Observatory Logo

From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 13:12:24 EST
Subject: Comet Tonight

Hi all,

Tonight is a good chance to spot Comet Ikeya-Zhang, if you haven't already 
done so, before the moon gets too bright and spoils the show for a while.

Tonight (about 8 p.m.) the comet will lie about 17 degrees below & right of 
Mars - say about 4 o'clock on a clock face from Mars. 17 degrees is about 3 
binocular fields of view (depending on your own pair).  If you can't find 
Mars (!?!) it is about 8 degrees below and right of the crescent Moon!

Another way to locate the comet tonight is that it forms the bottom right 
corner of an isosceles triangle with Alpha Arietis, and Beta Andromedae as 
the apex of the triangle.

It also lies about 17 degrees almost due North of Venus, but Venus (visible 
earlier, bright but low in the twilight), will have set by the time the sky 
is dark enough to see the comet.

It should be visible to the naked eye from a dark sky, but certainly any 
binoculars should show it. It should be between magnitude 3.5 and 4.0 
tonight, with a tail several degrees long pointing up to the left.

Good luck,


Last Revised: 2002 March 18th
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