back to article There's a new comet in town and you don't need a fancy multi-million-dollar telescope to see it. Just regular eyeballs

The venerable Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), run by NASA and ESA, has discovered a new comet faintly visible right now with the naked eye from Earth's southern hemisphere. As SOHO scanned the heavens for sources of ultraviolet light, the orbiting telescope clocked a bright blob moving through the Solar System. That …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge
    Pint

    Citizen Boffins

    Cheers to NASA, ESA, and the citizen boffins who spotted this.

    But from what I've read, don't expect to see a traditional comet image like the one heading El Reg's article. It will probably just look like a fuzzy star.

    For a detailed analysis see: https://www.space.com/comet-swan-may-be-dimming.html

  2. beep54
    Meh

    I'd like to see it

    But not only am I in the wrong hemisphere, I'm in the middle of Austin. We see no stars at all. Just the Moon, Venus, possibly Mars and maybe, just maybe Jupiter at times. That's it.

    1. really_adf

      Re: I'd like to see it

      I'm in the middle of Austin. We see no stars at all. Just the Moon, Venus, possibly Mars and maybe, just maybe Jupiter at times

      "Possibly Jupiter and maybe, just maybe Mars at times" is more likely. Put another way, if you can ever see Mars, you will be able to see Jupiter regularly.

      The maximum apparent brightness is basically the same, but Mars is more variable. I think the primary reason for this is that the orbit of Mars is more eccentric. An instructive diagram and more here.

      1. mr.K

        Re: I'd like to see it

        Wouldn't that be because Mars' orbit is closer to ours so that distance vary much more? At it's closest it is less that 0.4 AU and furthest over 2.5 AU, six times more. Yes, the eccentric orbit factors in there a little bit, but with a circular orbit it would be around 0.5 AU and 2.5AU. While Jupiter is around 4AU at its closest and 6 AU furthest away, only 50% more.

        Okay, you might not see it clearly when it is furthest away due to some other bright object out there, but I think my point still stand...I think.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: I'd like to see it

      ˙ʇı ɹoɟ ʇno səʎə ɹno dəəʞ ll,əʍ

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: I'd like to see it

        ˙ʇɐɥʇ ǝʇoʌdn oʇ ʞɔıןɔ oʇ ʍoɹɹɐ ɥɔıɥʍ ƃuıpıɔǝp ɯǝןqoɹd ןɐǝɹ ɐ pɐɥ I 'ʍouʞ no⅄

  3. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

    This is not visible

    I was trying to get a look at this a couple of weeks ago, when it was still above the horizon.

    I'm not sure where The Reg is getting their info (or maybe somebody's not paying attention), but according to all the info I have this is no longer visible as it's dropped below the horizon. I'm at about -40S and it hasn't been visible for about a week IIRC. Even the site that the article links to says that it rises for me at 06:30 and sets at 15:00, which are... not ideal astronomical observing conditions.

    1. redpawn Silver badge

      Re: This is not visible

      Low on the horizon for 20N at 5am on the 15th heading through Triangulum on its way to Perseus, so you are in the Wrong Southern Hemisphere. Try the other Southern Hemisphere next time.

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