Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova in the Morning Sky

 

Crop of NP101is image of Comet 45P/H-M-P. © 2011 Björn Gludau.

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova exits the glare of the sun and is visible in the morning sky.  It will be only 0.09 AU from Earth on February 11, so it’ll be pretty bright — but also very fast! If you saw it in January, when it moved a whole 5° in two-weeks, you’re in for a chase across the sky as it starts the month moving 5° a day! 

Now in Aquila, the following chart will help you recover the comet as it races across the morning sky before sunrise. This is well placed for northern observers.

By the last week of the month it will re-enter the evening sky — having faded considerably — as it passes through Ursa Major into Leo.

Here’s a photo of the comet made with the NP101is in a 2011 appearance. The exceptional flat and wide-field of this scope makes this sort of image possible.