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 Now in the Night Sky: Comet Garradd

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Data de inscrição : 2011-08-10

PostSubject: Now in the Night Sky: Comet Garradd   Sat 13 Aug 2011, 8:37 pm

Now in the Night Sky: Comet Garradd

Comet Garradd on Aug. 1. 2011 as seen from Australia. Credit: Peter Lake.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start looking for Comet Garradd!
This comet, with the nomenclature C/2009 P1, is now coming into small
telescope/binocular view so here’s your chance to see the brightest comet in the current night sky. You can find it in the late evening sky in the constellation
Pegasus. Viewing it now, Garradd is just coming out the “fuzzball”
stage, and its tail is just coming into view. Some say it’s much better
looking than that other comet, Elenin, that has been needlessly grabbing some headlines. Comet Garradd was discovered two years
ago by Gordon Garradd from the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia,
and is currently visible through a small telescope at about magnitude nine.

Above is an image of Comet Garradd from Peter Lake (aka Astroswanny) from Australia.

Throughout the next couple of months, Comet Garradd will get higher and
brighter and cut through the Summer Triangle north of Altair. By
September, it will drop lower in the west but remain visible in the
evening sky until year’s
end for observers at mid-northern latitudes. Comet Garradd will peak in
brightness late next February at around 6th magnitude, so it could be
visible with the naked eye if you have really dark skies. Closest
approach to Earth happens next March 5, when Garradd will be 117.7
million miles away. At that time, the comet will be seen flying though
the Little Dipper.
Other comets are also currently falling towards the Sun and brightening as they get closer include C/2010 X1 (Elenin), expected to peak near
magnitude six in early September, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova expected
to peak brighten past magnitude eight in mid-August, and C/2011 L4
(PANSTARRS) which may become visible to the unaided eye during the early
months of 2013.

For more information see the following websites:

Gary Kronk’s Cometology


Aartscope Blog
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