Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Comet C/2012 K5 arrives in Australian Skies

Location of C/2012 K5 (LINEAR) looking north as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 local daylight saving time, similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at an equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Comet C/2012 K5  is a nice little midrange comet that has been delighting northern viewers. It as now enterd the Southern hemisphere skies, to the north.

The comet is currently around magnitude 9, so you will need really good binoculars, or at least a small telescope, and dark sky to see it.

The comet passes close to some very nice territory, so a wide aperture lens will make for very nice viewing. Tonight the comet is close to the M36 open cluster. It then passes close to the Asteroid Ceres and a number of interesting open clusters. The comet fades reasonably rapidly, but is easily visible in most amateur telescopes for most of January.

Spotters map for C/2012 K5 suitable for printing, the comet is a magnitude brighter than plotted on this chart. The circle is the field of view of 10x50 binoculars, click to embiggen, use the location map above to orient the spotters map.


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