Although many may have missed its peak, Comet Lovejoy is still visible in the sky throughout the next couple of weeks. This is a fantastic opportunity for sky fans, astrology students as well as any interested people in stars to witness a unique celestial body. The comet is to be seen for the next ten days.
First of all, where can this comet be spotted? The most important factor in seeing the Lovejoy are clouds. Obviously, if the sky is clear, anyone can see the comet. The Central Washington University’s spokesman offered the audience some information. The comet can be seen near Orion’s constellation and in Taurus’s proximity. These two reference points are facing south.
Also, people should look after Orion’s belt which is made of three stars. The comet is placed at the right side of Orion’s belt, near the face of the bull which creates Taurus. In the next days the comet will get closer to the sun making it visible. After January 30, it will move away from the sun thus beginning to faint.
How does it look? Professor Bruce Palmquist, the official spokesman of Washington’s University, states that the comet looks like a green cotton ball. The green color is caused by the Sun’s ultraviolet rays in reaction with the comet’s carbon molecules.
It has been supposed that this comet will glow at a higher magnitude. Due to this magnitude, watchers can see it without any professional equipment. Thus anyone can see it with only a small telescope or even a set of binoculars.
Professor Palmquist also advises that for a better sight of the comet people should look after 8 o’clock in the evening. Also it is quite crucial to be as far away from the city lights as possible. It is recommended that vision should be adjusted at night time. This process comes naturally after staying in the dark for a couple of minutes.
The Comet Lovejoy was named after its discoverer Terry Lovejoy, an Australian astronomer. He has first spotted the comet last year in August. Since then, the comet has reached its closest point to our planet at the beginning of this year, on 7th January.
These two weeks are most unique, because the comet will be out of sight for next 8,000 years. If weather conditions are good, Comet Lovejoy can be seen in the Southern sky.
Image Source: National Geographic