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another binocular comet

22 January 2015

Comet Lovejoy is currently visible in binoculars as a greenish blob approaching the Pleiades, east of Orion. We now have a second comet that has sparked into brightness – Comet Finlay. The TV doctor's namesake can be seen with binoculars in Aquarius, very close to its brightest star. This is located in the SW area of the night sky – for more information go to Http://phys.org/print340879696.html

 … but that is not all that is out there. At http://phys.org/print340960577.html … the re-activated NEOWISE Mission has come up trumps this year, basically December 2013 to December 2014, as it has spotted many comets and asteroids that are not visible through the lens of binoculars. Many of these are the dark objects Clube and Napier warned the world about 30 years ago. It includes 40 objects that have an orbit that comes fairly close to the Earth, 8 of which are potentially dangerous. A video of NEOWISE scanning the sky can be viewed at the link to give you an idea of the vast area that has been covered – and there is still more stuff to discover as the orbits are not as yet within the ambit of the space cameras. Some of these difficult to spot objects are large. However, the good news is that they have been out there for yonks without anyone knowing – so it is unlikely they represent a danger to people on the surface of the Earth.


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