Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) shines bright (together with the Moon, Venus and Regulus) (with images)

July 18, 2015 | By | 3 Comments
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(Posted 18 July 2015) Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) is quickly moving away from the Sun and rising high into the Southern skies. Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) is the brightest comet forecast to be visible from the Southern hemisphere this year.

Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS), Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. 18 July 2015. Image copyright Paul Floyd.

Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS), Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. 18 July 2015. Image copyright Paul Floyd.

Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) is not intrinsically bright and is best viewed in binoculars. I could see a half degree long tail  (the same width as a Full Moon).

Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) 18 July 2015 (c) 2015 Anne-Louise Surma-Hawes

Comet 2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS) 18 July 2015 (c) 2015 Anne-Louise Surma-Hawes

However, as shown in the above image by Anne-Louise Surma-Hawes, a short 20 second exposure with a relatively small telescope (70 mm aperture) gives a completely different view of the comet. Not that this is a photograph of yje lcd screen on the back of a Canon DSLR 50 and not the actual image. She is currently ‘out bush’ at Leyburn, Queensland and does not have her computer with her to send me a processed image.

Venus, Jupiter and Comet 2014_Q1 _PANSTARRS finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:15 pm AEST on 18 - 23 July 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Venus, Jupiter and Comet 2014 Q1 PANSTARRS finder chart. Chart prepared for 6:15 pm AEST on 18 – 23 July 2015 for the Gold Coast, Queensland (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Use the above chart to find Comet 2014 Q1 over the next few nights. Just use a pair of binoculars to look for the comet along the line shown on the chart as per the time and dates noted. Use Jupiter and Venus to ‘star hop’ from the find the comet. Stars are shown to magnitude 6 on the chart.

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