Comet LoveJoy a.k.a C/2012 Q2

Yes, a comet.

I have been trying to spot this since late December when it was in news as being the most anticipated Christmas comet.

I have so far, unwavering failed, each and every time I tried to spot this Love.

Two main reasons, I am in Delhi NCR, and we are having foggy, cloudy and rainy nights from past two weeks. Another being lame, at not joining any astronomy club in my area, and trying to spot it solo with my Celestron Binoculars.

cbmp07comet_lovejo_2270285f
Credits to ANNAMALAI P.S. from Coimbatore, as published by a daily – The Hindu

Yes, this is how it should look when sighted through a binocular or telescope.

However, the amature astronomers of a Coimbatore astronomy club have raised hope to be seen with naked eyes on 7th January, after nine pm (Yes, that’s tonight!)

On 7th, the orbit of comet shall be nearest to Earth, which is appx 7 crore km (70 million km)

Yes, that’s the nearest how it can get.

But, using aids, such as binocular and telescope (on a clear night sky, ofcourse) you can spot this comet till the end of January.

Where to spot?!

A stimulation made using stellarium
A stimulation made using stellarium

So, you can see, on 7 and 8th Jan, you can spot this above northwards of Orion’s Rigel star (this star is below the Orion’s belt (the three stars) and it shines bright white)

Credits: Heavens-above
Credits: Heavens-above

So, that’s were you have to look for a hazy patch of greenish hue, that’s your LoveJoy

Image credit: Gerald Rhemann via Sky and Telescope
Image credit: Gerald Rhemann via Sky and Telescope

That’s a mindblowing picture of Comet, seen by atleast one human, ahem ahem..cheers!

courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech
courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech

That shows the path of Comet LoveJoy, in which the Comet is moving Up, and Earth is moving left (closer to sun, as we are now approaching summers), so you see, that’s the closest how it comes to earth as well as sun.

The Orbital path of Lovejoy after recent corrections stands at 8000 years, which means, technically after January ends, the Comet Lovejoy won’t return for another 8,000 Years!

Credits: Sky & Telescope
Credits: Sky & Telescope

This is a chart which you can save. This gives the position of Comet, each night, as it moves along a trail, day by day, till January ends.

I wish you all a dark sky.

Keep riding!

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