Archive for January, 2015

Comet Lovejoy

If you are currently lucky with the weather (we are not in Plymouth!), you should be able to see Comet Lovejoy (Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy) in the night sky now. Ideally, it is best to go to a dark area, such as a moor or rural location, as it will be much easier to see it, although you will probably be able to make it out with the naked eye in a more built up area. The very best way to view it would be to go to a really dark place and have a look at it through some binoculars. It will appear like a glowing green blue ball, due to the fact it is made of ice.

The comet was only discovered last year by an Australian astronomer called Terry Lovejoy, but it has been found to have been orbiting the Sun and is about 44 million miles away from the Earth (as of now).  So there is no chance that it will hit us! 😉 The last time it came through our part of the Solar System was 11,500 years ago and it won’t be back for another 8,000 years. We will all be travelling around in space by then I think! It appeared closest to Earth on January 7th, but is still going to be a really good view for at least another 10 days, until it will gradually get fainter and fainter as it moves further away from us.

To find Comet Lovejoy in the Sky, you will need to look towards the South of the Constellation Taurus and to the West of the upper half of the Constellation Orion. As the days go on, it will obviously travel onwards and eventually through the edge of Taurus and near to the Pleiades. It should be pretty straight forward to spot if you know your basic Constellations.

This is a great Comet to view and I am crossing my fingers that our skies clear enough for me to have a good look at it! 😉