Comet Lovejoy, discovered earlier in 2013, is now visible to the naked eye, giving skygazers another comet to behold–and people have been taking advantage, capturing pictures and video of the comet.
Long Island observer Frank Mellilo said that he went outside on Saturday to look for Comet ISON but instead saw Lovejoy.
“I was ready to wrap it up for the night,” he wrote on his blog, “But then I remembered about Comet Lovejoy. It was right under my nose while I was waiting for ISON. I took my 10X70 binoculars and I got the comet right away. It has a faint smudge tail to the west. So at least, I wasn’t disappointed by not sighting ISON! It’s worth taking a look at Lovejoy!”
Terry Lovejoy discovered the comet, his fourth discovery, in September, so it was named after him, according to the California Academy of Sciences. Lovejoy is an amateur astronomer based in Queensland, Australia.
Lovejoy is getting brighter and brighter, headed toward the sun. Lovejoy will make its closest approach with Earth on Tuesday, when it will be within 36.9 million miles of the planet, reported Space.com
Lovejoy is within the brightness range to be seen with the naked eye, and can be seen even better with binoculars or telescopes.
As Space.com reports: “The comet will continue to race northeast into the constellations of Canes Venatici on Nov. 21, then, as it moves away from the Earth it will slow down as it heads east, then southeast into Bootes on Nov. 27, cuts across Corona Borealis Dec. 4-11 and then into Hercules, passing a few degrees south of the quadrilateral of stars popularly known as the ‘Keystone’ on Dec. 17.”