C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)

Written by User 1

Last Updated: February 02, 2014, 11:47 am (UTC)
Originally created on January 18, 2014



C/2013 R1 is a long period comet that reached naked eye visibility around the end of 2013. The comet was discovered on September 8, 2013 by Terry Lovejoy who had previously discovered the great comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) just two years earlier.

History of Comet


At discovery, the comet was at magnitude 14.5 and expected to reach no brighter than magnitude 8 or 9 at its peak. Instead, the comet exceeded all expectations and rapidly shot up to magnitude 5 by early November.



After passing opposition (behind the Earth from the perspective of the Sun), the comet began developing an extensive tail which stretched over 10 degrees as seen in extended photographic exposures throughout December.



Future


As of mid-January, 2014, the comet is hovering at around magnitude 6.5 and slowly fading as it recedes from both the Earth and the Sun following its December perihelion. By February, it will only be magnitude 8, and by March, magnitude 10. Throughout this period, the comet will remain in the morning sky near the celestial equator in the region of Ophiuchus and Serpens Cauda.



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