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Thursday, May 14, 2015

 

Viewing Comet C/2015 G2 MASTER in the Southern Hemisphere this coming Week

The path of comet C/2015 G2 MASTER from 14 to 21 May, looking west as seen from Adelaide at Astronomical twilight (6:50 pm) and hour an a half after sunset. The position of the comet is shown every two days. You will probably need binoculars to see it. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at equivalent local times. Click to embiggenAnimation showing the path of the comet from 14-21 May at Astronomical twilight. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at equivalent local times. Click to embiggen

Printable black and white horizon chart facing west an hour and a half after sunset showing the path of comet C/2015 G2 MASTER  as seen from Adelaide. Similar views will be seen from Southern Hemisphere locations at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen and print

A PDF spotters map also suitable for printing in black and white is here

Printable black and white chart suitable for use with binoculars. 

Comet C/2015 G2 MASTER has entered the evening sky after being a morning object. It is now high enough above the horizon to be readily seen. It is around magnitude 6, just on the threshold of unaided eye visibility, but is best viewed with binoculars and telescopes. In binoculars the comet will looks like a large ball of cotton wool (it will look similar to the globular cluster omega centauri in binoculars). There is a thin tail seen in astrophotographs, but visual telescopic observation has not reported a tail yet.

The comet will move rapidly up through Lepus heading for Canis Major this week. It will stay around magnitude 6 for most of this time, and be readily visible in binoculars. It is the only relatively bright fuzzy blob in the area.

From the 14th-17th if you sweep across to the left from Orion in binoculars you should pick it up fairly easily. There after sweep down and to the left from Sirius. On the 18th the comet will be in binocular range of the faint but pretty globular cluster M79, the comet being the brighter. 

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