© Galloway Astronomy Centre 2021 All images are copyright – M Alexander unless otherwise stated
Galloway Astronomy Centre Discover the Dark Skies of Galloway
Comets in 2021 On this page are more details on each of the comets including the best dates to observe plus maps of their path through the night sky. Mostly comets do not show much of a tail and look like round fuzzy blobs. In dark skies with little light pollution a 7th magnitude (mag) comet should be visible in binoculars or small telescope. A 5th mag comet or brighter will be visible to the unaided eye. A comet is highly unpredictable and can brighten or fade rapidly so it is worth watching it on a regular basis Bright comet Leonard is on the way - but not until November Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimeno This periodic comet, is famous for the European Space Agency's Rosetta / Philae orbiter - lander Mission in 2014. This comet was discovered in 1969 and has a 6.4 year orbit. It is thought this apparition will be similar at of 1982, when the comet reached 9th magnitude and grew a pretty tail. Peak brightness occurs from late November through December as C- G heads from Gemini into Cancer. Closest approach of 0.42 a.u. occurs on November 12th. On 8th Dec Comet 67P will be close to the much fainter Comer 15P Finlay (16th mag) C/2021 A1 (Leonard) A newly found comet might become 2021’s brightest comet. Discovered by astronomer Greg Leonard on January 3, 2021 at the Mount Lemmon Observatory, Arizona. Discovery images show a tail for the comet, suggesting we might see a nice tail as the comet gets closer to the Sun. It will reach have its closest approach to the sun on January 3, 2022 though it will be in the Southern hemisphere by then. The comet is travelling almost 2.5 times the orbital velocity of Earth, on the map to can see the distance between points getting greater. This means when viewed just with your eyes over an hour it should have moved noticeably against the starry background. The comet will pass the Earth on December 12, 2021 at a distance of 21,690,493 miles (34,907,464 km). It also passes even closer to Venus at 2,632,000 miles on December 18, 2021. Current estimates are that it could reach magnitude of +4 or +5 at best. Since the comet has a hyperbolic orbit it will not be returning so head to a dark sky site to see it at its best.
“It’s the best view I’ve ever had” - Prof Ian Morison (Jodrell Bank)
© Galloway Astronomy Centre 2021 All images are copyright – M Alexander unless otherwise stated
Comets in 2021 On this page are more details on each of the comets including the best dates to observe plus maps of their path through the night sky. Mostly comets do not show much of a tail and look like round fuzzy blobs. In dark skies with little light pollution a 7th magnitude (mag) comet should be visible in binoculars or small telescope. A 5th mag comet or brighter will be visible to the unaided eye. A comet is highly unpredictable and can brighten or fade rapidly so it is worth watching it on a regular basis Bright comet Leonard is on the way - but not until November Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimeno This periodic comet, is famous for the European Space Agency's Rosetta / Philae orbiter - lander Mission in 2014. This comet was discovered in 1969 and has a 6.4 year orbit. It is thought this apparition will be similar at of 1982, when the comet reached 9th magnitude and grew a pretty tail. Peak brightness occurs from late November through December as C-G heads from Gemini into Cancer. Closest approach of 0.42 a.u. occurs on November 12th. On 8th Dec Comet 67P will be close to the much fainter Comer 15P Finlay (16th mag) C/2021 A1 (Leonard) A newly found comet might become 2021’s brightest comet. Discovered by astronomer Greg Leonard on January 3, 2021 at the Mount Lemmon Observatory, Arizona. Discovery images show a tail for the comet, suggesting we might see a nice tail as the comet gets closer to the Sun. It will reach have its closest approach to the sun on January 3, 2022 though it will be in the Southern hemisphere by then. The comet is travelling almost 2.5 times the orbital velocity of Earth, on the map to can see the distance between points getting greater. This means when viewed just with your eyes over an hour it should have moved noticeably against the starry background. The comet will pass the Earth on December 12, 2021 at a distance of 21,690,493 miles (34,907,464 km). It also passes even closer to Venus at 2,632,000 miles on December 18, 2021. Current estimates are that it could reach magnitude of +4 or +5 at best. Since the comet has a hyperbolic orbit it will not be returning so head to a dark sky site to see it at its best.
Galloway Astronomy Centre Discover the Dark Skies of Galloway
“It’s the best view I’ve ever had” - Prof Ian Morison (Jodrell Bank)
Galloway Astronomy Centre Discover the Dark Skies of Galloway
Comets in 2021 On this page are more details on each of the comets including the best dates to observe plus maps of their path through the night sky. Mostly comets do not show much of a tail and look like round fuzzy blobs. In dark skies with little light pollution a 7th magnitude (mag) comet should be visible in binoculars or small telescope. A 5th mag comet or brighter will be visible to the unaided eye. A comet is highly unpredictable and can brighten or fade rapidly so it is worth watching it on a regular basis Bright comet Leonard is on the way - but not until November Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimeno This periodic comet, is famous for the European Space Agency's Rosetta / Philae orbiter - lander Mission in 2014. This comet was discovered in 1969 and has a 6.4 year orbit. It is thought this apparition will be similar at of 1982, when the comet reached 9th magnitude and grew a pretty tail. Peak brightness occurs from late November through December as C-G heads from Gemini into Cancer. Closest approach of 0.42 a.u. occurs on November 12th. On 8th Dec Comet 67P will be close to the much fainter Comer 15P Finlay (16th mag) C/2021 A1 (Leonard) A newly found comet might become 2021’s brightest comet. Discovered by astronomer Greg Leonard on January 3, 2021 at the Mount Lemmon Observatory, Arizona. Discovery images show a tail for the comet, suggesting we might see a nice tail as the comet gets closer to the Sun. It will reach have its closest approach to the sun on January 3, 2022 though it will be in the Southern hemisphere by then. The comet is travelling almost 2.5 times the orbital velocity of Earth, on the map to can see the distance between points getting greater. This means when viewed just with your eyes over an hour it should have moved noticeably against the starry background. The comet will pass the Earth on December 12, 2021 at a distance of 21,690,493 miles (34,907,464 km). It also passes even closer to Venus at 2,632,000 miles on December 18, 2021. Current estimates are that it could reach magnitude of +4 or +5 at best. Since the comet has a hyperbolic orbit it will not be returning so head to a dark sky site to see it at its best.