Comet Lovejoy brightens considerably

Comet C/2017 E4 (Lovejoy) Brightens
Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy taken by Gerald Rhemann on 30 March 2017 with a tail stretching 1°.

Well we did say that Terry Lovejoy’s comets are always ones to watch out for and we weren’t wrong. Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy discovered earlier in the month has brightened from magnitude 12 to magnitude 7 over the past few weeks making it easily visible in binoculars. Peak magnitude predictions were originally set at magnitude 9 which has now been revised to magnitude 6. On 01 April, the comet resides in the constellation of Pegasus visible just north of Enif (Epsilon Pegasi) with the globular cluster M15 nearby. Through April, the comet will head through Andromeda when on April 20–22 it passes close to the Andromeda galaxy so get your cameras ready for that one if you’re an early bird. The fuzzy ice ball will then head in to Triangulum and Perihelion occurs on April 23.

This is however a morning object rising shortly before dawn so it certainly doesn’t boast the long viewing window that Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak has. On the flip side, Comet 41P is more diffuse and not as easy to view as comet Lovejoy which boasts a compact coma and elongated tail. It’s certainly good times for comet fans at the moment even though we haven’t got a decent naked eye comet at the moment, spring 2017 is proving to become a cometary haven. 

Comet C/2017 E4 (Lovejoy) Finder Charts

Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy Finder Chart
Click to enlarge
Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy Finder Chart
Click to enlarge

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