#astronomy Watch Comet Africano (C/2018 W2) go closest to Earth in late September – Astronomy Now

September 24, 2019 - Comment

C/2018 W2 (Africano) is the brightest comet at the moment on present, passing closest to Earth on the morning of 27 September when it lies barely lower than half an astronomical unit or 74 million kilometres distant. By the top of the month, C/2018 W2 may attain magnitude +eight.5 making it a viable goal for small telescopes and bigger


C/2018 W2 (Africano) is the brightest comet at the moment on present, passing closest to Earth on the morning of 27 September when it lies barely lower than half an astronomical unit or 74 million kilometres distant. By the top of the month, C/2018 W2 may attain magnitude +eight.5 making it a viable goal for small telescopes and bigger binoculars beneath darkish, moonless skies. This graphic represents the southeast facet of the sky round 10pm native time in Western Europe, exhibiting a portion of sky about 60 levels broad (3 times the span of an outstretched hand at arm’s size), with stars all the way down to the naked-eye restrict. The “Sq. of Pegasus” asterism is your eye-catching start line. Observe that on the night time of three–four October, Comet Africano lies inside a binocular area of view of outermost planet Neptune. AN graphic by Ade Ashford.Now that the Moon is a waning crescent rising after midnight, observers within the British Isles can make the most of not less than three midnights from 9pm BST to trace down Comet Africano (C/2018 W2) at its closest and brightest because it speeds by means of the constellations of Pegasus, Pisces and Aquarius.

At 10:56 UT on 27 September, C/2018 W2 (Africano) passes simply zero.494 astronomical models, or 74 million kilometres (46 million miles) from Earth. Presently the comet is shifting in opposition to the celebs of Pegasus at a fee of three⅔ levels per day, equal to the width of the complete Moon each 3¼ hours.

Found nearly concurrently on 27 November 2018 by B. M. Africano with the Mount Lemmon 1.5-metre reflector and H. Groeller with the Catalina Sky Survey ‘s zero.68-m Schmidt telescope (Africano’s report was submitted simply 21 minutes earlier), C/2018 W2’s built-in magnitude is at the moment about +9 and should peak at about +eight.5 over the approaching week. Observe that Comet Africano lies inside a binocular area of view of outermost planet Neptune on the night time of three–four October.

Having handed perihelion (closest level to the Solar) on 5 September, don’t miss any alternatives to view C/2018 W2 as a result of it’s visiting the inside planets on a hyperbolic trajectory, that means that it’s going to by no means return to the Solar – except its orbit is perturbed by the gravitational affect of a physique within the outer Photo voltaic System within the distant future.



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