Saturday, November 14, 2020
Observing comet C/2020 M3 Atlas
|Location of comet C/2020 M3 Atlas on Saturday, November 14 at 3:09 am ACDST, when it is highest in the sky. Similar views will be see elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time.||Higher power view of the location of comet C/2020 M3 Atlas on Saturday, November 14 at 3:09 am ACDST, when it is highest in the sky. Similar views will be see elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time.|
Comet C/2020 M3 ATLAS is the brightest comet at the moment, at reported magnitudes of 7.5-8.2. It is much brighter that the originally predicted magnitude of 13. It is relatively easly to find at the moment as it passes through the constellation of Orion, and at magnitude 7.5-8.2 it should be visible in 10x50 and stronger binoculars under dark skies, but may be a challenge under suburban skies.
Sadly the best views are when t is hignest in the sky at around 3 am in the morning.
A black and white spotters chart suitable for printing. Click to embiggen and print. The large circles are the approximate field of view of 10x50 binoculars.
Use with a red-light torch (or a standard torch with red cellophane over it) so as to not disturb your night vision.
Because the comet is a fuzzy dot it will be a bit harder to spot the equivalent brightness stars. Allow at least 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.
For the next fe days the comet will be within binocular range of teh bright star Bellatrix, being closest on the morning of the 16th.