Comet 2007 E2 Lovejoy
- View Source
A new comet has been sighted from the southern hemisphere. Comet Lovejoy is currently around 9th magnitude and brightening. It should be an easy telescope object or possibly a binocular target when it becomes visible from the UK during mid-April. The comet will be a morning sky object as it tracks rapidly north through Aquila (to the west of Altair by April 21st) and into Lyra (within about 5 degrees of Vega) by the 30th. Comet Lovejoy will remain a circumpolar object for UK observers for the rest of this apparition, albeit against an increasingly twilit sky.
Comet Lovejoy will reach perihelion on March 27th at a distance of 164 million km (102 million miles) from the Sun – outside of the Earth’s orbit. The comet will continue to approach Earth after perihelion, eventually coming within 66 million km (41 million miles) on April 25th. The peak magnitude of the comet is expected to be around +7.5; but this is based on a limited number of observations.
Dr Adrian Jannetta F.R.A.S.
NASTRO Group Moderator