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Faint Comet To Fly Across The Skies During Christmas And The New Year

24 Dec 2014, 7:16 pm

You might be in for a celestial treat this over the next couple of weeks – that’s if you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 – recently discovered by Brisbane, Australia–based amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy – is making its approach into the inner part of the Solar System.

And as it does, its luminosity is expected to increase and could become visible to the naked eye in the coming days.

Love joy originally made the discovery in August, while viewing the heavens through and eight-inch telescope. At that time its brightness was measured in the fifteenth magnitude, meaning it was 4,000 time fainter than visible to the naked eye.

But over the last few months, as it has moved closer to the sun, its become faintly visible to the naked eye, reports iflscince.com.

But use of a simple telescope or very powerful binoculars will make the viewing experience better.

While visible from the Southern Hemisphere for months, the comet is just now making its debut in the Northern Hemisphere and should be visible through early January.

“If you live in the central U.S., Lovejoy Q2 pokes its head from Puppis in the early morning hours this week. Glowing at magnitude +7.0-7.5, it’s a faint, fuzzy cotton ball in binoculars from a dark sky and visible in telescopes as small as 3-inches (7.5 cm). With the Moon past full and phasing out of the picture, comet viewing will continue to improve in the coming nights, reports UniverseToday.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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