Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bright winter comet - Comet Lulin

If it ever clears up around here, there is a comet in the sky right now and for the next couple months that should be visible. It's up in the morning sky right now, but will later be rising around midnight in February for those of us (like me) that are unable to wake up early.
The closest to Earth this will get is .42 AU or about 38,111,913 miles. (See why Astronomers us Astronomical Units for distance?)
This will be on February 24th, and it should be at the brightest also - about 5th magnitude. That is just a guess though, since comets could erupt or burp out a bunch of gas and dust brightening them. (Remember comet Holmes last year?) By this time it should be visible in late evening - good for us night owl types of observers.
I'll definitely try to get some images of this if possible, but I'm losing confidence in this hobby in the Seattle area over the last year and a half.

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