Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Comet C/2014 Q1 from Australia (30 July - 6 August 2015)
Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS is climbing higher in the sky, and is now visible after Astronomical twilight.
Unfortunately it is fading (current estimates are around magnitude 7) and the Moonlight is increasing as the Moon heads towards a blue Moon on the 31st. After this the sky will be darker, but the comet will only be accessible in telescopes.
If you try looking an hour and a half after sunset you will see it low above the horizon. After last weeks effort the skies have been covered in cloud, so I have no sightings to report.
The comet is only visible in high power binoculars or a telescope, it is currently around magnitude 7 as a fuzzy ball of light (with a short tail in small telescopes).
On the 30th sweeping right of Lambda hydra (one of the three bright stars in Hydra, just below the distinctive contellation of Crater the cup) by about two binocular fields should bring you to the comet (there are no other bright fuzzy blobs about).
As the week progresses, the comet continues to climb higher in the sky but remains near Hydra.
On the 6th the comet is within a binocular field of nu Hydra and alpha Crater (right and below) will bring you to the comet. At this time it should be around magnitude 10.