Thursday, December 03, 2015
Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina, the Moon and Bright Planets in the Morning (4-8 December, 2015)
Over the next few days the morning skies will host a gorgeous sight as the waning, then crescent, Moon skips down the bright planets (and the bright star Spica) from the 4th to the 8th of December. As well comet C/2013 US10 Catalina is in a good position to be seen in the morning twilight, although it will be hard to see in the twilight.
For the next few days the location of comet Catalina is fairly easy to find. Sweeping down ad east of Venus brings you to Kappa Vriginis (K on the map) a moderately bright star, the comet is within a binocular field of K Virg.
Unfortunately, with twilight advancing and the comet low on the horizon, it is unlikely to be visible in binoculars, despite it being around magnitude 6, and you will probably have to star hop down from K Virginis with a telescope.
Northern Australia (Brisbane and anywhere north of it) has the best views with the comet being 2-3 hand-spans above the horizon at Nautical twilight (an hour before sunrise).
In Darwin and Alice Springs the comet is even visible around a hand-span above the eastern horizon at Astronomical twilight (an hour and a half before sunrise). For places south of Brisbane the comet is only a hand-span above the horizon at Nautical twilight. Tasmania the comet is even lower.
The climax of this weeks planet dance is on the 8th, when the Moon and Venus are close, and the comet just below them. There have been some great images of the comet coming from Europe, where the comet is much higher in the sky. We are unlikely to see more than a fuzzy blob in our telescopes, but it s worth the hunt.
Labels: binocular, comet, Jupiter, Mars, Moon, telescope, unaided eye, Venus
ACDST (Australian central daylight savings time) just look a handspan below Venus from 4am brisbane time
The equivalent time for Brisbane is 3:47 AEST (see the final panel in the series for the view from Brisbane on the 8th at nautical twilight)Post a Comment