Comet 103/P Hartley

Astronomers have been trying to track down the periodic comet 103/P Hartley since September, as it makes its way across the sky. Unfortunately it seems as though it is not going to be as bright as people were hoping and is proving to be a difficult object to track down.

I personally haven’t been able to locate it yet in my local light-polluted skies. However I’m waiting for a clear night and hope to try out my new Baader UHC-S light-pollution filter. Hopefully it may be tomorrow night as the comet passes the double-cluster near Cassiopeia.

I’ve found a couple of links that may prove to be useful for people who want to try and track down the comet:-

Sky and Telescope’s excellent map

…or a more detailed map on the Society for Popular Astronomy’s website:

www.popastro.com

… which is being updated with reports and close up map views throughout October. Note though towards the 21st, when the comet will potentially be at its best, the Moon will be full and spoil the chances of viewing the comet. Therefore if you can, try and catch the comet now whilst there is no moonlight.

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