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Comet C/2020 M3 (Atlas) drawing nearer, in a great place to spot Wednesday night

11 Nov 2020, 12:55 UTC
Comet C/2020 M3 (Atlas) drawing nearer, in a great place to spot Wednesday night
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Location of Comet C/2020 M3 (Atlas) on the night of Wednesday, November 11, 2020. This chart faces around 10 p.m. local time, as seen from the U.S. See how the comet is lined up with the famous Belt of Orion? Those 3 medium-bright stars – in a short, straight row – point right to the comet. Be forewarned: this comet isn’t as bright as NEOWISE was last summer. Be sure to look in a dark sky, with binoculars or a small telescope. Illustration via Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium.
A comet discovered this past summer is currently approaching Earth’s vicinity. Comet C/2020 M3 (Atlas) won’t become bright enough to see with the unaided eye, but binoculars can pick it up. We’ve seen some good images via long-exposure photography, even with just zoom lenses. The ATLAS telescope system – two telescopes being developed by University of Hawaii as an asteroid or comet impact early warning system – was the first to spot Comet C/2020 M3 (Atlas) on June 27, 2020. The comet reached its perihelion, or closest approach to the sun, on October 25. Now the comet is heading for its closest approach to Earth, which will on Saturday, November 14, 2020. ...

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