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See Comet Iwamoto’s dash through Leo, Cancer and Gemini before full Moon

10 Feb 2019, 20:03 UTC
See Comet Iwamoto’s dash through Leo, Cancer and Gemini before full Moon
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This extract of a high-resolution PDF finder chart suitable for printing obtained by clicking on this graphic shows the track of Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto from 10-20 February 2019. The comet is closest to Earth on 12 February at 20:10 UT when it lies 0.30384 AU, or 45.45 million kilometres away (some 118 times the distance of the Moon) and can be found traversing Leo at a rate of 7.2 degrees/day. Predictions indicate that Comet Iwamoto could attain an integrated magnitude of +6 around closest approach, but don’t miss any viewing opportunities owing to the waxing Moon’s glare. AN graphic by Ade Ashford.
Before the light from a waxing Moon becomes too obtrusive (full Moon occurs on 19 February), take full advantage of any clear nights to catch a glimpse of swift Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto as it traverses the constellations of Leo, Cancer and Gemini over the next ten nights.
Discovered by Japanese astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto in images captured on 18 December 2018, C/2018 Y1 orbits the Sun every 148.7 years in a highly eccentric path inclined to the ecliptic by an angle of 160 degrees. Comet Iwamoto came within 1.3 astronomical units (AU) of the Sun at perihelion ...

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