Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program, Observing > 11/29/2018 – Ephemeris – A potentially bright comet was discovered earlier this month

11/29/2018 – Ephemeris – A potentially bright comet was discovered earlier this month

November 29, 2018

Ephemeris for Thursday, November 29th. The Sun will rise at 7:57. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 6 minutes, setting at 5:04. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:17 tomorrow morning.

Three amateur astronomers Don Machholz of the US and by Shigehisa Fujikawa and Masayuki Iwamoto of Japan independently discovered a comet November 7th that bears their names. Now through next week or so ,it will be visible in the western sky in evening twilight. The comet has been rapidly brightening, much more rapidly than expected. It could theoretically be bright enough to spot with the naked eye by Sunday or Monday, but it must compete with evening twilight low in the western to southwestern sky. Comets are unpredictable in their brightness and appearance. As David Levy of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 fame once said: “Cats and comets have tails and do exactly what they want”. Check here for updates.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Comet C/2018 V1
Comet C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fijikawa-Iwamoto) in twilight starting last night November 28, 2018. The comet won’t climb that dramatically at 6 p.m. on the rest of the nights because the stars in the field will set 4 minutes earlier each successive evening. The latest magnitude estimate of the comet on December 1 is 5.2, two magnitudes brighter than shown here. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
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