Friday, March 31, 2017

Cometose: Comet 41 P, April Fool's Comet

You may hear of Comet 41P making its closest pass to Earth on April Fools' day, 2017. This is true. The comet is real and moving from the Big Dipper to Draco, but it is very, very faint, or as I like to say, cometose.

Last night I got a whisper of 41P using a 28 mm camera lens and 30-second exposure. Here, I've shown its location near Ursa Major (Big Dipper):

The inset is the region with 3/30 and 3/31 but moved out from under the position labels. The full-resolution inset is here:

I doubt this comet will be visible to the naked eye. I also think it's not a good one for suburban skies, but regardless, I'll be looking again tonight, as there's a chance it will be brighter.


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