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Sunday, May 11, 2008


Comet Boattini Update

Comet Boattini C/2007 W1 is now fairly easy to pick up in binoculars. In fact, it has brightened significantly since the 8th, when I was having difficultly seeing it. It also helps to be familiar with the stars in the area, as I now am after staring at this patch for so long, so you can be sure that the moving fuzzy patch is the comet.

Also, when coming out to observe the comet, you really need several minutes for your eyes to dark adapt in order to pick up the fuzzy patch that is the comet.

Comet Boattini is now significantly brighter than it was predicted to be, and should be fairly easily observable by the unaided eye soon. It will still only be a faint fuzzy dot at its brightest, but it will be an interesting faint fuzzy dot. It has already been reported to be visible to the unaided eye, but that was under dark sky conditions. People in suburban areas will need to wait longer. Sadly, the waxing Moon will interfere with the comet in a short while.

A spotters map is here, a printable PDF map suitable for use with binoculars in conjunction with the spotters map is here.

A new image of Boattini from Michael Mattiazzo is here, and a nice stereo image of Boattini is here.

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