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.



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