Tag Archives: sungrazer

ANOTHER Naked Eye Visible Comet Ahead Of Christmas 2018? C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto).

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Comet C/2018 V1 ( Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto )

Discovered: November 7, 2018 (yes, just last week).

Discoverers: One is Arizona (Donald E. Machholz, Jr.) & two in Japan (Shigehisa Fujikawa & Masayuki Iwamoto). You can find more here. Hence the name which credits all three.


C/2018 V1 is much more of a CLASSIC comet than our current ‘Christmas Comet of 2018‘, i.e., 46P/Wirtanen. That is why it has a ‘C/’ designation while the other is a ‘P/’. The ‘P/’ denotes that 46P/Wirtanen is a PERIODIC comet — one that swings around the sun on a regular basis (like a commuter). The ‘C/’, on the other hand, means that is a NON-PERIODIC. It means that this comet has not been previously seen in the last 200-years. Typically it means that it is a FIRST TIME visitor from far, far out in the Solar System, ideally from the Oort Cloud, the incubator of most comets at the very edge of our Solar System.

So, we are assuming it is a FRESH comet, with a lot of frozen matter that will sublimate as the comet gets closer and closer to the Sun. That is what makes it visible, gives it a tail and with luck makes it spectacular. Right now it is touch and go. Viewed through a powerful telescope you can already see a blue tail — that color indicating the presence of ionized Carbon Monoxide (CO+).

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018 it will be at its closest to Earth — 62 million miles. Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) that could have been the GREAT COMET of 2013 would have been 40 million miles. So, C/2018 V1 will be 22 million miles further out. BUT, unlike ISON it will make it around the Sun. That is a given. It is NOT a sungrazer. Actually it doesn’t get very close to the Sun! As you can see from the above diagram it does not even cross Mercury’s orbit.

Right now it is BORDERLINE — but shows more promise than 46P.

I will keep you posted. This was a BIG heads up.


Comet ISON IF it had rounded the Sun — rather than getting FRIED by it, because it went so close.



46P/Wirtanen


Click to ENLARGE and admire. From the JPL Small-Body Database Browser.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘astronomy’.


by Anura Guruge

A Naked Eye Visible Comet, FINALLY, 21P/Giacobini–Zinner — In September 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21P/Giacobini–Zinner


Click to ENLARGE and admire. From the JPL Small-Body Database Browser.


It will NOT be spectacular, and it is definitely not a great comet, BUT, if it is naked eye visible, it, with its green tinge (due to its chemical composition), should be quite the sight up there. We have not see a decent comet since the mid-1980s. Comet ISON, on which I expended considerable time and energy, vaporized when it got too close to the Sun.

No such danger with 21P/Giacobini–Zinner. This is not a sungrazer.

The ‘P’ in the 21P denotes that it is a periodic comet; i.e., a comet that has made at least 2 well observed orbits around the Sun. Actually 21P orbits the Sun every 6 years. It is very periodic. It doesn’t go too far away. Just beyond the orbit of Jupiter. It is well known and well studied comet that was discovered in 1900.

I will keep you posted. I was excited to hear that it might be naked eye visible. Wow.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘astronomy’.


by Anura Guruge

We Saw C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) Tonight From Alton, New Hampshire, Through Binoculars, Thanks To Heads Up From Dave Eagle.

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by
Anura Guruge


++++ Search CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ on sidebar for other posts >>>>>>

>> Update on 2013 ISON & Pan-STARRS … — Apr. 6, 2013.
>> Last ‘Pan-STARRS’ post — Mar. 17, 2013.


C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) fron New Hampshire

C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) seen with binoculars from Alton, NH, on April 6, 2013. Click to ENLARGE.


Dave Eagle, in an e-mail this morning, gave me a heads up that C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) is still visible (though I am not sure whether it is still naked eye). Per Dave, and he would know, it will be close to ‘M31‘ — i.e., Andromeda.

It was more of less where I told you to look this morning. I used those same instructions, which were: For us in New England, that would be low in the Northwest sky around 8 pm. I think trees will be the problem for us. From what I can see from my trusty Sky Charts our best bet would be to start with The Pleiades (the easy to spot ‘Seven Sisters’/Subaru cluster). They (i.e., The Pleiades) should be close to West around 8 pm. Then start scanning North from there. With luck you should be able to spot the ‘W’, the upside down crown, of Cassiopeia. M31, and hence the comet, should be below Cassiopeia.

Beautiful night for admiring the firmament. Not a cloud in the sky. The cold air making everything bright and crisp. We started off on a cleared, abandoned housing estate site close by but it didn’t have enough elevation. So headed up Prospect Mountain Road to the very top. Got to see two delightful porcupines frolicking on the road. Yes, we stopped and watched. Then we turned into Ridge Road at the end of Prospect and parked right at the zenith, off the road. Now we were above the tree line. We used Google Sky Map on a Google Nexus 7 Android 7″ pad to fine tune our direction. Great App. Very easy to use. bang, Right there. Deanna could hold it up and match Cassiopeia with what is in the sky. That helps.

I started scanning with a pair of old, very old, Carl Zeiss, 10x50W binoculars. Took me a while. But then I saw it and I said: ‘WOW’! No escaping it. When you see it you know that that is different. It was rewarding. I saw Hale-Bopp, C/1995 O1, most nights for nearly a month in 1997. That made an indelible impression. I also saw Kohoutek, C/1973 E1, faintly, in 1974, after spending days clambering up hillocks in The Mumbles, near Swansea, Wales, with like minded fellow students from the University, spread over 4 months. That was dedication. C/2011 L4 was better.

Deanna thinks it is the first comet she has seen. She is not sure whether she saw Hale-Bopp. She was thrilled. She too went: ‘Wow’. It was, of course, a first for Devanee. Teischan wasn’t interested.

So this was a nice, welcome warm-up for C/2012 S1 (ISON) later this year. That should, with luck, be more spectacular. 


Where C/2011 L4 was in the heavens when we saw it. It was pretty far away. Click image to access NASA JPL prbital data.

Where C/2011 L4 was in the heavens when we saw it. It was pretty far away. Click image to access NASA JPL prbital data.


Update On Comets C/2012 S1 (ISON) & C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS)

Dec2013x125

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by
Anura Guruge


++++ Search CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ on sidebar for other posts >>>>>>

>> Last ‘Pan-STARRS’ post — Mar. 17, 2013.


Click to access NASA video and article.

Click to access NASA video and article.


C/2012 S1 (ISON), the ‘2013 holiday’ comet that will be at its peak in November – December 2013, could end up being the great comet of 2013‘, ‘the comet of the century‘ or even the ‘once in a civilization comet‘.

But, comets love to tease and beguile. So this is still a tad to early to get any hopes up. The comet having passed Jupiter’s orbital path around March 17, 2013 is 4.22 AU [392.3 million miles] away. If it successfully weathers its perihelion around the Sun on Thursday, November 28, 2013 [yes, Thanksgiving] , it will be an order of magnitude closer as it rushes by Earth at a 39.9 million mile separation on Boxing Day, 2013. There is a 20% chance that it might get fragmented or zapped as it is classed a ‘sungrazer‘ since it will skim by just 723,683 miles from the Sun’s surface.

From NASA JPL. Click to access. You will need working Java. It is at the top. Click on [show orbital diagram]. Good test to see if you indeed have the latest & greatest Java on your computer. I have Java just for this application.

From NASA JPL. Click to access. You will need working Java. It is at the top. Click on [show orbital diagram]. Good test to see if you indeed have the latest & greatest Java on your computer. I have Java just for this application.


Dave Eagle, in an e-mail this morning, gave me a heads up that C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) is still visible (though I am not sure whether it is still naked eye).

Per Dave, and he would know, it will be close to ‘M31‘ — i.e., Andromeda. So, for us in New England, that would be low in the Northwest sky around 8 pm. I think trees will be the problem for us. From what I can see from my trust Sky Charts our best bet would be to start with The Pleiades (the easy to spot ‘Seven Sisters’/Subaru cluster). That should be close to West around 8 pm. Then start scanning North from there. With luck you should be able to spot the ‘W’, the upside down crown, of Cassiopeia. M31, and hence the comet, should be below Cassiopeia.

Last night we had a perfect viewing night, if not for the bitter cold wind. Tonight might be better. So, lets try and get out there and have a look. Binoculars might help.