Two Bright Comets in the Night Sky

~1 min
Two Bright Comets in the Night Sky

The upcoming weekend will please stargazers with two bright comets shining in the night sky at once. On Sunday (December 2), comets 69P/Taylor and 38P/Stephan-Oterma will reach their brightest. Both comets will be well placed for observation, so do not miss this wonderful opportunity!

Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma will reach its brightest at around magnitude 9.7. It will lie at a distance of 1.60 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.78 AU from the Earth. It can be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible at around 21:39, when it rises 21° above your eastern horizon. The comet will reach its highest point in the sky at 03:24, 78° above southern horizon.

Comet 38P should remain well placed for observers through to New Year’s Day 2019, when it may drop back down below binocular visibility at +10th magnitude.

See the magnitude 11.9 comet 69P/Taylor at a distance of 2.40 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.53 AU from the Earth. The best time to observe it in the night sky will be between 19:13 and 01:54. It will become accessible at around 19:13, when it rises 21° above your south-eastern horizon, and then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:31.

You can spot these bright comets with binoculars under dark skies, but a telescope with a generous field of view will work better.

Happy stargazing and clear skies!

Tekst Credit:
Afbeelding Credit:Vito Technology

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