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Wednesday, October 25

Comet M4 SWAN brightens unexpectedly!

Comets can be fickle things and M4 SWAN is no exception. A couple of days ago it brightened dramatically about fivefold and is now reported easily visible with the unaided eye and showing some blue colour in binoculars. See the Society for Popular Astronomy for more details, including curently a nice image from Pete Lawrence on the home page.

Note that this comet is on what is known as a Hyperbolic orbit which means after visiting our part of the solar system, it is heading off into deep space, never to return so if the weather allows, catch it while you can!

2 comments:

  1. That explains the rain and cloud then. :-)

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  2. Fortunately the high winds have been blowing the clouds across the sky pretty rapidly tonight. So I managed to get some fantastic views of Comet M4 SWAN through my 15x70 binoculars tonight

    I couldn't make it out with the naked eye, but it was very clear in binoculars. Almost in the same field of view as M13 in Hercules, but much bigger and brighter, and a clear hint of a tail stretching 'up' from the comet.

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