Challenge for the next 2 days: Comet

My challenge for the next two days (Clear Sky Chart is predicting clear skies) is to observe and capture comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova.  It should be relatively easy to locate by hopping from Venus then down the bright stars of Capricorn starting with Delta, Gamma, Iota and ending with Theta.  Then half a degree to the left of Theta Cap is magnitude 6 star HD201057.  Comet 45P at magnitude 7 should be just next to that star.

The challenge will be its position low near the horizon, I may have obstructions before it sets.  And the twilight may not be dark enough for a magnitude 7 object.  The viewing time window will be quite small…wait for darkness and it will fall out of view.

Location of comet for January 5th 5:30pm EST

Location of comet for January 5th 5:30pm EST

No need for telescope, it’s also a binocular object.

45P is the 45th periodic comet (Halley being the 1st identified periodic comet) with a 5.3 year period.  Its orbit swings from just past Jupiter to in between Mercury and Venus.

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2 thoughts on “Challenge for the next 2 days: Comet

  1. Pingback: Comets for 2017 | Ben Backyard Astronomy

  2. Pingback: Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova | Ben Backyard Astronomy

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