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© Galloway Astronomy Centre 2018          All images are copyright – M Alexander unless otherwise stated
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New comets are discovered all the time - these will be added to the list when the information is available. 2018 Faint Comets These comets will be faint requiring either a large telescope or imaging equipment to see them. C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS Passing close to Gamma Taurus on 5th Jan 2018 at 13th mag it will be a photo object only. Update - Comet brightens to 10th mag. due to major out-gassing. 64P Swift Gehels Best viewed on 18th to 22nd Oct and 26th Oct 12th Nov Less than 1 degree from Beta Andromeda on 15th Nov. Max brightness 11th mag.
Comets in 2018 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. Always remember that comets are very unpredictable and may not reach the hoped for brightness or  suddenly have an outburst becoming very bright. That is why they are so interesting to watch.  2018 will have 5 bright comets visible through the year, the most since 2013. Comets do not show much of a   tail very often and look like round fuzzy blobs. In dark skies with little light pollution a 7th comet should be   visible in binoculars or small telescope. A comet of 5th mag or brighter will be visible to the unaided eye. 
C/2017 T1 Heinze 28th Dec to 31st Dec 2018 comet visible before dawn moving   between Gemini and Cancer heading towards Lynx at 11th mag,  brightening by 0.2 mag per day. You will need to wait until moonset  in the early hours for the sky to be dark enough.  1st and 2nd Jan the full Moon will to too bright for viewing.  3rd Jan to 19th Jan 2018 look for 10th mag object as soon as it’s  dark in the evening. It moves from Lynx (on 3rd) through  Camelopardalis (Giraffe) (5th & 6th - Comet at its brightest.)   to Cassiopeia (7th to 9th). Once moon has risen it will be too faint to  see. It will be visible most of the night once the Moon is past last  quarter on 9th Jan. 17th Jan to 22nd Jan it will only be a visible for a few more days in  the evening. Moonlight affected after this.  The very last chance to see the comet is low in the east at dawn near  Pegasus until the end of the month. Comet 21P Giacobini / Zinner It may be difficult to see this comet at first unless your skies get dark  during the Summer. 14th July reaches 10th mag passing close to zeta Cepheus.   Each day the comet moves by approx 0.5 degree and brightens by  0.1 mag. heading towards Cassiopeia.  5th Aug our dark skies return making the 8.5 mag comet easier to  see in Cassiopeia. Although the Moon will be visible it will have set by  the time it is fully dark.   22nd Aug to 5th Sept comet difficult to see in moonlight.   6th Sept as the Moon wanes in the first week of Sept the comet  should be easy to see in the dark skies. It brightens passes through  Auriga reaching maximum brightness on the 12th Sept.   14th Sept the comet is closest to the Earth on at 36 million miles. In  Gemini after this date the comet slowly fades.   24th Sept to 3rd Oct comet difficult to see in moonlight.  12th Oct the comet passes 7 degrees west of Sirius in Canes Major it  is still quite bright at 8th mag. It continues towards the horizon and  is probably lost by 23rd Oct. It is worth watching the comet throughout its apparition as on  previous visits it has had outbursts to 5th mag. There are some photo opportunities as the comet passes M35 on  15th Sept, the Rosette Nebula on 25th Sept and Cone Nebula on 27th Sept. C/2017 S3 PanSTARRS Probably going to be the most difficult of all the comets to see at it  remains quite close to the Sun.    22nd July the comet is at 10th mag in Auriga, the dawn sky may be  too bright for it to be seen. It will brighten as it gets closer too the  Sun but may remain difficult in the dawn light.  This comet is a new discovery and likely to be its first trip close to the  Sun. There is always the possibility that it will brighten greatly as it  approaches the Sun. Update: JPL website predicting max brightness at -4.5 at perihelion.  Comet 38P Stephan / Oterman Most short period comets orbit the Sun is 5 to 6 years but this takes  38 years so it is worth seeking out as this comet as will not be back  until 2056.  22nd Sept before dawn the comet will be close to Lambda Orion at  11th mag requiring a large telescope to see it.  14 degrees to the West will be Comet 21P Giacobini Zinner much  brighter at 7th mag.  24th Sept to 3rd Oct bright moonlight returns 4th to 19th Oct the comet moves westwards reaching Gamma Gemini  on 19th when its 10th mag bringing it within range of small  telescopes. 22nd Oct to 1st Nov comet difficult to see in moonlight.  2nd to 22nd Nov the comet moves along Gemini passing 3 deg below  Pollux on 21st Nov. When it as its brightest of 9th mag 23rd to 29th Nov comet difficult to see in moonlight.  30th Nov to 31st Dec the comet moves north towards Lynx fading to  10th mag by the end of the year. 22nd to 28th Dec comet difficult to see in moonlight.  Comet 46P Wirtanen This comet orbits the Sun every 5.5 years which usually makes them  quite faint but it is know to be a very active comet. It should be the  brightest of the year. 28th Nov comet is 5th mag very low on southern horizon between  Eridanus (River) and Cetus (Whale).Moving at more than 1 deg per  day and brightening by 0.1magper day heading towards Taurus.   6th Dec the comet passes Eta Eridanus at 4.3mag so any easy naked  eye object. It speeds up to 3 deg per day. 12th Dec passes close to Omicron Taurus at 4th mag 17th Dec the comet passes 3 deg west of the Pleiades at its brightest  of 3.8th mag 22nd to 28th Dec comet difficult to see in moonlight.  23rd Dec the comet is less than 1 deg south of Capella in Auriga at  4th mag slowly fading.  31st Dec the comet is 5 mag and 1 deg below the star 15 Lynx. On  the same day Comet 38P Stephan / Oterman at 9th mag is in the  same constellation 3 deg below 31 Lynx.  11th Jan 2019 the comet passes Omicron Ursa Major (the nose of the  Great Bear) at 6 mag.  17th Jan 2019 is the 71st anniversary of discovery by Carl Wirtanen  it will still be an easy object in small telescopes.  14th Feb 2019 passing Theta Ursa Major the comet fades to 9th mag It should remain visible in larger telescopes until mid March 2019. 
Comets
enquiries@gallowayastro.com Tel: 01988 500594
© Galloway Astronomy Centre 2018                                   All images are copyright – M Alexander unless otherwise stated
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Comets in 2018 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. Always remember that comets are very unpredictable and  may not reach the hoped for brightness or suddenly have an  outburst becoming very bright. That is why they are so  interesting to watch.  2018 will have 5 bright comets visible through the year, the  most since 2013. Comets do not show much of a tail very  often and look like round fuzzy blobs. In dark skies with little  light pollution a 7th comet should be visible in binoculars or  small telescope. A comet of 5th mag or brighter will be visible  to the unaided eye.  C/2017 T1 Heinze 28th Dec to 31st Dec 2018 comet visible before dawn moving   between Gemini and Cancer heading towards Lynx at 11th  mag, brightening by 0.2 mag per day. You will need to wait  until moonset in the early hours for the sky to be dark  enough. 1st and 2nd Jan the full Moon will to too bright for viewing.  3rd Jan to 19th Jan 2018 look for 10th mag object as soon as  it’s dark in the evening. It moves from Lynx (on 3rd) through  Camelopardalis (Giraffe), 5th & 6th - Comet at its brightest,  to Cassiopeia (7th to 9th). Once moon has risen it will be too  faint to see. It will be visible most of the night once the Moon  is past last quarter on 9th Jan. 17th Jan to 22nd Jan it will only be a visible for a few more  days in the evening. Moonlight affected after this.  The very last chance to see the comet is low in the east at  dawn near Pegasus until the end of the month.  Comet 21P Giacobini / Zinner It may be difficult to see this comet at first unless your skies  get dark during the Summer. 14th July reaches 10th mag passing close to zeta Cepheus.   Each day the comet moves by approx 0.5 degree and  brightens by 0.1 mag. heading towards Cassiopeia.  5th Aug our dark skies return making the 8.5 mag comet  easier to see in Cassiopeia. Although the Moon will be visible  it will have set by the time it is fully dark.   22nd Aug to 5th Sept comet difficult to see in moonlight.   6th Sept as the Moon wanes in the first week of Sept the  comet should be easy to see in the dark skies. It brightens  passes through Auriga reaching maximum brightness on the  12th Sept. 14th Sept the comet is closest to the Earth on at 36 million  miles. In Gemini after this date the comet slowly fades.   24th Sept to 3rd Oct comet difficult to see in moonlight.  12th Oct the comet passes 7 degrees west of Sirius in Canes  Major it is still quite bright at 8th mag. It continues towards  the horizon and is probably lost by 23rd Oct. It is worth watching the comet throughout its apparition as on   previous visits it has had outbursts to 5th mag. There are some photo opportunities as the comet passes M35 on 15th Sept, the Rosette Nebula on 25th Sept and Cone  Nebula on 27th Sept.  C/2017 S3 PanSTARRS Probably going to be the most difficult of all the comets to see  at it remains quite close to the Sun.    22nd July the comet is at 10th mag in Auriga the dawn sky  which may be too bright for it to be seen. It will brighten as it  gets closer too the Sun but may remain difficult in the dawn  light.  This comet is a new discovery and likely to be its first trip  close to the Sun. There is always the possibility that it will  brighten greatly as it approaches the Sun.  Comet 38P Stephan / Oterman Most short period comets orbit the Sun is 5 to 6 years but this takes 38 years so it is worth seeking out as this comet as will  not be back until 2056.  22nd Sept before dawn the comet will be close to Lambda  Orion at 11th mag requiring a large telescope to see it.  14 degrees to the West will be Comet 21P Giacobini Zinner  much brighter at 7th mag.  24th Sept to 3rd Oct bright moonlight returns 4th to 19th Oct the comet moves westwards reaching Gamma  Gemini on 19th when its 10th mag bringing it within range of  small telescopes.  22nd Oct to 1st Nov comet difficult to see in moonlight.  2nd to 22nd Nov the comet moves along Gemini passing 3  deg below Pollux on 21st Nov. When it as its brightest of 9th  mag  23rd to 29th Nov comet difficult to see in moonlight.  30th Nov to 31st Dec the comet moves north towards Lynx  fading to 10th mag by the end of the year. 22nd to 28th Dec comet difficult to see in moonlight.  Comet 46P Wirtanen This comet orbits the Sun every 5.5 years which usually  makes them quite faint but it is know to be a very active  comet. It should be the brightest of the year. 28th Nov comet is 5th mag very low on southern horizon  between Eridanus (River) and Cetus (Whale).Moving at more  than 1 deg per day and brightening by 0.1magper day  heading towards Taurus. 6th Dec the comet passes Eta Eridanus at 4.3mag so any easy   naked eye object. It speeds up to 3 deg per day. 12th Dec passes close to Omicron Taurus at 4th mag 17th Dec the comet passes 3 deg west of the Pleiades at its  brightest of 3.8th mag 22nd to 28th Dec comet difficult to see in moonlight.  23rd Dec the comet is less than 1 deg south of Capella in  Auriga at 4th mag slowly fading.  31st Dec the comet is 5 mag and 1 deg below the star 15   Lynx. On the same day Comet 38P Stephan / Oterman at   9th mag is in the same constellation 3 deg below 31 Lynx.  11th Jan 2019 the comet passes Omicron Ursa Major (the  nose of the Great Bear) at 6 mag.  17th Jan 2019 is the 71st anniversary of discovery by Carl  Wirtanen it will still be an easy object in small telescopes.  14th Feb 2019 passing Theta Ursa Major the comet fades to 9th mag It should remain visible in larger telescopes until mid March   2019. 2018 Faint Comets These comets will be faint requiring either a large telescope or imaging equipment to see them. C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS Passing close to Gamma Taurus on 5th Jan 2018 at 13th mag it will be a photo object only. 64P Swift Gehels Best viewed on 18th to 22nd Oct and 26th Oct 12th Nov Less than 1 degree from Beta Andromeda on 15th Nov. Max brightness 11th mag. New comets are discovered all the time - these will be added to the list when the information is available.
enquiries@gallowayastro.com Tel: 01988 500594 Home About Us Contact Accommodation Prices Equipment Courses Astro Events Future Events Galleries Media Astro Links Places to Visit SCOPE SHOP Galloway Astronomy Centre Discover the Dark Skies of Galloway
Comets in 2018 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. Always remember that comets are very unpredictable and may  not reach the hoped for brightness or suddenly have an outburst  becoming very bright. That is why they are so interesting to  watch.  2018 will have 5 bright comets visible through the year, the most  since 2013. Comets do not show much of a tail very often and  look like round fuzzy blobs. In dark skies with little light pollution  a 7th comet should be visible in binoculars or small telescope. A  comet of 5th mag or brighter will be visible to the unaided eye.  C/2017 T1 Heinze 28th Dec to 31st Dec 2018 comet visible before dawn moving  between Gemini and Cancer heading towards Lynx at 11th mag,  brightening by 0.2 mag per day. You will need to wait until  moonset in the early hours for the sky to be dark enough. 1st and 2nd Jan the full Moon will to too bright for viewing.  3rd Jan to 19th Jan 2018 look for 10th mag object as soon as it’s dark in the evening. It moves from Lynx (on 3rd) through  Camelopardalis (Giraffe) (5th & 6th - Comet at its brightest.) to  Cassiopeia (7th to 9th). Once moon has risen it will be too faint  to see. It will be visible most of the night once the Moon is past  last quarter on 9th Jan.  17th Jan to 22nd Jan it will only be a visible for a few more days  in the evening. Moonlight affected after this.The very last chance  to see the comet is low in the east at dawn near Pegasus until  the end of the month. Comet 21P Giacobini / Zinner It may be difficult to see this comet at first unless your skies get  dark during the Summer. 14th July reaches 10th mag passing close to zeta Cepheus.   Each day the comet moves by approx 0.5 degree and brightens  by 0.1 mag. heading towards Cassiopeia.  5th Aug our dark skies return making the 8.5 mag comet   easier to see in Cassiopeia. Although the Moon will be visible it  will have set by the time it is fully dark.   22nd Aug to 5th Sept comet difficult to see in moonlight.   6th Sept as the Moon wanes in the first week of Sept the comet  should be easy to see in the dark skies. It brightens passes  through Auriga reaching maximum brightness on the 12th Sept.   14th Sept the comet is closest to the Earth on at 36 million  miles. In Gemini after this date the comet slowly fades.   24th Sept to 3rd Oct comet difficult to see in moonlight.  12th Oct the comet passes 7 degrees west of Sirius in Canes  Major it is still quite bright at 8th mag. It continues towards the  horizon and is probably lost by 23rd Oct. It is worth watching the comet throughout its apparition as on  previous visits it has had outbursts to 5th mag. There are some photo opportunities as the comet passes M35 on  15th Sept, the Rosette Nebula on 25th Sept and Cone Nebula on  27th Sept. C/2017 S3 PanSTARRS Probably going to be the most difficult of all the comets to see at  it remains quite close to the Sun.    22nd July the comet is at 10th mag in Auriga the dawn sky which  may be too bright for it to be seen. It will brighten as it gets  closer too the Sun but may remain difficult in the dawn light.  This comet is a new discovery and likely to be its first trip close  to the Sun. There is always the possibility that it will brighten  greatly as it approaches the Sun.  Comet 38P Stephan / Oterman Most short period comets orbit the Sun is 5 to 6 years but this  takes 38 years so it is worth seeking out as this comet as will not  be back until 2056.  22nd Sept before dawn the comet will be close to Lambda Orion  at 11th mag requiring a large telescope to see it. 14 degrees to  the West will be Comet 21P Giacobini Zinner much brighter at  7th mag.  24th Sept to 3rd Oct bright moonlight returns 4th to 19th Oct the comet moves westwards reaching Gamma  Gemini on 19th when its 10th mag bringing it within range of  small telescopes.  22nd Oct to 1st Nov comet difficult to see in moonlight.  2nd to 22nd Nov the comet moves along Gemini passing 3 deg  below Pollux on 21st Nov. When it as its brightest of 9th mag 23rd to 29th Nov comet difficult to see in moonlight.  30th Nov to 31st Dec the comet moves north towards Lynx  fading to 10th mag by the end of the year. 22nd to 28th Dec comet difficult to see in moonlight.  Comet 46P Wirtanen This comet orbits the Sun every 5.5 years which usually makes  them quite faint but it is know to be a very active comet. It  should be the brightest of the year. 28th Nov comet is 5th mag very low on southern horizon  between Eridanus (River) and Cetus (Whale).Moving at more  than 1 deg per day and brightening by 0.1mag per day heading  towards Taurus. 6th Dec the comet passes Eta Eridanus at 4.3mag so any easy  naked eye object. It speeds up to 3 deg per day. 12th Dec passes close to Omicron Taurus at 4th mag 17th Dec the comet passes 3 deg west of the Pleiades at its  brightest of 3.8th mag 22nd to 28th Dec comet difficult to see in moonlight.  23rd Dec the comet is less than 1 deg south of Capella in Auriga  at 4th mag slowly fading.  31st Dec the comet is 5 mag and 1 deg below the star 15 Lynx.  On the same day Comet 38P Stephan / Oterman at   9th mag is in the same constellation 3 deg below 31 Lynx.  11th Jan 2019 the comet passes Omicron Ursa Major (the nose  of the Great Bear) at 6 mag.  17th Jan 2019 is the 71st anniversary of discovery by Carl  Wirtanen it will still be an easy object in small telescopes.  14th Feb 2019 passing Theta Ursa Major the comet fades to 9th  mag  It should remain visible in larger telescopes until mid March  2019. 2018 Faint Comets These comets will be faint requiring either a large telescope or  imaging equipment to see them.  C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS Passing close to Gamma Taurus on 5th Jan 2018 at 13th mag it  will be a photo object only.  64P Swift Gehels Best viewed on 18th to 22nd Oct and 26th Oct 12th Nov Less than 1 degree from Beta Andromeda on 15th Nov. Max  brightness 11th mag. New comets are discovered all the time - these will be added to  the list when the information is available.