Comet 41P ready and well placed

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak now resides in the constellation of Leo already 30 degrees above the horizon shortly after sunset. Brightening rapidly and already about to pass the 10th magnitude, the comet will remain in an excellent position in the sky for northern hemisphere observers.

Throughout March, Comet 41P will creep higher in the sky each day moving from the head of Leo through to Ursa Major becoming circumpolar by mid-month. The comet will then head in to Ursa Minor towards the end of the month. This will be the closest approach to the Earth for this comet for over a century passing at 0.14AU (13.67 million miles). It is forecast to reach (and possibly pass) 6th magnitude in early April making it a naked eye target. There is also the possibility of an outburst at any time.

There will be a photographic opportunity on the nights of the 21 and 22 March when the comet passes within 2 degrees of both The Owl Nebula (M97) and spiral galaxy M108.

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