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Comet Hergenrother Puts on a Show As it passes through perihelion, Comet 168P/Hergenrother has undergone an unexpected outburst and brightened to about 10th magnitude. You'll find it crossing the Great Square of Pegasus, well placed for evening viewing.
Veteran astronomer David Levy once famously said, "Comets are like cats: they have tails, and they do precisely what they want."
An interplanetary visitor has once again proved him correct. Comet 168P/Hergenrother, which passed through the perihelion of its 6.9-year orbit on October 1st, has erupted unexpectedly and dramatically. Although no one expected it to become brighter than 15th magnitude, the comet has blossomed significantly Ã¢Â€Â” to better than 10th magnitude by one recent estimate.
I’ve created an overhead view of the comet's orbit from north of the ecliptic plane and an ephemeris based on osculating elements from Aldo Vitagliano’s Solex numerical integration program. They can be seen toward the bottom of the page at www.CurtRenz.com/comets
Thanks Magic Man! This will be very helpful. I was trying to convert ra/dec to alt/az last night and it just wasnt working out for me. It was entirely to cold out to be doing math and fumbling with the dob. I know I was close last night I just couldnt get it.
Spotted it both Monday night and last night. Seemed brighter last night, but the sky may have had better transparency then too. Not hard to spot in my 6" f/5 reflector - just need to be in the right spot and "BAM!" - it (almost!) jumps out at you, given the area of sky.