visible only in the northern hemisphere, near Bootes. It is now visible to the unaided eye, and is brightening faster than expected. If it keeps following its current brightening curve, it may reach 4th or 3rd magnitude, brighter than the 5.3 magnitude maximum predicted (see here for an ephemeris).

Comet LONEOS enters the southern skies at the end of this week, however, it may be difficult to see in the twilight skies until the 28th or 29th, when it will be relatively low to the horizon. It won't be another comet McNaught, but it should be readily visible to the unaided eye and binoculars, even if it will only be a fuzzy dot. So pop out and have a look. I'll make some better charts later on.

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