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View Full Version : Comet Passes Near Arcturus - Early January 1



Centaur
2015-Dec-26, 09:55 PM
The magnitude +7.0 comet C/2013 US 10 Catalina will appear to pass the magnitude -0.0 star Arcturus by 0.4 during the morning of 2016 JAN 01 at 11:30 UT (05:30 CST). For almost all of North America this will occur before sunrise with the comet and star above the horizon.

The comet will then be virtually at its peak brilliance which is expected on January 7. It will be closest to Earth on January 17 at 0.7244 AU.

Ive created several preview graphics and an ephemeris. They can be viewed at www.CurtRenz.com/comets.html

Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.

Trebuchet
2016-Jan-02, 05:23 PM
Having missed the "early" part, I went out and tried to look the evening before! Took me a minute to realize Arcturus was below the northern horizon. So I looked in the morning. Unfortunately my eyes don't seem to work all that well with binocs any more, but I think I saw a smudge.

Centaur
2016-Jan-03, 06:08 PM
Having missed the "early" part, I went out and tried to look the evening before! Took me a minute to realize Arcturus was below the northern horizon. So I looked in the morning. Unfortunately my eyes don't seem to work all that well with binocs any more, but I think I saw a smudge.

Glad you got to see something. :)

There will be a somewhat similar event during the night of 2016 JAN 14-15. The same comet will appear to pass the magnitude +1.85 star Alkaid (end of Big Dipper handle) by 1.2 on JAN 15 at 04:39 UT (JAN 14 at 22:39 CST). Again for almost all of North America this will occur at nighttime with the comet and star above the horizon. This time Europeans will also be able to observe at the moment of closest angular approach.

On my comets webpage I've replaced the tight plot of the comet appearing to move past Arcturus with one showing it passing Alkaid: www.CurtRenz.com/comets.html