Comet Lovejoy will be visible during January!

Although spectacular comets have been rare recently, a steady stream of more modest ones has kept our observing juices flowing. Case in point is Comet Lovejoy, which raced north in late December and that is nicely placed for evening viewing now in January.

The comet should glow at 4th magnitude this month and could be viewed using binoculars or a small telescope.
Lovejoy is bolting out from under Lepus the Hare constellation in early January and will arrive near the foot of Andromeda the Princess constellation by month’s end, providing excellent views for Northern Hemisphere observers. Astronomers predict the comet will reach a peak around 4th magnitude at midmonth, which would make it a stunning binocular target.

Lovejoy makes its closest approach to Earth some 44 million miles away in early January, and the result is that it races across our sky. The comet covers 3 grades per day at its peak. This means it will move noticeably in a single observing session.

Comet Lovejoy got its name from Terry Lovejoy, an amateur astronomer who discovered this object on August 17, 2014, from Brisbane, Australia. Lovejoy has located many comets and at least two of them have reached naked-eyed visibility. Although his latest discovery, Comet Lovejoy, won’t be as bright, it still will be fun to follow.

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February 20, 2018, 1:32 am
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current pressure: 1020 mb
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sunrise: 6:44 am
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