Comet 12P / Pons-Brooks – It’s getting brighter.

After a few recent outbursts, Comet 12P / Pons-Brooks is now starting to brighten and show lots of activity as it approaches perihelion in April.

See my Sky Diary for more details about the comet and many other events:

The comet was discovered in 1812 by Jen-Louis Pons and independently rediscovered by William Robert Brooks in 1883, and has an orbital period of 71.3 years, so is known as a Halley-type comet.

It is brightening rapidly and has developed a nice tail, with lots of activity around the coma, as shown in the image and animation below I took on the 2nd of March 2024.

Comet 12p 20230302 Flats+lights Stack Autosave007 Web Smaller

Comet 12p Animation 20240203


The comet could get bright enough to become visible with the naked eye during March as it passes through Andromeda and into Pisces and Aries.

12P passes south of Messier 33 in Triangulum around the 27th of March, and very close to the bright star Hamal in Aries on the 31st of March and the 1st of May.

Unfortunately, as it gets brighter, it will start getting lower in the south eastern sky each evening, so make the most of any opportunity to view or image it while you can.

If you are lucky enough to be travelling to North America to see the total solar eclipse on the 8th of April, it may even be visible to the naked eye during the eclipse. 🤞

The thin crescent Moon will be close to the comet and Jupiter in the western sky on the evening of the 10th of April, but from the UK the comet is low down after dark and mow starting to get lost in the evening twilight.

Perihelion occurs on the 21st of April, when the comet will be just northeast of the tail of Cetus, when it will be 72.6 million miles from The Sun.

The comet’s magnitude at this time is predicted to be about +4, but it will be very low down in the western sky to the south east of Jupiter, but virtually lost in the twilight and will soon be gone.

This will make it extremely difficult to see, unless it gets extremely bright and produces a long, bright tail.

By the second week of May the comet has moved south into Eridanus but we will not be able to view this.

Comet 12p February June Web


Comet 144P (Kushida)

Comet 144P (Kushida) is currently visible in Taurus, just west of The Hyades Star Cluster.

I managed to capture it on the evening of the 4th of February as it approached the Hyades Star Cluster.

Hyades Comet 144p Full Stack 20230204 Web

The comet reached its maximum magnitude at the end of January, so is now starting to fade.

The comet moves into Taurus over the next couple of weeks, moving through the Hyades Star Cluster between the 5th and 11th of February.

It passes very close to the bright first magnitude star Aldebaran on the 10th and 11th of February.

It moves into the northern part of Orion in march, passing into Gemini by the middle of March.

The map below shows the movement of the comet during February and March.

Comet 144p Kushina February March



Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinsan-ATLAS)

To keep up to date with events, download and install the TeamUp Sky Diary and carry it about on your phone:

We could be in for a real treat next year.
This is Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinsan-ATLAS).

It will not be visible until the autumn, but if predictions are correct (Yeah Right!!!) the position of the comet relative to The Sun after perihelion has the potential to make it a nice bright comet.
As the comet is between The Earth and The Sun when at its best in October, this could make it extremely bright.

I added the ephemerides into Stellarium to produce some of the following diagrams.
My guide on how to do this is here:

I managed to image it as small, faint trail on the 19th May 2023.

2023 A3 20230519

At the start of January, the comet is moving eastwards in Libra and should be about 14th magnitude.

It loops around and starts moving westwards by the 8th of February.

Update 10th April 2024.
It is now around 12th magnitude, so brightening well, and is definitely looks like a comet now.

Comet C2023a3 Tsu Atlas 20240409
On the 23rd of March the comet enters Virgo, where it spend the rest of the summer, moving slowly through the constellation, gradually brightening as it approaches the inner solar system.

It passes close to the +3.88 magnitude Mu Virginis on the 24th of March and close to the 3rd magnitude star Virginis on the 27th of April. The magnitude of the comet could now have brightened to about tenth magnitude.

The map below shows the path of the comet in Libra an Virgo from January to May.

On the 15th of May the comet passes close to the galaxy NGC4636.

By the end of May, the comet is now starting to approach The Sun.
The 1st Quarter Moon passes close to the comet on the 13th of June.
As we get into June and it is really starting to brighten, the comet will now be low in the south western twilight after sunset.



The comet now becomes more difficult to spot as it slides into the Sun’s glare and is soon lost in the bright evening twilight in the south western sky. We are now unlikely to see it (briefly) until around the 28th of September.

The image below shows it as a small bright spot, only a few degrees above the western horizon just before dawn on the 28th of September, when the comet is just past perihelion (Closest to The Sun).
As the comet is on the other side of The Sun, if it has developed a tail at this time it will probably be pointed away from us so we are unlikely to see much of it.

1.2023 A3 20240928

We’ll need to wait a couple of weeks for the comet to move away from The Sun, when it reappears in the evening western twilight.
The map below shows how the comet rounds The Sun, but this will not be visible from Earth as the comet will be too close to The Sun.

Notice how the direction of the tail changes as it rounds The Sun. The Position of The Sun along the ecliptic at this time is also plotted.
Around the time of perihelion, the comet could reach a magnitude of -3 or -4. Opinions do vary. Well, it is a comet after all.
The only way to see how bright it is is to get out and see it when we can.

It will still be fairly  close to The Sun at this time and unlikely to be seen.
But if it does reach that magnitude, it may just be visible in a daytime sky if tracked down with extreme care.

Comet 2023a3 At Perihelion 2

Once the comet passes perihelion we’ll get our best chance to view it from the 11th or 12th of October, when it moves into the western evening sky.

On the 12th, at about 18:00 UT, the comet is low in the twilight after sunset and sets very quickly after The Sun, but could now have developed a reasonable tail. Depending on how bright and long that tail is, we may still be able to see it once the comet itself has set (Fingers crossed).

1.2023 A3 20241012

The next evening 13th of October, the comet is a little bit higher in the sky and sets slightly later.
How bright will the comet be at this time? It will have faded, but could still be about 1st magnitude object.
The comet is now at its closest to The Earth passing us at a distance of 44,618,787 miles.

1.2023 A3 20241013

On the 14th of October the comet is quite a bit higher in the sky, so we can observe it a later time when the sky will be a bit darker, so you should be able to see more faint features in the comet and any tail.
The comet is passing almost between us and The Sun, so sunlight will be illuminating the dust and gas around the comet potentially making it extremely bright.
The images below show the comet at 18:00 UT, and 18:41 (when the sky will be darker) on the 14th of October.

1.2023 A3 20241014 1

1.2023 A3 20241014 2

On the evening of the 15th, the comet should now be starting to fade, but is even higher in the sky.

1.2023 A3 20241015 1

This evening it is passing close to the globular cluster Messier 5, which should give us a great photographic opportunity. 🤞

1.2023 A3 20241015 2

By the 15th of October, the comet has moved well up in the western evening sky and is now moving through Serpens Caput and should have noticeably faded.

1. 2023 A3 20241016

This final image shows the path and position of the comet between the 14th and 27th of October from Virgo to Ophiuchus, and on into Aquila in late December, where we should be able to follow it as it moves out from the inner solar system and fades away.

I for one, will be very interested in following this comet over the coming months to see it starting to brighten and keeping the faith that it does give us a great display mid October.

The only way to know for sure, is to KEEP LOOKING UP!








Smart Telescopes. Fad, or astrophotography future?

Smart telescopes have been around for quite a while now.
Talking to Vespera and Uninstellar owners over the past year or more, they all said they enjoy the experience and are getting very good results.
But the cost of these can be somewhat prohibitive.

The Dwarf telescope came out some time ago, which was much more affordable, but reviews on these were quite mixed.

ZWO announced they were going to release their smart telescope, the SeeStar S50, and that would also be pitched at an affordable price.

Knowing just how fantastic their ASIAIR works, I was intrigued and looking forward to seeing how folks got on with it.

After quite a few frustrating delays, it was finally unleashed upon the world.
I managed to get one of the demo models from First Light Optics to try it out.

What is a Smart Telescope?
Using an app on a smartphone or tablet, you connect to the scope and send it to the object you want to image.
It then takes an image for however long you want… (But see below).
At the end of the exposure, the software processes the subs taken and the processed image is uploaded straight onto the smartphone or tablet being used.

All good stuff!
But be aware that there are a number of limitations, which I’ll discuss later.

Specifications of the SeeStar S50.
50mm aperture, triplet apochromatic optics should give relatively low chromatic aberration.
250mm focal length. Gives a field of view just over 1/2 a degree left to right. Enough to fit The Moon or Sun in.
Imaging chip IMX462.
Resolution 1920×1080.
Dew Heater built in.
Dual Band Nebula Filter.
Solar white light filter supplied.
Alt-Azimuth mount, with built in WiFi and Bluetooth.
Battery life, up to 6hs. Less with the dew heater on.
Weight 3kg.

What’s it like?
The SeeStar S50 is supplied in a very nice lightweight expanded polystyrene case, which ideal for travelling.

The case has a better feel than I expected, but not of the same quality as the Vespera’s and Unistellar’s, but hey, it is a lot cheaper.

It is very compact and the tripod screws onto the 3/8″ thread on the bottom.
This common thread will allow you to attach the SeeStar S50 onto many other, bigger and more stable tripods, if needed.

The App.
I downloaded the SeeStar App from the Andriod Play Store. It is also available for iPhones and iPads as well.
Watch out for the minimum specifications of phone and tablet that can be used with it.

All installed OK and I switched the SeeStar on and was ready to play.
I connected my phone to the WiFi on the SeeStar and opened the app.
After a setup routine, by pressing a button on the SeeStar and rotating it a few times, I was connected and ready.
Screenshot 20231105 215045 Seestar

As an aside, I was also able to turn on Station mode and connect it to my home WiFi.
This allowed me to connect to the SeeStar from anywhere inside the house.
No more standing out in the cold for me operating a telescope.
After all, I am getting to that age where I need to keep myself warm!

Clicking on the top part of this screen brings you into the SeeStar Settings.Screenshot 20231110 120948 Seestar

To turn off the SeeStar, you need to scroll down the bottom of this menu, as it is below the intial screen

Once all connected, I clicked on the StarGazing button.

By clicking on the image of The Plough, I went into the map and searched for the Veil Nebula.
It found a number of entries for this, so clicked the Gazing button next to The Witches Broom and the SeeStar obediently went to it.

The SeeStar takes an image, looks at the position of the stars in the image and works out where it is pointing by plate solving, then corrects its position if required. No user intervention is required.

If the framing isn’t quite to your liking, you can move the background sky underneath the rectangle to reposition the camera.

Comet 2023 H2 (Lemmon) was in the database, and it went to it, and managed to image the comet, but I could not get a very good image, as the comet was moving too fast.

Screenshot 20231112 094241 Seestar

Screenshot 20231112 094621 SeestarThe SeeStar has been set so that the camera chip is set to give a portrait image, rather than landscape. This cannot be changed. I guess ZWO did this so that the image format fits popular sharing apps, such as Instagram, so images can be shared easily.

Clicking the button top left, brings us out of the map back into the Stargazing window.

Once it has settled on the chosen object, it will be continually previewing.
Some stars or bright objects should be visible on the screen.

Depending on which object you have selected, you may want to use the dual band filter to get better contrast of the nebula.
Click on the Filter button and the filter moves across the camera and will be highlighted in green.

The image can be brightened or dimmed down by using the Adjust button, which changes the gain of the camera.

You are not able to adjust the exposure, I’ll mention more about that in a bit.

The AF button is the autofocus, which can be used if the autofocus hasn’t already worked.

The circle in the middle can be used to move the Seestar in any direction manually.
This control does take a bit of getting used to. I’d prefer up, down, left, right buttons and a speed control myself.

Taking an image.
To start the exposure, or as the SeeStar calls it, “Enhancing the image”, click the red button at the bottom of the screen
This takes a minute to start.

Screenshot 20231112 095956 Seestar

The SeeStar now takes a series of exposures, which it will add together at the end of the “exposure”. Here’s where some of those limitations I mentioned start to kick in.

The SeeStar is on an Alt-azimuth mount. As a result, as the sky rotates above (Oh, OK, as Earth rotates under the sky), the image will rotate in the field of view. This can be easily noticed in how the orientation of Orion rises and sets leaning in different directions.

As the imaging chip is set and cannot rotate to match this rotation, as the SeeStar tracks the sky, the image falling on the chip is rotating. This will produce trailing.

The rotation of the images does produce some artefacts around the edges of the images, which gets worse the longer the exposure. I went up to 15 minutes for some exposures with one object, which went really well.M32 5x10s Image Rotation

This is shown in this image on the right, which I stacked from a few SeeStar Subs to show the image rotation.

How does the SeeStar cope with all this to produce a nice image?
It takes very short exposures of 10 seconds, which minimise the amount of trailing visible in the image.
This is why you are unable to adjust the camera exposure. Longer exposures will start to show trailing.

Each sub image that the SeeStar takes is rotated and aligned on the star positions on the images to stack them together.
As the images stack up and are added together, fainter objects gradually brighten and more detail is revealed on the screen.

Added to this, another problem is that the SeeStar is not tracking the sky accurately. It can’t.

As an astrophotographer I am so used to equatorial mounts and autoguiding to get really good results, but these smart scopes work totally differently.

Between each image, the SeeStar takes an image to check whether the object is located on the imaging chip and adjusts the position of the scope, if necessary.

The image below is The Pleiades image created by SeeStars by stacking a number of 10 second subs together.
The centre image is one of the raw subs it took.
In the right-hand image I have taken a number of the subs it took and created a stack without aligning each image on the stars.
As you can see it’s a right mess. It reveals just how much the SeeStar moves between each sub.
The SeeStar has coped admirably with the rotation and this to produce the final image.

Comparison M45

That’s enough about how it works, you really want to know what are the images like.
As well as some bright targets, I deliberately chose others that should challenge it a bit.
The first set of images below are as they were produced from within the app.
I’ll show later how the images can be further improved.

The Sun & crescent Moon in a bright morning sky.
eeStar finds these itself, but make sure you put the solar filter on when pointing at the Sun.
The Moon could not be found in the bright twilight I tried, but I could use the on-screen controls to get it in the field of view and adjust the image brightness to match what I wanted to capture.



The Sword Handle in Perseus, The Cygnus Wall and The Crab Nebula.
3 Objects Steestars50 2

Three parts of the Veil Nebula in Cygnus.
3 Veils Seestars50

Messier 33, Bubble Nebula and Messier 52, The Crescent Nebula.3 Objects Steestars50 1

The Orion, Horsehead and Elephant trunk Nebulae. 3 Objects Steestars50 3

Something I really was not expecting was to point it at Uranus and be able to reveal two of its Moons, Titania and Oberon.
That shows it has really good optics.

Stacked Uranus Plus Moons 10.0s Ircut 20231105 203041

My Conclusion.

I found the SeeStar S50 very easy to use and anyone wanting a highly transportable imaging system, it does produce very pleasing images.
I did encounter a couple of finding and tracking issues, but generally it did behave itself.
It could not image around Jupiter, as the flare from the planet swamped the image, so it could not pick out any guide stars.
Anyone would be loving the results it can give them just using their smartphone or tablet, even on their first night.
It’s so simple to set up and use, without all the faff normally associated with astrophotography and all its complications.
For a single cost, it’s ready to go and most importantly works most of the time.

More seasoned astrophotographers and pixel-peepers will poo-poo these devices, as they don’t produce the best quality images.
But for this cost and such convenience, it is after all aimed to appeal to the beginner who wants a convenient way to catch images of our universe.

It won’t appeal to everyone, but the SeeStar far surpassed all my expectations, and is an amazing bit of kit that really impressed me.

As long as it attracts more people into our amazing hobby, especially the younger generations that are used to doing everything on their phone, that has got to be a good thing.

Can the SeeStar S50 be improved?
I’m sure as ZWO develop the software to manage the captured data, the images can only get better (See my processing results below).

If they had a way that the imaging chip could be rotated, this would allow you to rotate the imaging chip to get the framing you want.
In many cases you will find that the object you are trying to image will not lie in the correct orientation to make a nicely framed image.
A couple of hours can make a big difference in the orientation of the object, so that is something to consider when taking an image of a particular object.
A mosaic feature would also be quite nice to capture wider parts of the sky.

Some people have speculated if ZWO are working on producing a longer focal length version.

A longer focal length telescope will give a smaller field of view and a higher magnification.
This would show up the sky rotation a lot quicker than 10 seconds, limiting the exposure length even further.

Have an imaging chip that rotates as the exposure is taken or an equatorially mounted version would allow it to take much longer exposures without image rotation problems showing.

Either of these would be a real game-changer and if that does transpire, I reckon we are seeing a glimpse of the future of astrophotography.

Improving SeeStar Images.
The SeeStar has an option in the menu to save the raw data it takes in its memory. These are saved as fits files.
If you have the SeeStar networked, or connected to a computer with the supplied USB cable, you can browse to the folder called “EMMC Images/MyWorks” where these files are stored and transfer them to a computer to stack and/or process them yourself.

I found I was able to get quite a bit more out of the images using my normal image processing methods.

The SeeStar has two folders for each image subject it takes, such as M42 and M42-sub.
The finished stacked image (but not processed) is in the subject folder.
The Subject-sub folder contains the individual 10 second subs that were taken and used to create the stacked file in the other folder.

The following images were produced by processing the raw final stacked images using Affinity Photo.
The images as produced by the SeeStar S50 uploaded to the phone is on the left, my processed images are on the right.

With some of the subs, I was not able to stack these.
The stars on the images were too faint for the stacking software to detect enough for it to stack them.
Longer enhancement runs may get round this problem.

Conpared Process M 42 10.0s Lp 20231111 010823 4

Cygnus Wall Comparison

Horsehead Compared Ic 434 10.0s Lp 20231111 012651



Comet 12P / Pons-Brooks

Another comet has recently had yet an other outburst, just like 29P / Schwassman-Wachmann and 2P / Encke.

This is Comet 12P / Pons-Brooks.

Comet 12p 20231210 Annotated Web

Currently located in the northern part of Hercules, not too far west of the head of Draco, the comet is now about 9th magnitude (updated 15th November 2023) after yet another cryovolcanic outburst.
Comet 12p Pons Brroks 20231115 Autosave Web

I also managed to take a few images of the comet during July, August and October.

The “Millennium Falcon” shaped cloud can be seen expanding between these three images.


It will be well worthwhile keeping an eye on this one to see if it does have another outburst.

There was another outburst at the start of October. I captured this image on the 9th of October.
The shape certainly resembles The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.


The comet will be visible for a while yet, as it moves through Lyra, Cygnus and Lacerta into next year.
It is circumpolar (never sets) for a while.

It passes a number of objects as it goes.

On the 7th of December it passes the bright first magnitude star Vega in Lyra.

On Christmas Day is is moving directly over the open star cluster NGC6791.

On the 12th of January, the comet lies close to the Crescent Nebula, NGC6888 in Cygnus.

Three days later the comet passes south of the open cluster Messeier 29, also in Cygnus.

As the comet moves westwards, it will start to get lower in the north western sky early evening after Christmas.
On the 27th of February the comet is passing south of the bright planetary nebula NGC7662, but you’ll probably need a good north western horizon to catch it in the evening sky before it sets.

At this time it does rise in the early hours, but as dawn starts to break, it is only 19° above the north eastern horizon.




Comet 103P / Hartley 2

There are three comets to look out for the next few months and into next year.

These are, Comet 2P / Encke, 29P / Schwassman-Wachmann and 103P / Hartley 2.

Here’s the details and map for Comet 103P / Hartley 2.

103P / Hartley 2 is currently moving away from the constellation of Auriga, into Gemini.
It is very high up at 70° just before dawn so should be easy to follow for quite a while.

The comet is currently about 11th magnitude, but it could reach a peak brightness of magnitude 7.9 by the end of October.

The comet passes a few objects along the way, which should make it a bit easier to find.

On the 5th of October, 103P is right on the body line of Castor in Gemini.

After passing between the twins on the 8th, it passes very close to the planetary nebula NGC2392, the Eskimo Nebula.

As the comet brightens we can follow it into the lower part of Cancer and onto Hydra (Not shown)

After this, the comet heads south, but as it slows, it should remain visible until next April.

Please Note: The Comet appears bigger on my map than it will (in the rear view mirror? 😁).







Comet 29P / Schwassman-Wachmann

There are three comets to look out for the next few months and into next year.

These are, Comet 2P / Encke, 29P / Schwassman-Wachmann and 103P / Hartley 2.

Here’s the details and map for Comet 29P / Schwassman-Wachmann.

29P / Schwassman-Wachmann unlike Comet 2P/ Encke is going to be a round for quite a while.

This a very exciting comet, as it has recently had an outburst. It does this fairly regularly.

It is usually around 16th magnitude, but these outbursts can make it a lot brighter.

I took the two images below on the 29th (left) and 25th (right) of October 2021, which shows a recent outburst.

This is a comet well worth keeping an eye on.


I managed to capture another outburst in December 2022.


The comet is tracing a slow retrograde loop between Gemini and Cancer.

Over the next couple of months it moves deep into Cancer, passing just north of the bright open star cluster Messier 44, The Beehive, during November and December, when it starts moving retrograde from the 11th of November.

At the end of March and the beginning of May it reverses direction again and starts it’s proper motion.
By this time, the comet is getting lower in the western sky.

The First Quarter Moon will be close by on the 15th of May.

Please Note: The comet looks bigger and brighter on my map than it will be in reality.



Comet 2P / Encke

There are three comets to look out for the next few months and into next year.

These are, Comet 2P / Encke, 29P / Schwassman-Wachmann and 103P / Hartley 2.

Here’s the details and map for Comet 2P / Encke.

Comet 2p / Encke.
This comet is currently moving from the northern part of Cancer into Leo.
It is currently about 10th magnitude, so is a relatively easy target for astrophotographers.
It has an orbital period of 3.3 years, and comes to perihelion on the 22nd of October, when it could get as bright as 7th magnitude.

The comet passes a few distinct stars and objects as it approaches perihelion and will be visible in the early morning sky.
On the 27th of September, it lies close to the 3rd magnitude star Ras Elasid in the top of the Sickle of Leo.
The comet passes close to the 3rd magnitude star Gamma Leonis, Algeiba in the neck of Leo on the 1st of October.
It passes through the lower part of Leo on the 5th of October, passing south of the spiral galaxy Messier 66 on the 8th of October.
But it is getting a lot lower in the pre-dawn sky and starting to move down into the light of dawn.
The comet speeds up as it approaches The Sun as it moves into Virgo. The comet is soon lost in the bright morning sky.
On the 26th of October, it lies very close to the first magnitude star Spica, 4 days after perihelion, but there’s no chance of seeing anything as The Sun isn’t that far away. I added the position of The Sun on the 26th.
We will not be able to spot it when it comes out the other side of The Sun, as the orbit of the comet keeps it fairly close to The Sun as seen from Earth for quite a while, so we are unlikely to catch up with this comet again until at least July next year.

Yes, I have exaggerated the size of the comet in my map. It won’t be anywhere near as big as it is shown here.



Jupiter & Uranus

Jupiter is very prominent in the night sky at the moment.

It rises late evening in the northeast and is almost at its highest very high in the south just before dawn.
It is so bright you cannot mistake it for anything else, much the brightest object in the night sky at magnitude -2.7.
Until Venus rises in the early hours, which is much brighter at magnitude -4.57.

Jupiter reaches opposition on the 3rd of November when it will be closest to Earth and at its biggest and brightest at magnitude -2.9 for the year.
In the diagram below, I have plotted the path of Jupiter from the 1st of August to December the 31st, shown in yellow, just south of the ecliptic as it moved through Aries.
Jupiter is now moving retrograde (east to west) as the Earth overtakes it.

Not far away to the east of Jupiter is the much fainter distant ice giant Uranus, also in Aries.
This is much fainter at magnitude +5.4, so will require binoculars or a small telescope to identify it.
A telescope reveals it as a very small blue-green disk.

Uranus, which reaches opposition on the 13th of November is also moving retrograde.
I have shown its path as a blue line, just south of the 4th magnitude star Delta Arietis, which will help guide you to it.


Comet Leonard Passes Globular Cluster M3.

As Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) continues to brighten (Fingers Crossed!) it is now starting to get lower in the morning eastern sky.

The map below shows the path it will take in the sky, passing north of the bright star Arcturus on the 6th of December.
(All maps produced using Sky Safari).

Wider angle maps to help find the comet over the next couple of weeks have been posted here:

The comet passed by the Whale & Hockey Stick Galaxies on the 25th of November as can be seen in my image below taken that morning.

But the show doesn’t stop there.

Comet Leonard will pass right across the front of the bright globular cluster Messier 3 on the morning of the 3rd of December, which will make for a great observing and imaging opportunity.

We will have a few opportunities to observe the comet, close to the cluster from the morning of the 2nd until the 4th.

On the morning of the 2nd of December at 02:00h UT, the comet will be located to the west of the cluster.
This should make a nice image for those who can obtain a fairly wide angle view.

The next morning (4th December), at 02:00h UT, the head of the comet will be butted up right against the cluster.
The comets extended coma should surround the clusters stars.

The comet will be moving eastwards across the front of the cluster.

By 06:00h UT, a little before the sky starts to brighten in the oncoming dawn, the comet’s bright nucleus should have cleared the cluster.


The next morning at 02:00h UT, the comet will have moved a bit further away, but the tail should still be fairly close to the cluster, making for a great view or another amazing image.

The comet will then move further down, getting lower in the sky each morning.
It will definitely be worthwhile setting your alarm and keeping an eye on the weather and get out and keep and eye out on what the comet is doing.

Wider angle maps to help find the comet over the next couple of weeks have been posted here:

Comets are always so unpredictable, and constantly surprise us, and I’m guessing Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) will be no different.

Have fun.



Sky Diary for June 2021

My Sky Diary for June 2021 is now available to view on YouTube.

As well as the electronic version below, the Sky Diary is published electronically using a TeamUp calendar.
Thank you very much to Steve Tonkin from binocular Astronomy and Neill Sanders from Go StarGazing, who are helping me to keep this right up to date.

To set up the calendar up on your mobile device, so you can carry it around and keep up to date,
download the TeamUp App from their Web Site:

Once the app is installed, add my Star-Gazing Sky Diary calendar using the URL below.

Please do let me know if I have missed anything out or have made a mistake.