Moons page — updated on February 16th, 2017

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Comet Lovejoy Visible in Northern Hemisphere

Over 11,000 years ago was last time it arrived in Inner Solar System!

After a very long time of not being in the Inner Solar System by Earth, Comet Lovejoy (what a great name) returns to the Northern Hemisphere night sky and is visible, especially through the lenses of binoculars and telescopes! The green-colored comet is even visible by stargazing without a telescope or binoculars because it shines bright at an apparent magnitude of 3.8, according to National Geographic (Andrew Fazekas).
Where to Look
Northern Hemisphere observers currently can spot Comet Lovejoy in the constellation Taurus the Bull on January 13th (tonight) to 15th (Thursday). Taurus is fairly bright, but southwest and west of it is an even brighter constellation: Orion the Hunter. Taurus and Orion are generally located in the southwest sky at 8 p.m. local time, then walks across the sky in a rightward direction later on in the night. Then from January 15th to 17th (Saturday), look for the noticeable Pleiades star cluster, usually located north or east of Taurus in the sky. Lovejoy will travel to the right of Pleiades. The National Geographic report above shows a map of where to look!

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage: Hubblesite.org/categories/images.

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula