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Friday, May 30, 2008

 

Comet Boattini Speeds Up

Comet C/2007 W1 Boattini as seen from the southern hemisphere facing west at astronomical twilight, and hour and a half after sunset (click image to enlarge).

Boattini is now magnitude 5.2, and its brightening has slowed. It is now bright enough to easily see under dark country skies, and is an easy target in 10x50 binoculars, looking like a small faint ball of cotton wool. No visible tail yet. It is visible in my 7x25 monocular as well (it used to be a binocular until the kids got to it).

Comet Boattini picks up pace over the next week, as it races towards the horizon. It passes through some interesting territory in Canis major, a good binocular hunting ground. It passes close to some bright stars, making it easy to spot. a printable PDF map suitable for use with binoculars from 29 May to 8 June is here. If you missed the comment from Astrosteve on Tony's Boattini picture, see Astrosteve's Boattini picture here.

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