Ryan Northover
Ryan is contributing editor of So Perth and co-founder of So Media Group.

A Bright Comet Will be Visible From Perth Just Before Dawn

A bright, beautiful and rare comet will be visible from Perth and Western Australia before dawn for the next few days.

Start gazing enthusiast who look toward the eastern sky with binoculars or a telescope can see recently discovered comet C/2015 ER61 blazing across our solar system, swinging around the sun.

Such sightings of these incredible celestial bodies may only happen around once per year, according to Australian astronomer Ian Musgrave.

C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) from a Spanish Astronomer, Jan Hattenbach

The comet will be visible again later in 2017, in May and June.

Chart – Comet C/2015 ER61

Chart – C/2015 ER61 visible from Earth in 2017

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The comet is moving from the horizon to the east, passing between Capricorius and Aquarius star constellations.

According to Adelaide based Amateur Astronomer Ian Musgrave, writing on his blog ‘Astroblog’, the comet can be seen for about 2 and a half hours before sunrise.

“The comet is high enough above the morning horizon to be visible from around two and a half hours before sunrise to 90 minutes before sunrise (astronomical twilight) after this the brightening skies will make to comet difficult to see,” Musgrave writes.
“The comet is realtively easy to find, being almost exactly between the bright stars Altair and Fomalhaut, the two brightest stars in the eastern morning sky.

Currently the comet is is between the moderately bright stars theta (𝛩) Capriconii and epsilon (𝜖) Aqaurii. The comet will track down the Aquarius/Capricornii border with plenty of good guide stars.”

Where to Look? Look East between the morning stars

See the comet

Spanish language comet blog ‘Cometographia” writes, “Right now more images are coming: Justin Tibrook (Australia), Rolando Ligustri (Italy) and observations of other colleagues like Juan José González Suárez (Spain) who detected him last night. Fellows from around the world share this passion for comets thanks to moments like these.”

The last great comets to be seen in Australia with the naked eye was McNaught in 2007 and Lovejoy in 2011.


Great Comets from History

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