Some Nice Eye Candy Coming in to See!
May need a small telescope to see this one. It appears it is too faint for even binoculars. Things can change with comets, so, keep turned in. The videos below, one shown and the other linked, are quite nice too!

Keyboard Warrior



 Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019

A VISITOR FROM BEYOND THE KUIPER BELT: Comet Iwamoto (C/2018 Y1) is coming. On Feb. 12th and 13th, the dirty snowball will make a rare visit to the inner solar system, passing by our planet only 0.3 AU (45 million km) away. Here it is, approaching Earth on Feb. 7th from the constellation Virgo:
[Image: cometmovie_strip.gif]
Amateur astronomer Michael Jäger made the 41-minute movie at his private observatory in Jauerling, Austria. At the time, Comet Iwamoto was crossing the celestial equator, so there are many streaks in the movie from geostationary satellites. (Update: A new movie from Jäger shows even more satellites including one satellite flare.)
Discovered in Dec. 2018 by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto, this comet is a visitor from beyond the Kuiper Belt. It comes from the realm of Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects (ETNOs) more than 5 times as far from the sun as Pluto. This means it could be a relative of other ETNOS such as Sedna, 2012 VP113 ("Biden"), and 2015 TG387 ("Goblin").
Comet Iwamoto doesn't visit us very often. Following a highly elliptical 1371-year orbit, its last passage through the inner solar system was around 648 AD (unrecorded), and its next won't happen until 3390 AD. Therefore, if you want to see the comet, now is the time to look.
[Image: orbits_strip.png]
Above: Click to view an interactive 3D orbit of Comet Iwamoto, courtesy of NASA/JPL

Shining with an astronomical magnitude of +6.5, the comet is invisible to the unaided eye. Nevertheless, it will be an easy target for backyard telescopes in the nights ahead as it glides through the constellation Leo the Lion high in the midnight sky. If you have a GOTO telescope, use this ephemeris to point your optics--and submit your images here.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy
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I get up for work very early, before dawn. I have been watching Spica & thought I saw something new near it's vicinity. Now I know. Thanks for the info.

Edited by Vox to remove extraneous quoting.
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