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.




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