ANOTHER COMET for Christmas???

Comet Alert! A new comet has been discovered!

Comet C/2018 V1 (Macholtz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto -henceforth Comet M-F-I) was just discovered (Nov 7) and it gives us another opportunity to spot a comet this year (along with Wirtanen which is also brightening on schedule -last estimate magnitude 7).
Below is the Sky and Telescope finder chart. C/2018 V1 passed the star Porrima in Virgo Wed am Nov 12 and it is tracking eastwards (left) over the next few weeks as it gradually approaches the Sun. It transitions into the evening sky in early December.

Comet C/2018V1 is now 8th magnitude or brighter!
Look East at the start of morning twilight towards Venus and Spica in Virgo. The comet is moving generally eastwards towards the sunrise Virgo and gets closest to the planet on Nov 18 (only 10° from Venus at magnitude -4). The moon is nowhere in the sky at this time of morning and it is worth getting up before dawn to have a look. The comet should brighten perhaps to magnitude 5 or so as it approaches the Sun but it will also become lost in the glare by month end. See the charts at the bottom of this weblog. Rounding the Sun in early December, it switches over into the evening sky and will perhaps be its brightest then. Comet M-F-I is not predicted to get as bright as Wirtanen but these objects are of course, unpredictable. Read all about the discovery here: https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/machholz-12th-comet/
An image taken Nov 11 is provided at the S&T link above and I include it below. Don’t expect it to look like this visually, this is a long exposure image. There may be a hint of green colour, however.

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The new comet, now formally named C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto) glows green and sports a faint tail pointing west-northwest in this image taken on Nov. 11.
Michael Jäger

Here is one website (IAU Minor Planet Centre) which will give you the elements of the orbit that you can enter into a program like Starry Night to create the path for yourself: https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/SoftwareEls.html

Star charts for morning viewing from Nov 22 to Nov 28 and evening viewing from Dec 2 to 10 are provided below. Click to download copies.


C-MFI-Nov-22-28

C-MFI-Dec-2-10