C/2011 C1 McNaught

Celestial visitors from the edge of the Solar System.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4654
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

C/2011 C1 McNaught

Post by Christopher K. » May 11th, 2011, 1:26 pm

I think this comet will be next to impossible to see from our area. However, I hope someone can prove me wrong.

The last magnitude estimate listed at the Minor Planet Center at this time is on 24 April from an M.T. Hui in Mt. Guizi, China. Hui gives a mag of 8.8 using a 21cm reflector and battling twilight, moonlight and city lights. Gary Kronk predicted the comet to start May with a 9.5 magnitude.

On the morning of 16 May, this object will be in Pisces about three degrees from Algenib (across the border in Pegasus). The morning of the 27th it will be about six degrees from Delta Piscium, and it will be higher sooner. Sadly, that "higher" only means fifteen degrees at about 4:30am, less than one hour before the sky starts to brighter. Additionally, would-be viewers will have to content with the waning crescent Moon; it'll be about nine degrees from Delta Piscium. As if all that wasn't bad enough, the comet is fading as the month goes on.

For what it's worth, Gary Kronk's finder chart:
http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/comets/2011_C1.pdf

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