Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Comet Hartley 2 Update

Hey Space Placers!

Comet Hartley 2 passed Earth today, October 20th, at a distance of 11 million miles. Observer reports indicate that the comet's coma (gaseous envelope) has gotten large but still remains dim. The near full moon interferes with observing the comet but it can be seen with binoculars and telescopes - it all depends on the Moon and local sky conditions of light pollution.

If you are familiar with the sky here is a star chart to help you find the comet:

It will be tough to see the comet with the Full Moon on Friday, the 22nd. I would recommend trying to look for it when the Moon is out of the sky, and you get a little more time to look before the Moon comes up starting on the 23rd.

I will be looking myself if the clouds ever end up clearing out.

Let me know if you have any luck.

All systems are still GO for the EPOXI-Hartley 2 rendezvous.

Sky Guy in VA

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